Question Formation and Focus Construction in Owo: A Yoruba Dialect



Boluwaji Oshodi


Work Unit:

Department of Linguistics & Languages, Adekunle Ajasin University


Vol.4 No.1 (Serial No.4) 2016






Question formation and focusing are two transformational processes attested in Standard Yorùbá both of which have been extensively discussed in previous studies. However, very little is known about these concepts in Owo (Ò̩wò̩) a south-East Yoruba (Yorùbá) dialect. This study examines the concept of questions and focusing in Ò̩wò̩ dialect with a comparison of the processes in Standard Yorùbá. The study revealed some differences as well as similarities in the two processes in Ò̩wò̩ and standard Yorùbá. Just like in Standard Yorùbá, question markers in Ò̩wò̩ normally occur in sentence initial and final positions. However, the question marker dè̩ constantly appears sentence medially before and before verbs in certain constructions. Furthermore, while the focus marker in Yorùbá normally occurs immediately after the focused item with a stable form, the focus marker in Ò̩wò̩ usually occurs at the sentence final position as a reduplicated form of the last syllable of the final item. Also, a pronoun which indicates number and agreement usually occurs immediately after the focused item in Ò̩wò̩. Finally, just like in Yorùbá, there is a syntactic relationship between question and focusing in Ò̩wò̩ dialect.

Key Words:

questions, focusing, Ò̩wò̩, Yorùbá, transformation




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