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ASPECTS OF KONO NEGATION

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ASPECTS OF KONO NEGATION

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

NEGATION IN KONO

 

INTRODUCTION

 

GENERAL BACKGROUND

This chapter introduces  the language of study, the people

 

speaking the language and their geographical location. It introduces us to the background of the speakers of the language which include their culture and beliefs. Also in this chapter, a brief explanation of the scope of the study, method of data collection, genetic classification and the theoretical framework used in carrying out the research work on the language are discussed. This research work is aimed at describing an aspect of the syntax of kono language. Our focus is Negation in the language. Kono is a language spoken in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State of Nigeria. Kono community is a small ethnic group in Kauru. The native speakers of Kono call themselves ‘’Jawuzura’’, while they are referred to as ‘’Konu or Kwono’’ by the Hausa speakers. Konu or Kwono is their alterative name.

 

1.1     HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF KONO PEOPLE.

 

According to oral history, the people of  Kono had their origin from a deep forest at the edge of the Northern part of Kaduna State. It was a place surrounded with lots of rocks, in this forest they feel all they want is at their disposal until the British Colonial master who brought Christian religion through a missionary and with time school was included by Mrs. Majinnya (a white woman).

 

The  advent of the colonial master brought a lot of changes to the kono community. These include their mode of dressing, cultural and traditional beliefs and most importantly, their religion.

 

1.2     GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF KONO PEOPLE

 

Kono people are in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State which till date remains their home. The community is surrounded by towns such as Kinuhu, Dingi, among others. These towns have their different languages; the neighboring communities around Kono are Zampuru, Gwandara, Padan-Kono, Kimuru, Kiwapa and Gbure communities etc.

 

Map of  Kaduna State indicating Kono.

 

1.3     SOCIOLINGUISTICS PROFILE OF KONO PEOPLE.

 

The people of Kono do make use of their language in the market as a means for promoting their language among other language of the local government. They sometimes use their language in the political sector. They have orthography for the language, though it is not used in educational sectors that is, they do not make use of it in the school. They sometimes, have conflict with other languages of their local government due to which one will serve as the superior one to the other.

 

SOCIO-CULTURAL PROFILE OF KONO PEOPLE

Culture is defined as the total way of life of a group of people in a particular geographical settings. Kono people have their distinct cultural beliefs which are expressed in their marriage system, festivals, religion and occupations.

 

MARRIAGE SYSTEM

In the oral tradition, Kono has a distinct way by which marriage is done. It purely indicates that’s that a lazy man cannot marry any Kono child. That is any man who is ready for marriage must first get the girl a carve wood and axe for house chore because it will be used to bring firewood home from the farm.

 

Also, a man who wants to marry a lady, apart from being qualified age-wise, will have to farm for the family of the lady he intends to marry before and after marriage, and this is done till today. Another important thing about Kono marriage system is that no marriage ceremony comes up during raining season, since people will be so busy with farming activities.

 

FESTIVALS

Most of the festivals done in Kono come up during the dry season, when work on farm would have reduced. One of such festivals is Burkama, which the Kono people always look forward to, especially those who are outside the community among the native speakers.

 

The term “Burkama’’ means “King/Creator’’. In other words, people show appreciation to their creator for sparing their lives upto another harvest period

 

Also, there is the “Kono Day’’, it is a period when Kono people from all field of works in life come together to celebrate their tribe and this comes up usually during Christmas. During this time, Kono people and those who married from Kono community come together to celebrate.

 

RELIGION

In the oral tradition, before the arrival of the colonial masters, Kono people were found to engage mainly in traditional way of life, that is the usage of rituals in whatever they do, but now, they are mainly Christians. Christianity took over as a Result of the British missionaries who came and today about Ninety five (95%) of Kono are Christians, while the remaining five percent (5%) are either Muslims or idol worshippers.

