Aspects Of Mernyang Morphology

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Aspects Of Mernyang Morphology


Chapter One


Mernyang Language And It’s Speakers

Introduction

This chapter introduces the Mernyang language and its speakers. It also discusses the historical background of the study, the geographical location, cultural and social background, the scope and delimitations of the study, genetic classification, justification and significance of the study vis-à-vis, the research method used.

Mernyang which is pronounced as “Mernyan” is a language spoken in plateau state of Nigeria. It is spoken in the southern part of plateau by small community as a dialect. Mernyang as a language is officially called MERNYANG and it means “nucleus of rebel” The name which the language is generally called “pan”. The community pan are of seven (7) in number but there are just only three (3) major fluent speakers of Mernyang language in Pan chiefdom and these are the Kwa district, Kwang district, and Dokan kasuwa district. Each community of pan chiefdom varies in pronunciation but they all understand one another. The project work is based on the Mernyang dialect.

In this work, Mernyang morphology is the focus, this work will feature the consonant and vowel chart of Mernyang since the language has no written form, Mernyang word formation processes, word classes, Morphological typologies, morpheme structure, morphemic function and most importantly the morpheme in Mernyang language.

1.1 General Background

The Mernyang And Their Neighbours

The migration of a large group of people believed to be of the same stock has been ascribed to oral tradition as taking its roots from the North East at or around Kanem-Borno. For want of written records some writers link the migration of these large groups to the introduction of Islam while others link it to tribal squabbles. Whatever prompted the movement, the groups sojourned in different locations as they were on the move but the recent populate settlement nodes being Jivi, Gyangang, Wase, Fiemgiji, Kofyar, Asa, etc have been noted orally and writing

A group is said to have moved in the direction of Fyer to Asa through Katul and thereon form the Ron-Kulere-Chakfem-Mushere axis. Its splinter group had branch off to locate at Ndai and Vice-versa. Ndai is another sub-dispersal point located between panyam and Mangu.

Yet another group is said to have moved in the direction of Munok through Langshi into Garram. From Garram Duar settled at chief, Fomter moved to Doemwai and then to Jagatoe (Dokan Tofa) spreading into Koenoem areas, Lekni moved towards the Jelbang inselbang and beyond to found the the Goemai of Muduut and environs. Another group led by Dafyar to Pees and onto Kofyar where they sojourned and later dispersed as shown bellow.

This bring to focus how the Tal Montol, Koenoem, Mernyang and Piapung have carved for themselves the identity “Panshak” meaning “brothers”. By extension and in agreement with language similarity and closeness, the people of the so-called ethnic principalities of the “corn belt” of the Plateau are one and the people with minor differences attributed to contact and prolonged isolation due to migrations.

In the view of Sr.Marie de Paul Neiers (1979:16) these propels of the “corn belt” stem from one group as she reports: As the archaeological evidence patters out, towards the end of first millennium of the Christian era, oral traditions open the second millennium to historians. According to Ames,the Angas were driven from Borno either about 1100 by the Bolewa and others or else by Kanuri about 1350. Having spent some times on the move they eventually scaled the plateau on its eastern side. From there they expanded to the west and south west forming numerous sub groups such as the Tal,Sura (now Mughavul with the Challa as a branch of the family),Mirriam, Chip, Ankwe and others.

Both Ames and Neiers did not know the direction and location of Lekni and Foniter neither did the appraise the relationship between the knoenoem,Piapung,Monton and present-day Goemai. They could not link the Jelbang –Muduut group then(known as the Jipari) who had retreated from the Lekni group. Both Ames and Neiers did not notice the cultural and language bond between the Tal, Taroh, Pai, Myet group which is in turn linked to the Fier, Mupun, Mughavul, Ron, Kuletre, Chakfem, Mushere and the “Panshak” group. Finally, Ames and Neiers did not know that some present –day Goemai are from the Fomter, Njen and Kwararafa stock other than the Lekni stock.

A major handicap of the early transcribers of oral tradition into written form was their lack of knowledge of the language of the people and their cultural practices which would have enabled them to notice the interwoven, the various groups are to date.


1.2 Historical Background.

Dafyar, from whom the Mernyang and other groups owe their descent is said to have procreated with his sister Nade as they were the only survivors of the cataclysm they viewed as the collapse of the sky attended by fire brimstone. It is believed that all mankind perished due to sins committed which attracted the wrath of God. Dafyar and Nade had hidden in the cave on a promontory called Chor in Kopfubum near present day Kofyar.

A casual study shows that one of the many of the chains of volcanoes in the area (Moelar, Sogom, Pak, Kwanoeng, etc) may have activated causing the cataclysm they viewed as the sky collapsing with fire and brimstone.

The offspring of Dafyar had fanned out into many other sub-groups and sojourned or inter-married thereby producing a much wider cultural mix. The colonial expedition visit on Latok following the demise of her Mages try’s Administration officer Mr. Christopher Matthew Barlow in the early 1930s sent many descendants of Darfyar away from home into other communities thereby further widening the cultural mix within the sub-region and thereabouts.

The offspring of Dafyar comprised his sons and grandsons or even great grandsons and so on. Oral tradition has for long maintained the 14 who have been popular due to the settlements that grew in the wake of their earlier locations. This offspring whose locations created urban settlements are as presented below:


Aspects Of Mernyang Morphology


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Aspects Of Mernyang Morphology


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