SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

The place of the affix in the morphology of the Igbo verb

Godson Echebima, SOAS

Date: 13 November 2012Time: 3:30 PM

Finishes: 13 November 2012Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4421

Type of Event: Seminar

The Igbo language is one of the three major Nigerian languages after Hausa and Yoruba. Some historians and archaeologists have tried to place the Igbo race and their language as one of the earliest inhabitants on this earth. Unfortunately, for some reason the language has been less preserved, less documented, and less standardised than Hausa and Yoruba. Today, the study of the language has shown that it is not only morphologically, lexically, semantically and taxonomically
rich, but also phonologically well-organised, and rich in idioms, proverbs, onomatopoeia and figures of speech. But the aim of this presentation is to show how richly organised and elaborately structured this language is, by taking a look at just one element of its grammar – the structure or morphology of the verbs. The language belongs to the SVO syntax structure in which the verb plays very important and crucial role; but the subject of this talk is lexical, not syntactic. The presentation shows how simple verb roots and affixes could generate multiplicity of verb forms and new words for which reason Igbo language is classified as agglutinating in morphological typology. For the reason of its rich nature and pre-historic legacy the language needs to be studied and used, and needs not be allowed to become endangered species.

Contact email: