Paper Title
Onuoha, Joy Adaeze & Ezeh, Gertrude Nnenna
Arts, Language, and Communication

This work is a study of relativisation in the Ọhafịa dialect of Igbo. It seeks to analyse relativisation in the dialect. It also seeks to reveal the transformational processes that take place in forming relativisation in the dialect, and what these processes are. The transformational framework has been adopted for the analysis of the data collected. The findings reveal a manifestation of relativisation of finite verbs with marked tone in the dialect. The step tone marks the relative clause in Ọhafịa dialect. It manifests as epenthesis that bears a low tone. The second syllable bears a high tone. Another finding is that the underlying form of relativised structures can undergo transformation to realise different stylistic variants of the construction. The most prominent transformational processes are deletion and pronominalisation. Epenthesis also applies at syntactic junctures especially between the noun phrases head of the relative clause in order to adjust the relative tone marker tonotactically.

Relativisation, Ohafia, Dialect, Pronominalisation, Transformation.


Studies on the Ọhafịa dialect have focused on language change in Ohafia, and dialect information. There are also studies on the phonological analysis of the Queme dialect of Igbo of which Ọhafịa is one. Further studies are on the Ọhafịa war dance and its implications; on the life of the Ọhafịa people. In the area of relativisation, not much research has been done on the Ọhafịa dialect. However studies on relativisation in the Igbo language have focused on the types of relativisation and the role of tone in forming relativisation. The researcher therefore decided to embark on the study of relativisation in the Ọhafịa dialect to fill the gap on research in this area.

 This study is on the Ọhafịa dialect of Igbo. The Ọhafịa speech community is situated in the South-East Zone of Nigeria. Udoh (2004:21) classifies the dialect as Ọhafịa Igbo/Abịrịba Igbo dialect. Nwaozuzu (2008:69) categorises it as the Cross River group of dialects (CRGD). The tone marking convention used is marking all the tones in all the syllables.


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