The Jenjo noun phrase structure: an x-bar perspective

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Benson, Peace
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Kenyatta University
Jenjo is an Adamawa-Ubangi language group spoken in parts of Taraba State, Adamawa State and Gombe State in North East Nigeria. Jenjo is the name of the language and the tribe. The study was motivated by the need to document the language since it is one of the minority endangered African languages. The objectives of the study were: to describe the noun phrase structure of Jenjo; to analyze the Jenjo noun phrase using X-bar theory and to identify the syntactic functions of the NP in Jenjo sentences within X-bar. The New Testament Jenjo Bible and introspection were used. The study describes the structures and functions of Jenjo NP and analyses it in X-bar convention. A descriptive research design was used for data collection. Qualitative data was collected from five systematically sampled books of the Jenjo New Testament Bible. Random sampling was used to select one chapter per book while purposive sampling was used to select noun phrases and sentences for the study. The study determined Jenjo as a head-initial language since almost all the elements within the Jenjo NP are post-head. We established that there are simple, complex and conjoined NP structures in Jenjo. Secondly, a single noun can be a full NP and can be projected maximally in Jenjo. All the structures were accounted adequately by the X-bar convention. Lastly, Jenjo NPs function as specifiers, complements, and adjuncts in sentences. In regard to the contribution the study makes, it is hoped that it will benefit linguists, teachers, preachers and editors.
A thesis submitted to the school of humanities and social sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Arts of Kenyatta University. May 2018