Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 6 June 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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I`gbo` Verbs of Communication

Maduabuchi Agbo


This paper investigates the characteristics of Igbo verbs of communication. The study identifies seven sub-classes of Igbo verbs of communication. These classes can be grouped into two broad categories of verbs, that is, those used communicatively and those used non-communicatively. The verbs used communicatively are the Igbo verbs of communication par excellence. The verbs of communication in relation to Igbo vocabulary as a whole fall into the two major classes of Bound Complement Verbs and Inherent Complement Verbs (Nwachukwu, 1984; Emenanjo, 2005). This study establishes Igbo verbs of communication as a semantically coherent class with all the members sharing the meaning of the exchange of information. The study hopes to stimulate interest in this area of Igbo vocabulary.

Key words: Igbo verbs, lexical knowledge, communication, information

1.0 Introduction

Igbo is a major language in Nigeria with about 25 million people speaking it as a first language. The Igbo people are famous for undertaking trading adventures across the West African sub-region and this is why the language is spoken in large markets across the region (Emenanjo, 1998:43).

Igbo is a tone language with three basic tones viz High, Low and the phenomenon of downstep. The tone pattern of each lexical is provided to underscore the importance of tone. High tone is indicated by a raised accent thus /´/. Low tone is indicated by a grave accent /`/, while the phenomenon of downstep is indicated by a raised macron thus /¯/.

The language is classified as a Niger-Congo language, which belongs to the new Benue-Congo sub-branch of languages (Bendor-Samuel, 1989) or the West Benue-Congo (Williamson & Blench, 2000). The language consists of many dialects which are mutually intelligible. The current trend in Igbo linguistics is to classify Igbo dialects based on the common features associated with the States of origin of these dialects. Hence, there exists the Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers dialects. This classification is deemed to be more realistic and practical because "Igbo people today associate speakers of Igbo dialects with features common to their states" (Igboanusi & Peter, 2005:60). The verbs of focus in this study include those verbs that denote how ideas are shared and/or transferred in human communication. For the Igbo language, a study of the syntactic and semantic properties of any class of its verbs can stand as a study of the language (Uwalaka, 1988; 1983). Emenanjo (2005) claims that the Igbo verb is the only source for the derivation of new words in the language. This contrasts with English where the nouns and verbs can be used to derive other words. Nwachukwu (1984) describes Igbo as a verb-language. The reason is that Igbo prepositions and Noun Phrases are 'verb-forms' unlike in English and other Indo-European languages where they appear as semantically empty 'function words'.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Patterns of Indian Multilingualism | The Use of Catchy Words: A Case Study from Pakistan | Conquering Psychological Alienation - How Amy Tan Looks at It | I`gbo` Verbs of Communication | Honorifics and Speech Levels in Meiteiron | Social Functions of Metaphor - A Case Study Applying Tamil and Telugu Examples | Pragmatic Approaches and Models of Linguistic Politeness | Emerging Paradigms in Language Communication in India and Their Impact on the Corporate Competencies | Role of Encoding Temporal Fine Structure Cues in Time Compressed Word Recognition | Negotiating Boundaries: Arab-American Poetry and the Dilemmas of Dual Identity | The Role of Self-Directed Learning Strategy in Higher Education | Attitudes toward Women Expressed in the Speech of Male College Students | Teachers' Professional Development in ELT at Tertiary Level: ELTR Project of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan - A Case Study | The Changing Image of Women in Indian Writing in English - A Study of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things | The Administration of the East India Company: A History of Indian Progress: Native Education | Teaching English Language and Literature in Non-Native Context | Improving Chemmozhi Learning and Teaching - Descriptive Studies in Classical-Modern Tamil Grammar | Global Perspective of Teaching English Literature in Higher Education in Pakistan | Two Trends That Would Deface Classical-Modern Tamil - How to Reverse These Trends? | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JUNE 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of June 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Maduabuchi Agbo, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Linguistics and African Languages
University of Benin
Benin City

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