Complex Predicates in Ngwa-Igbo

International Journal of Integrative Humanism Vol. 10 No. 1, November 2018.
ISSN: 2026 – 6286

Nneoma Fyne Ugorji

A predicate is said to be complex when the verb phrase of a sentence is made up of a verb and double objects or when a verbal complex (phrase) has more than one verb. Ngwa-Igbo is one of the dialects of the Igbo language. The word ‘Ngwa’, refers to the dialect, the people and the geo-political area known as the Ngwa land. The Ngwa people are found in Abia State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Of the seventeen Local Government Areas in the State, seven belong to the Ngwa people. These Local Government Areas are: Isiala Ngwa North, Isiala Ngwa South, Obingwa, Osisioma, Aba South, Aba North and Ugwunagbo. This paper aims at disclosing some of the syntactic constraints that are found in the Ngwa-Igbo complex predicates. The framework adopted for the analysis of data in this paper is the Theta Theory. The relevance of this theory to this paper is that it helps in the assignment of semantic functions to nominals in Ngwa-Igbo complex predicate. Some of the objectives of this paper are: to demonstrate the syntactic constraints in the complex predicates in Ngwa-Igbo, to demonstrate the types of complex predicates in Ngwa-Igbo, to show the role of the verb in selecting the type noun that can co-occur with it at the subject and object positions. Some of the findings of this paper are: that the well-formedness condition placed checks on the co-occurrence of items in the Ngwa-Igbo complex predicates, that in a complex predicate, a ditransitive verb must take a double object complement else, the construction will be unaccepted, that intransitive verbs are restrained from taking a double object complement, that a subject and its anaphor in reflexive constructions must occur in a minimal clause, else the anaphoric reference will be ungrammatical, that verb-noun selectional restriction occurred in a complex predicate where the verb in the predicate determined the type of nouns that co-occur with it.

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