 

1.4.4  OCCUPATION

 

According to oral history, the major occupation of Kono people is Farming and Hunting. Majority of the people are subsidized farmers, though commercial farming is also practiced. The major crop in Kono is “sugar cane”. They also have other food crop like yam, millet, corn, cassava etc. it is also said that there is a yam that is not planted and it grows by itself, it is called “Morongo,” the yam is been eating but not pounded. Other activities like hunting are engage in during dry season, when farm work would have reduced drastically.

 

GENETIC CLASSIFICATION OF KONO

Ruhlen (1987:1) opines that the idea that group of language that share certain systematic resemblance have inherited those similarities from a common origin is the basis for genetic classification.

 

Genetic classification could be inform of a tree diagram showing the origin of a language and how it is genetically related to other languages. Kono language belongs to the group of Kainji under the Benue-Congo group of Niger-Congo language family. Here it is as seen in the diagram below:

 

 

 

SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This work is limited to negation in Kono language and it is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the introductory part of the work, which includes the general introduction, the historical background and socio-cultural profile of Kono people, genetic classification of the language are examined. The chapter also gives a brief discussion of the theoretical framework adopted in the work and explains the method use in data collection and data analysis.

 

Chapter two discusses the basic syntactic concepts that are concerned with this aspect of the work are also discussed.

 

While chapter three focused on negation aspect of Kono language, that is sentential negation attested in Kono language.

 

Chapter four addresses the Transformational Processes like Focus Construction , Relativization etc in Kono language.

 

Chapter five deals with the summary of the entire work and its conclusion.

 

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Many theories have been propounded for analyzing language in order to present a systematic account of the linguistic knowledge or the knowledge a native speaker is having. Such theories are used as theoretical framework for analyzing language data. They include the followings; Traditional or classical Grammar, structural or Taxonomic Grammar, systematic Grammar, Transformational Generative Grammar, Government and Binding theory and minimalist programme. The framework adopted for analyzing kono language data is the Government and Binding Theory.

 

The “Government and Binding” framework has been chosen because it shows the similarities between different phrases. It tries to capture the similarities by assigning to them the same structure rather than the case of Transformational Generative Grammar. The Government and Binding Theory mode is examined in detail in 1.10.

 

1.8     DATA COLLECTION

 

The method used in this research work for our data collection is the informant method of data collection. The Ibadan Four Hundred wordlist (400) as well as frame technique is used for the collection of Kono data from various informants. The informants are native speakers of Kono language.

 

The mode of data elicitation is bilingual. The following are some particulars about my informants.

 

Informant 1:        Mrs. Asabe Luka

 

Occupation:                   Business Woman

 

Age:                      58years

 

Religion:               Christianity

 

No of years lived in the village:         25years

 

Other languages spoken:                   Hausa and English

 

Informant 2:        Miss Martha Luka

 

Occupation:                   Student

 

Age:                      25years

 

Religion:               Christianity

 

No of years lived in the village:         10years

 

Other languages spoken:                   Hausa and English

 

Informant 3:        Miss. Sarah Luka

 

Occupation:                   Student

 

Age:                      21years

 

Religion:               Christianity

 

No of years lived in the village:         6years

 

Other languages spoken:                   Hausa and English

 

1.9     DATA ANALYSIS

 

This is based on the forms produced by the native speakers and it is collected in order to discover what is obtained in the language under study. Therefore, the data in this work will be analyzed using the “Government and Binding” model i.e. examples from Kono noun phrase, verb phrase and the prepositional phrase will be used. There are also examples from Kono language sentence types, such as simple sentence, compound sentence and complex sentence.

 

1.10       BRIEF REVIEW OF THE GOVERNMENT AND BINDING THEORY

 

The framework adopted for this research work is the Government and Binding (GB) theory which is on the other hand called principles and parameter theory. This theory is that which captures the similarities that exist between different categories of lexical phrases by assigning the same structure to them rather than having different phrase structure rules for NPs, VPs, ADP etc.

 

Government and Binding theory deals with transformation. The theory also explains the universal grammar as introduced by Chomsky (1981).

