A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CLEFT FORMATION IN THE SYNTAX OF NSUKKA AND STANDARD IGBO

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CLEFT FORMATION IN THE SYNTAX OF NSUKKA AND STANDARD IGBO

ABSTRACT

This research work is a linguistic endeavour aimed at exploring the grammatical components and structures of cleft sentences of the standard Igbo language in general on the one hand. On the other hand and forming the specific objective, is relating cleft formations and cleft structures of the Nsukka dialect with those of the standard Igbo. Consequently, the work unprecedented formulated, analyzed, compared and contrasted the cleft structures of the language and dialect under study. The study was guide by the theory of transformational grammar. The findings from the study show that cleft formation in standard Igbo language and in Nsukka dialect is a focussing mechanism on a particular constituent of a sentence. The focusing emphasizes the constituent element through the operation of the S  NP INFL VP rule, a concept of transformational grammar. In rboth the language and dialect under study, cleft structures have special elements that introduce the focussed constituents. The focusing indicator may be nominal, adjectival, adverbial or prepositional; and clefting is possible in all the kinds of sentences. However, the clefting heads are not present in some cases in the Nsukka dialect. In other cases where the clefting heads occur they occur next to the constituent of focuses and not before the constituents like in the standard Igbo. Conclusively, the clefts in syntax and meanings of sentences of the Nsukka dialect compares tremendously with that of the standard Igbo.