Ellipsis in Ngwa-Igbo

Published: June 2019

AuthorNneoma Fyne Ugorji

About Author: Clifford University. Department of English and Literary Studies, Owerrinta, Abia State, Nigeria.

Download PDF


Ellipsis is the omission of redundant constituents in a construction. The word „ Ngwa‟ refers to the people, the geo-political area known as Ngwa land and the dialect of Igbo spoken by the indigenes of Ngwa land. The Ngwa people are found in Abia State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Some of the objectives of this work are: to illustrate the ability of the remnant in an elliptical structure in the recovery and interpretation of the elided parts, and to show that Ellipsis enhances the economy of words. Data for this paper was obtained using the elicitation method of translating a set of elliptical constructions in the English language into Ngwa-Igbo by two competent native adult speakers of Ngwa-Igbo. Secondary data was collected from text books, and the internet which were acknowledged. The theoretical framework used for this paper is the X – Bar theory of phrasal analysis and the tree diagrams reflected this wherever it was necessary. Some of the findings are: that Ellipsis is a linguistic mechanism that is used to avoid the repetition of strings that have already been uttered in the previous part of a construction and that the name given to each of the type of Ellipsis, depends on what was elided in the fuller structures. This paper recommends the study of Ellipsis as a natural phenomenon in human languages.

Keywords: Ellipsis, remnant, recoverability, X-bar, Ngwa-Igbo.