Collocative meaning in the Igbo language

  • Chukwuma Onyebuchi Okeke
  • Uchenna Modestus Egbuta


This paper analyses collocation in the Igbo language through the corpus study of lexical and grammatical manifestations of collocation in scholarly documents in the Igbo language. The corpora comprise 20 randomly selected documents from different scholars published from 2013 to 2016 in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and a total of 405 tokens of collocates were used. Following Berkley’s and Okoro’s definitions of collocation, this paper engages on two major objectives of first, analysing the structure and characteristics of Igbo collocatives and second, ascertaining that collocation in Igbo is not governed by chance as Crystal postulates, but has both linguistic and pragmatic explanations. Data analysis also shows corpus evidence that Igbo collocation involves short phrases and clauses made up of nouns, verbs and adjectives, which are habitually juxtaposed based on Igbo native speaker’s conceptualisation of the Igbo language in various contexts.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614