PLURAL MARKING IN OBOLO

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TABLE OF CONTENT

Title Page           —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    i

Certification        —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    ii

Dedication          —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    iii

Acknowledgments       —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    iv

Abstract                                  —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    v

Table of Contents        —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    vi

CHAPTER ONE

1.0      Introduction       —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    1

1.1      Background of the Study   —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    3

1.2      Statement of the Problem —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    4

1.3      Research Objectives          —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    5

1.4      Research Question             —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    5

1.5      Significance of the Study   —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    6

1.6    Scope /Delimitation of the Study   —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    6

1.7      Research Methodology      —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    6

1.7.1           Research Design                  —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    7

1.7.2 Research Population            —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    7

1.7.3   Sample and Sampling Procedure        —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    8

1.7.4  Instruments for Data Collection    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    8

1.7.5 Data Collection Procedure            —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    8

1.7.6  Procedure for Data Analysis                  —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    9

CHAPTER TWO

2.0    Introduction         —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    10

2.1    Literature Review of Related Works       —–    —–    —–    —–    10

2.2    Morpho-Syntatic Analysis    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    21

2.3    Plural Marking for Noun        —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    22

2.4    Formation of Plural Marking —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    24

2.5    Person Marker                       —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    26

2.6    Plural Marking for Verb                  —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    27

CHAPTER THREE

3.0    Introduction                            —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    29

3.1    Data Presentation                 —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    29

3.2    Plural Words in Obolo Language  —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    29

3.3    Singular Words in Obolo Language—– —–    —–    —–    —–    31

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0    Introduction        —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    34

4.1    The Morphology of Plural Marking in Obolo Language    —–    34

4.2    Syntax of Plural Marking In Obolo          —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    42

4.3    Grammatical Rules of Pluralism in Obolo Language  —–          —–    43

CHAPTER FIVE

5.0    Summary            —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    46

5.1    Conclusion        —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    48

5.2    Recommendation        —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    49

Reference           —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    50

Appendix            —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    —–    51

ABSTRACT

Plural marking of every language is unique.  This work set out to examine plural marking in Obolo, a language spoken predominantly in Akwa Ibom State located in the South-South region in Nigeria. The data collection for this research work was achieved by elicitation. This elicitation method enabled the researcher to gain insight into plural words, phrase and sentences in the language. The research objective was aimed at identifying plural markers in Obolo, identifying the rules that govern plural marking in Obolo language and also the various plural forms found in the language. This study has observed that this process is achieved through various morphological processes which include prefixation, morpheme addition, and quantifier modification. Finally the study also reveals that “owuwa”   and “usini” are  the principal plural markers in Obolo language.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0    INTRODUCTION

Plural is a grammatical form that designates more than one of the things specified. In many languages, including Obolo, English and various languages, have the plural form and also various ways of marking plural. Plural marking is a process of indicating plurality in a word, sentence or phrase.

       Plural markings across languages fall into two types; inflectional and non-inflectional. According to Wiltschko (2008:26), languages such as English, French, German etc. where plural marking is inflectional, the choice between the expression of singularity and plurality is a forced one. On the other hand, in languages such as Halkomelem, Salish, among others, where plural marking is non-inflectional the choice between the expression of singularity and plurality is not a forced one. Witness the following examples:

          1a. book – books                   English

          1b. livre-s – books                 French

    Inflectional plurality is a process whereby plurality is marked on a noun by affixation which in most cases is a suffix. On the other hand, non-inflectional plural marking is reflected by a morpheme or word that is not indicated for pluralization (schane 1973:12, wiltschko 2008:27, 28).

     According to Essien (2008:91); in Ibibio, in addition to the concord marker, there must be a marker for plural indication, if the situation;

2a. Is one repeatedly;

2b. Affects more than one person or thing;

2c. In some cases is done by more than one person.

This system of marking plurality is similar to what Langacker (1972:65:66) refers to as ‘process morpheme’ in American Indian language called Diegueno. According to Langacker; “A verb is marked plural in Diegueno if its subject or object is plural or designate”. Cook (1969b:16) also report similar situation in kohumono, which is spoken by the Ba-humono people in Obubra in Cross River state. According to Cook:

      Many Kohumono verbs have related verbs (usually a reduplication of the original one combined with a suffix associated with them which the informant chooses to call the ‘plural’ of the verb represent: plural verbs usually carries the meaning of the repeated, sustained or continuous action, or action of a large number of objects. This is also the case in Ibibio language as indicated in the examples below;

3a. Bed windo         –       ‘Shut the window’

3b. Beed windo       –        ‘Shut the windows’

      This study will show how plurals are marked in Obolo language and the rules that govern plural marking in Obolo. It will also show the syntactic formation of plural markings in Obolo language. Some examples will be given in other languages.

PLURAL MARKING IN OBOLO