An X-Bar Theoretic Account of Jenjo Noun Phrases
Ayieko, Gerry O.
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This study analyses the Jenjo noun phrase in X-bar convention. X-bar has been the focal point of linguistic theory and has changed the way linguists view syntactic model today. X-bar deals with head categories and recognizes the variability of these categories across languages despite the notions of the ‘Principles and Parameters’. In this respect, Jenjo noun phrase may well be explained within X-bar framework. Therefore, this paper gives the X-bar theoretic account of Jenjo noun phrases. Jenjo is an Adamawa-Ubangi language group spoken in parts of Taraba State, Adamawa State and Gombe State North East Nigeria. The aim of this study is to analyze the Jenjo noun phrase using X-bar theory. Jenjo New Testament Bible and the researcher’s introspection form the basis for the data. The study determined Jenjo as a head-first language, most elements within the Jenjo NP are post-head. Jenjo complements branch at N¹ and are sister to their head noun. Adjuncts are sister to N¹ and daughter to N¹. Specifiers expand N¹ to N¹¹ they occur on the left and right of the head noun phrase. we find that a single noun can function as a noun phrase and it is obligatory. Intermediate categories exist in Jenjo NP. There are nominal constituents that are larger than noun but smaller than full nominal phrase. For instance, vYaka de a Jos ‘the city of Jos’ constitutes a full noun phrase while vYakaÞ a Jos ‘city of Jos’ is an intermediate category that is smaller than the full NP and larger than a word. Similarly, complements in Jenjo branch at X¹ in the tree diagram and are vital to the head i.e. closer to the head than adjunct. Genitive NP and complement PP function as constituents in Jenjo NP.