Greg Orji Obiamalu F'16, F'13

Greg Orji Obiamalu
Professor
Linguistics
Nnamdi Azikiwe University

African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships 2016
Reader
Department of Lingusitics
Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Negation and Negation Marking Strategies in the Igbo Dialects: A Comparative Study

Negation which is the grammatical/semantic marking of the denial of a proposition is a language universal phenomenon. However, the strategies for marking negation in different languages differ significantly. Even within the same language, the dialects may differ in their negation marking strategies. This is the case with Igbo, a language spoken in Southeastern Nigeria. The dialects differ significantly in the way they negate different sentence types. This study dwells on negation and its associated grammatical changes when compared with the affirmative sentences in the Igbo dialects. The study compares the negation marking strategies used for different sentence types in seven selected dialects of Igbo using both descriptive and theoretical approach. The theoretical framework adopted for the study is Minimalist Program of the Chomskyian Generative Grammar. The study intends to show that even though the negative marking strategies differ significantly across the Igbo dialects, the strategies obey the same principles in line with the assumptions of Universal Grammar which MP framework is based on.

African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellowships 2013
Lecturer I
Linguistics
Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Aspects of the Morphosyntax of Igbo Functional Categories: A Minimalist Approach

One of the major assumptions of the Universal Grammar (UG) is that languages differ structurally by some predefined parameter settings for the functional categories. In line with this assumption, this study examines the functional categories: Tense, Aspect, Negation and Determiner in Igbo, with a view to determining how they fit into the UG theory of functional categories. Previous studies in Igbo grammar are not agreed on the existence and nature of these functional categories in Igbo. This study adopts the Minimalist Program version of UG as a theoretical framework and seeks to answer the following questions. How are the categories of tense, aspect, negation and determiner morphologically marked in Igbo? In situations where they lack overt morphological marking, do we have any evidence to prove their null existence in Igbo? Are these categories in Igbo, heads of separate functional projections: TP, ASPP, NEGP and DP, as claimed in the theory? This investigation reveals some interesting features of Igbo and perhaps the features of many related African languages which strenghten or call for the modification of certain aspects of the UG theory.