COGNITIVE DOMAINS OF THE SENSE RELATION OF SELECTED IGBO VERBS

COGNITIVE DOMAINS OF THE SENSE RELATION OF SELECTED IGBO VERBS

ABSTRACT

The problem of the number of senses in an Igbo verb has remained topical in Igbo syntax and semantics. The structuralist and generative analysis of the Igbo verbs that dominated previous studies neglected the study of individual lexical meanings in favour of the compositional semantic structure of larger phrasal and sentential units. Furthermore, polysemy and sense of polysemous words were insufficiently treated in formal semantics. Therefore, it could be said that the sense relations and cognitive domains of the Igbo verbs in relation to the structures formed in context were outside the focus of previous works. The main aim of this research work, therefore, is to explore the cognitive domains of the sense relation of two Igbo perception verbs hụ́ and nụ́ in contexts using the polysemy analysis of lexical semantics. The study adopts the descriptive research method. The work used appraisal instrument to examine two Igbo literary works: Ihe Aghasaa, the Igbo translation of the novel Things Fall Apart, written by Chinua Achebe and Jụọ Obinna, written by Tony Ubesie, by identifying the semantic vagaries of the verbs hụ́ and nụ́ in the Igbo literary works. The method of data collection is through concordance using the e-logon software. The result from the data analysis shows that the verbs are polysemous with six and four meanings respectively as single morphemes and seven and four senses as inherent complement verbs (ICV). Furthermore, translation has effect on the lexical uses of hụ́ rand nụ́ in the novels. Finally, the result got in relation to image schemata of hụ́ and nụ́ shows that they do not only encode the acquisition of sense data through the eyes, ears, nose and tongue; rather, through radial categorization, they embody semantic extension from physical perception to mental cognition.