Aspects Of Koenoem Phonology

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Aspects Of Koenoem Phonology

Chapter One

1.0 General Introduction

This chapter takes a look at the general background of the study, historical background of Koenoem language and its speakers, socio-cultural profile of the people, genetic classification of the Language, scope and organization of the study, theoretical framework, data collection method, Data analysis and the review of the chosen frame work.

1.1 General Background

The essence of studying human Languages, as undertaken in linguistics, is to develop them, preserve them mainly for the purpose of preventing them from going into extinction. Along this view, this long essay has made every necessary effort to probe into the aspects of Koenoem phonology. Koenoem is a Language spoken in Shendam Local government, Plateau State, Nigeria. The study of the phonology of any human language basically entails the description of the systems and patterns of speech sounds in that Language (Yule, 1996). It bothers on studying how speech sounds of a Language can be combined by following a particular order or pattern (known as phonotactics), so as to arrive at a meaningful word.

This has therefore been the thrust of the present study. On this premise, this Long essay has addressed areas of the phonology of Koenoem such as the sound, tonal and syllable inventories of the Language. Koenoem Language sounds distribution, distinctive feature matrix for its sound inventory, tonal and syllable processes (including their distributional patterns) as well as the examination of the attested phonological processes in Koenoem Language are presented.

1.2 Historical Background Of Koenoem

According to oral history, the word Koenoem means to refuse i.e. koe means, ‘to’ while noem means ‘refuse’. The reason why this utterance was pronounced by Koenoem speaking people was that, there was a river seperating them from the neighboring village and the river belongs to them i.e Koenoem, inspite of that their neighboring village were claiming to have owned the river because they were benefiting from the river through catching fish and it was simply because the Koenoem people were not wise and were minority. Because of this, the Koenoem said they won’t fold their hands and be watching them, therefore they started presenting all their problems to their ancestors to fight for them and that was really what happened in which most of the neighboring new born babies immediately after given birth will be strike to death by thunder from no where. The neighboring village name was Koenzam (i.e) to dominate. When the villagers got to realize that all those things happening were as a result of their selfish interest. They quickly called for a dialogue and resolved the issue and immediately handed over the Land to the Koenoem speaking people. That is why in both shendam and mikang Local government area today, they don’t take these Koenoem for granted.

The Koenoem Like any tribe in Nigeria are predominantly farmers and in recent time most of them now have developed interest in going to school and also involved in political activities even the present members of the house of assembly representing their constituencies. Mikang Local government chairman in plateau state is from Koenoem ward, and the shendam Local government chairman is also from there.

Geographical Location: Koenoem is Located at the northern part of shendam Local government area and eastern part of mikang Local government area respectively. Koenoem is firstly Located at the Northern part later divided into three (3) regions. Firstly in Northern part , but now it is in western part of mikang with the headquarter in Tinkus or the Koenoem village was formally a ward under shendam province and later relocated mikang Local government area.

Estimated population of Koenoem is 700-750. The village is predominantly full of females.

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