Clause Structure and Word Order in Ákè

  • Waheed Ayisa Jayeola
Keywords: Ákè, tense phrase, clause, null-head, minimalist program


Ákè is by historical and linguistic facts a dialect of Edo which has not received significant linguistic attention. This neglect informs an inquiry into the in ternal structure and organization of its basic clause. This paper studies data of everyday usage of competent speakers of Ákè and argues that it displays a subject-verb-object order. The study provides a not too elaborate description of the nominal and verbal constructions in Ákè and reduces the description to analysis using the X-bar theory as conceived within the Minimalist Program. It therefore states that nominal phrases can be analysed as a projection of Determiner Phrase (DP) because independent existence is not a requirement for considering an element as the head of a projection. The variable position which the head D occupies in the superficial syntax of Ákè is analysed as the effect of movement for feature checking. In the spirit of the Minimalist Program, this study recognizes the head of the clause as Tense (T), which could be overt or null and predicts that it dominates Negative Phrase (NegP) as Neg is assumed to c-select the Verb Phrase (VP).



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eISSN: 1595-1413