ENDOCENTRICITY IN IGBO V-V COMPOUNDS

Published: MARCH 2021

Author(s): Duru Ferdinand Ebere and Maduabuchi Sennen Agbo

About Author(s):

Department of Linguistics Studies,

University of Benin, Benin City

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Abstract

The issue of the internal semantic relationship that characterizes V-V Compounds is unresolved in Igbo grammar. This paper sets out to investigate this issue. It assumes the concept of endocentricity as the principle of analysis. Endocentricity defines compounds on the basis of their constituent semantic headedness. It accounts for the internal semantic headedness that characterizes compounding elements. Previous studies of Igbo verb compounds largely adopt transformational generative approaches to describe the derivational process of these compounds. None of these previous studies have given a simple account of the semantic properties of the compounding lexemes in relation to the resulting compound. Therefore, this paper attempts to give a detailed account of Igbo V-V compound formations with the focus on the semantic relatedness that underlies the compounding lexemes. The objectives of this study also include the investigation of how the independent semantic specifications of the compounding lexemes affect the semantic readings of the entire compound structure. The paper concludes with the assertion that the derivation of compound verbs in Igbo is semantically motivated and this is contrary to the transformational generative account of the previous studies on Igbo compounds. The study also proposes that compounding verbal lexemes are of unequal semantic degree, as one seems to be the Head and the other the Modifier. The identification of compound heads and their modifiers respectively is a function of the degree of semantic relatedness between the compounding lexemes rather than their morpho-syntactic positions.