ASPECTS OF GUNGANCHI VERB PHRASE
GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The main focus of this research work is a discussion on the verb phrase of Gunganchi language. This chapter therefore aims at introducing the work by discussing some historical facts about the Gunganchi people and the language itself. Justification for the study as well as the scope of the work is examined in this chapter. The chapter will also give information on the genetic classification of Gunganchi language and then attempt a brief review of our chosen framework, the government and binding theory.
1.1 GENERAL BACKGROUND OF THE LANGUAGE
Kebbi State, the home of Argungu international fishing and cultural festival came into existence as a political entity on the 27th August 1991. It was carved out of the former Sokoto State with its headquarters in Birnin kebbi. From available source given by informant, Kebbi State spreads alluringly over a vast expanse of land of approximately 36.229 square kilometres representing 3.9% of the total land area of Nigeria.
In this wonderful endowed land lives a population of 3,238,628 (2006 census) people bounded by a long winding history and inspired by memories of spectacular accomplishment. At present, the state is made up of four emirates (Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru) which are further divided into 21 local government areas: Birnin Kebbi, Ngaske, Yauri, Sakabo, Zuru, Dandi etc.
Kebbi State has diverse ethnic groups. The dominant amidst them are: Hausa, Fulani, Kabawa and the Gunganwa. The distributions of these ethnic groups show that the Gunganwa (speakers of Gunganchi) are found in Yauri local government. (Informant)
1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE SPEAKERS
The Gunganwa also known as the Bareshe people by their
Hausa neighbours hail from Yauri Local government area of
Kebbi State. This local government area has a total population of seventy four thousand nine hundred and sixteen people (74,916). They are only found in Yauri local government and call themselves ‘Guresha amidst’. History has it that they came from an island called “gungun” which means water and “Ganwa” which means people that are surrounded by water.
1.3 SOCIO – CULTURAL BACKGROUND
Every community has its distinct way of life. The way people eat, what they wear, their mode of marriage, etc. differ in various societies. The Gunganchi people don’t have an exception as they also have their own cultural values just like every other community.
Gunganchi as a language is the mother tongue in Yauri local government area of Kebbi State. It has neighbouring tribes like hun – saare, Lopa and Hausa.
Gunganchi people are dominantly farmers and pre-dominantly fishermen. They practice both subsistence and commercial form of farming but they major on cultivation of land and growing of crops for the sustainability of their households. They also engage themselves in fishing using cage called “suuru” and they use ‘Hauwuyu’ for farming but now they have started using hoes, cutlasses etc. They farm and fish depending on the season and their major crops are guinea corn, beans, rice and onions. They are also noted for canoe – making.
Following the 1804 Fulani Jihad, the Gunganchi people are mostly Muslims. They also have few pagans and idol worshippers. According to the informant, research has shown that 70% of the Gunganchi people are Muslims while 29% are traditional worshippers and 1% practice Christianity. Despite these ethnic diversities and religious differences, the Gunganchi people live in peace with one another.
Gunganchi people adopt the emirate system like their
neighbouring community. Their location is a multi ethnic area consisting of Lopa, Yauri, Laru etc. and the palace of the emir is in Yehwa, but the Gunganchi people are the first settlers in Yauri. Hereditary succession is not adopted in this emirate and the Emir is appointed based on the fact that he must be elderly, famous and respected among the people.
Turbaning is done for the new emir amidst celebration with burukutu (a local drink made from millet). The Emir rules the territory with local chiefs called Sariki. However, the local government chairman holds the executive function of the Yauri Local Government Area and other governmental works are executed by the Kebbi State Government.
Their major festivals that are celebrated with pomp and pageantry are Idembe which is the millet festival and Anipo festival. During the Anipo festival, animals like goat are sacrificed. These festivals bring all Gunganchi speaking communities together.