 

X – bar theory

Bounding theory

Control theory

Theta (θ) theory

Government Theory

Binding Theory

Case Theory

X – Bar Theory

The x – bar theory is designed to formalize the traditional

 

notion called ‘head’ of a construction and to constrain the range of possible phrase structure rules. Horrocks (1987:101) states that x-Bar theory provides principles for the projection of phrasal categories from lexical categories and imposes conditions on hierarchical organization of categories in the form of general schemata. The central notion of x–bar theory, according to Horrocks (1987:102), is that each of the major lexical categories (Noun: NP, Verb: VP, Preposition: PP and Adjective: AdjP). In essence, it defines possible phrase structure configurations in language.

 

Carnie (2007:155) opines that, the name “x–bar theory” comes from the original mechanism for indicating intermediate categories. Ni was written N with a bar over the letter. The over ‘bar’ is the origin of the “bar” in the name of the theory. X is a variable that stands for any category (N, Adj, V, P etc) also, x – bar theory projects from the core projection level to the maximal projection level. This is illustrated below:

 

X’’    Maximal projection level

 

X’     Intermediate projection level

 

Xo         Core projection level

 

Cook (1988:86) explains that x – bar captures properties of all phrases, not just theory of a certain type, and it bases are the theory on lexical categories that link with entries in the lexicon.

 

Lamidi (2000: 105) says that the head is the keyword in a phrase and the word can be pre – or post – modified. In essence, the head of a phrase is very important in x–bar theory and the parameter that distinguishes languages that incorporate the head of the phrase to the right or left is known as the “head parameter”, that is the head first. Below is a schema.

 

X’     Xo complement

 

X’

 

Xo        Comp

 

But in a situation whereby the head comes last we have the following.

 

X’     Xo complement

 

X’

 

Comp            Xo

 

Cook (1988:87)

 

In addition, in x – bar theory, the lexical categories remain the basic symbol. The phrase in which they are incorporated are shown by the addition of bars to the original symbols. This is exemplified below (Lamidi, 2001:150).

 

The girl (NP):

 

N’

 

Det             N

 

The             girl

 

‘ The girl ’

 

Eat rice    (VP):

 

V’

 

V             N’

 

N

 

Eat           Rice

 

‘Eat rice’

 

1.10.2     THETA THEORY (θ THEORY)

 

The theta theory is concerned with assignment of what chemistry calls ‘’ thematic’’ roles of sentential constituents. Horrocks (1987: 101) state that θ –theory is concerned with the assignment of thematic roles to sentential constituent. θ– theory  posits that a word can assign a number of different theta roles (sometimes semantics roles that things play in a sentence, E.g. Actor is for the doer of an action, while patient is the thing affected).’’ The main principle of θ – theory is the ‘θ- CRITERION’ which requires each thematic role to be uniquely assigned’’, i.e each constituent denoting an argument is assigned to just one θ-role and each θ-role is assigned to just one argument  denoting constituent. (Kirsten, 1991; 493).  Horrocks (1987: 102) in his analysis, says that thematic are known as semantic roles, such as agent, patient (or theme),beneficiary e.t.c.  Argument in θ-theory refers to the noun phrase which is of two types, that is the subject and object noun phrases. The object is therefore divided into two parts, which are direct and indirect.

 

For example.

 

Dikko went to the school by bicycle.

 

IP

 

Spec             I’

 

Np           I              VP

 

N’     Tns    Agr    spec     V’

 

(+ Past)                       V      NP    PP

 

Agent  No                                          N’  P’        NP

 

Location No     Po                N’

 

Patient  No

 

Dikko                               go      school by       bicycle

 

‘Dikko went to the school by bicycle’

 

In the illustration above, verb phrase assigns agent role to the subject NP, preposition assigns patient roles to the object of the verb and the verb assigns locative roles to its NP.

 

CASE THEORY

In government and Binding theory, cases are said to be assigned under ‘’ Government’’ and the types are as follows;

 

Accusative             assigned by verbs

 

Nominative          assigned by tense inflexion

 

Oblique                assigned by preposition

 

 

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