Owusu Ansah et al Adjectives in Esahie

  • Victoria Owusu Ansah University of Ghana
  • Yvonne Agbetsoamedo University of Ghana
Keywords: Adjective, Morpho-syntax, Esahie, Predicative, Attributive


Adjectives have been studied in many languages (Adjei 2012; Akrofi-Ansah 2013; Caesar 2019; Danti 2007; Dorvlo 2008; Naden 2007; Osam 2003; Pokua et al. 2007). This affirms Dixon’s (2004,2010) assertion that all languages should have a distinguishable class of adjectives if they have a distinguishable class of nouns and verbs. This study describes the nature of adjectives in Esahie, a Kwa language spoken by the people of Sehwi in the Western North region of Ghana. Using data collected from 20 participants --10 males and 10 females between the ages of ten and sixty-five, the paper shows that, like other Kwa languages, Esahie has a class of words called adjectives, which may be underived or derived. In the derived form, the words used as adjectives undergo morphological changes such as reduplication as they alter to function in the adjectival category. It further shows that syntactically, adjectives in Esahie function in a relative construction using a relative marker, while they predicatively occur with a copular verb te or. The adjectives also display degrees of comparison using the exceed markers tra or paa. This study enhances the knowledge and understanding of adjectives in Esahie, and on the typology of adjectives in general, especially, in Kwa languages.

Author Biographies

Victoria Owusu Ansah, University of Ghana

Victoria Owusu Ansah is a Lecturer at the University of Ghana in the Department of Linguistics. Her research interests include language teaching, language learning, strategies, applied linguistics, intercultural communication, language, english for specific purposes, speech and language processing, phonetic transcription and. formal linguistics.

Yvonne Agbetsoamedo, University of Ghana

Yvonne Agbetsoamedo currently works at the Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana. Yvonne does research in sociolinguistics, syntax, language documentation and linguistic typology. Her current project is 'Tense Aspect and Modality in Selee'.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2026-6596