1.3.5 MARRIAGE AND BURIAL RITE
Marriage in Gunganchi community is a bit complex especially for men. In Gunganchi community when a man signals his intention of marriage to a lady, the man’s parents inform the lady’s parents. Before the lady’s parents agree to such proposal, the man must farm for his in-law for an unspecified duration. He farms until the parents of the lady become satisfied. After the farming they formally announce their intension and a date is fixed for the wedding.
On the wedding day the man’s family go with guinea corn because no bride price is needed. The marriage is based on Islamic rites and the marriage ceremony is fun and full of merry making. The Gunganchi people also encourage inter marriage most especially with Hausas.
188.8.131.52 BURIAL RITES
During a Gunganchi burial ceremony, the corpse is lowered into the ground and covered with leaves. Like most tribes the death of an aged person is celebrated and that of the young person is mourned. Sudden or unusual death is usually investigated and the oracle is consulted to find out the cause of the death. The killer of the deceased is said to be killed by the spirit of the dead. The oracle that are consulted are the Gigo (true God) and Ujigo (god of thunder and iron). This is a traditional rite performed on the dead.
The Gunganchi people are highly cultural people. This
reflects in their normal ways of life which will be discussed below.
Before the present day of westernization and civilization the Gunganchi people cloth themselves with animal skin. They make various styles from these animal skins. They now make use of ‘banbariga’ (traditional dress for the man) and loose clothing with local embroidery tied around the woman’s body to wade off the sun. There are also heavy tribal marks on the woman’s face and tattoo on the legs during wedding ceremonies. However some of them still make use of animal skins till date.
The Gunganchi people take guinea corn pap as their best food. They like guinea corn that most of them prefer keeping it than selling it in the market. Guinea corn pap is served at occasions like wedding, naming and during other festive periods. Burukutu (local gin) is their favourite drink and is served during their leisure time.
184.108.40.206 NAMING CEREMONY
When a child is born, he is named after seven days. His hair is shaved and after ten years the child is circumcised.
Before the advent of western education, the people have a way of teaching morals and skills within their community to their children. They hereby teach and impact knowledge to their children right from birth. Hence when western education came it was warmly embraced by the Gunganchi people. However Gunganchi language was also used in teaching Islamic studies to their children.
1.3.8 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
In this study an attempt is made to identify the following;
1 The pattern and arrangement of words in Gunganchi language, i.e. word order;
2 The lexical categories of Gunganchi language
3 The transformational processes in Gunganchi language
4 Combination of words to form phrases and sentences in Gunganchi language
5 Rules that apply to structure of phrase in the language; and
6 Classification of verbs in Gunganchi language.
1.4 GENETIC CLASSIFICATION
Murit Ruhlen states that “The idea that groups of languages that share certain systematic resemblances have inherited those similarities from a common origin in the basis of genetic classification.
A genetic classification thus makes two statements. Firstly it affirms that certain languages are in fact related to each other (i.e. share a common ancestor). Secondly, it specifies how the languages are inter-related in the form of a branching diagram.
Gunganchi language falls under the Niger-Kordofanian
language family. (Ross Jones 1992)
AFRO-ASIATIC NIGER NUO SAHARAN KHOISAN
MANDE NEW BENUE ATLANTIC VOLTA KORDOFANIAN
OKO DEFOID KAINJI IDOMOID EDOID WOLOF
WESTERN KAINJI EASTERN KAINJI
KAMUKU KAINJI GUNGANCHI KANBARI BASSA LOPA
FIG 1.0: GENETIC CLASSIFICATION OF GUNGANCHI BY ROSS JONES
1.5 SCOPE AND ORGANISATION OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to closely examine the aspects of Gunganchi verb phrase. The Government and Binding (GB) theory will be examined and a detailed analysis of case theory will be carried out. There are five chapters in all.
Chapter one introduces the topic of the study, the language of study and the people. It gives a historical as well as socio- cultural account of the speakers including the genetic classification of the language.
A review of literature is carried out in the same chapter. Some earlier theories of grammar are examined in this chapter. The Government and Binding theory, which is the theoretical frame work used with its modules are discussed in details.
Chapter two examines the phonological concepts and basic syntactic concepts of the language. It also discusses the sound inventory, tonal and syllable inventories of the language as well as the lexical categories.
The structures of Gunganchi verb phrase as well as verb classification are accounted for in the next chapter.
Chapter four explains the transformational processes that occur in Gunganchi language. Finally in chapter five, a summary of the entire research, observation and recommendation are offered. The research will come to an end in the same chapter and the list of references is attached.
1.6 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The theoretical framework used for this research is the Government and Binding (GB) theory otherwise known as principles and parameters theory. In the following sections of this chapter, attempts will be made to examine the details of the modules of this theory like case theory, theta theory, Binding theory and Government theory. A brief survey of some earlier theories of grammar will also be carried out.
The method of data collection used in this project is the
contact/informant method. Linguistic data was collected for this study by making use of language informant who is a native speaker of Gunganchi language. The data was collected through the use of frame technique and the Ibadan word – list of 400 basic items.
Below are pieces of information about the informant:
Name: CORPORAL LABBO ALKALI
NO OF YEARS SPENT IN GUNGANCHI: 20 Years
OTHER LANGUAGES SPOKEN: HAUSA AND ENGLISH
1.8 DATA ANALYSIS
To ensure an efficient data analysis in this research, all data received are accurately transcribed. The morphemes that made up the phrases and sentences are also carefully glossed.
The data collected are worked upon according to how the native speakers use it without imposing any extraneous rules or norm of correctness.
The sub – theories of GB theory
As mentioned earlier, these sub – theories interplay and dictate what can be moved from where (extraction site) and to where (landing site). The modules account for ungrammaticality resulting from violations of rules and conditions. These modules include case theory, theta theory, binding theory, government theory, control theory and bounding theory. The relationship between one sub – theory and the other is shown below
MODULAR THEORY OF GRAMMAR
X – BAR THEORY Projection Principle
D – STRUCUTRE Lexicon
Move – α θ – Theory
Bounding (O criterion)
S – Structure
FIG 1.1: MODULAR THEORY OF GRAMMAR
Sells (1985:25) and Cook (1988:33)
In the diagram above, no part can be considered in isolation from the rest. Government and Binding theory posits seven sub – theories of the theory of grammar. The structure generated at various levels is constrained by a set of theories, which define the kind of relationships possible within a grammar. The sub – theories of Government and Binding theory are:
i. X – BAR THEORY
ii. THETA THEORY
iii. CASE THEORY
iv. BINDING THEORY
v. BOUNDING THEORY
vi. GOVERNMENT THEORY
vii. CONTROL THEORY
1.8.1 X – BAR THEORY
X – bar theory is part of the grammar that regulates and brings out what is common in the structure of phrase. Cook (1988:94) says:
“In the X – theory, the phrase structure is a comparatively simple system derived from a few principles and the setting of certain parameters.”
A phrase always contains a head in X – bar theory thereby showing hierarchy among the constituents. Heads are terminal nodes that dominate words.
According to Haegerman (1991:105), two levels of projection are distinguished in X – bar theory. These are the specifier and complement positions respectively.
(Specifier) X ’
FIG 1.2: X-Bar theory (Radford 2002:229)
X ’’ above ranges over all phrasal categories like Noun phrases, verb phrases, adjectival phrases, prepositional phrases, inflectional phrases and complementizer phrases.
X’ on the other hand stands for x and its complement where applicable. ‘X’ is a category variable that stands for any major word – level category like Noun, verb, adjective and preposition.
Specifier and complement represent grammatical functions or relations; they have a status similar to terms such as ‘subject’ or ‘object’. They are optional constituents for some phrases but obligatory for some others (Radford 2002:229).
The Gunganchi phrase structure is as outlined below:
CP → C’ specifier
IP → I’ specifier
NP → N’ specifier
VP → V’ specifier
AP → Adj specifier
PP → P specifier
1. denya aba
2. irea ikùnuà
3. Lú úkulùASPECTS OF GUNGANCHI VERB PHRASE