Question Formation In Mernyang

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Question Formation In Mernyang

Chapter One

General Background

Linguistics over the years has been defined as the scientific study of language. However, studying language scientifically entails the study of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of a language so as to get empirical and sufficient facts/data, carry them out, experiment and process them, then formalize a rule to form linguistically significant generalization about such language.

The above mentioned levels of linguistics are referred to as core linguistics by YULE in that, they as the level at which the structure of any language whatsoever can be studied, analysed and determined. Hence in this project work, my main objective is to examine one of the five attested level of language which deals with the arrangement of words (phrases) to form sentences (i.e. SYNTAX) and my focus will be on question formation. An aspect which deals with how questions are formed/asked.

This chapter will introduce the historical background of mernyang people, their socio-cultural profile and the genetic classification of the language. This chapter also discusses the scope and organization of the study, the theoretical frame work used for our analysis and the review of the chosen frame work.

1.1 Historical Background

Oral tradition and history has it that the mernyang people are descendants of Kofyar people who lived on the hills in Qua’an pan Local government area of plateau state.

Kofyar people are said to have migrated from Dada village in Kano State and the settlement was founded by Dofyar and nade his sister who were both great hunters.

On the account of their settlement in Kofyar, Dofyar and Nade are said to engage in hunting expendition when they found themselves on the hills in the northern plateau. Due to the beauty and attractiveness of the hills, Dofyar and Nade decided not to go back to Dada (Kano-State) which was their original hometown, but stayed back and made an abode for themselves on the hills.

After many years, the offsprings of those great hunters grew into a large community and saw reasons for them to engage in farming to complement their original and major occupation of hunting. Due to the nature of the hills, some of the people had to come down from the hills to create a better abode for themselves on the plain surface.

As a result of the height of the hills from the ground, and the hardship encountered by the people when climbing the hills, some of them decided to stay and provided shelter for themselves while those that had the going up and down easy decided to make the top of the hills their permanent abode. Those that decided to stay and live on the plain surface are today known as THE MERNYANG PEOPLE and the settlement is named Kwa(or pan) while those on the hills remain as “Kofyar” people. However, inspite of this, the Kofyar and the Kwa people (Mernyang speakers) still see themselves as one and they have a mutual relationship.

Of many communities and villages in Qua’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State, the Kwa chiefdom i.e. the mernyang speakers remain the major and the dominant group. They are known and called “the pan chiefdom by their neighboring villages and towns, and according to the 2005 census, they can boast of 10,000 people within the community and about 95,000 speakers of the language, they are scattered around the nooks and crannies of Plateau State.

Educational development, the expansion of settlement and the volume of trade, agricultural practices and population increase among others have today contributed to making (Kwa pan) chiefdom enjoy rapid growth and development.

1.2 Geographical Background of Mernyang people

The mernyang speaking people are found in the northern part of Qua’anpan local government area of plateau state. In the state, they are located as the southern east of the state

Socio Cultural Profile

The mernyang speaking people have a diverse culture and they distinct from one another depending on the districts because there are four districts of the mernyang speaking people. They are: Kwa, which is the mernyang people, Doemak, Dokankasuwa, Kwang and the Kwalla people.


As fore mentioned, the main occupation of the mernyang speaking people is farming. They also engage themselves in trading and hunting and for those close to the rivers incase of Kwang and Dokan Kasuwa they engage in fishing too.


Before the coming of the colonial masters, mernyang people were all animist, but with the coming of Islamic and the Catholic missionaries who settled at Kwa and Kofyar, some embraced Islam and others Christianity. Today we have Christians and Muslims and also some of the animist cohibiting together. In regards to Christianity, catholic is the dominant church because the missionaries that came are from Island and are catholic missioners.


The mernyang speaking people have different festivals depending on the time, place and district, but there is one general festival been celebrated yearly called Shika’am where all sons and daughters of mernyang converge to attain and celebrate the festival. Several talents are displayed to add more beauty and shape to the event. The people also dance, display magic and the likes. This is done by the youth while elders watch.


Marriage in mernyang land differs from district to district, from clan to clan and religion to religion. In case of Kwa, sometimes a lady is betrothed few days after birth in which she has to marry the person she is betrothed to or if she refuses she then pay back what the family of the husband already brought on her behalf even when she was young.

Question Formation In Mernyang

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Question Formation In Mernyang


This research material “Question Formation In Mernyang” is for research purposes and should be used as a guide in developing your research project / seminar work. For no reason should you copy word for word (verbatim) as will not be liable for any who copied the material.

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How to defend your research work

This is a general guide on how to defend your research work:

1. Prepare For Questions:

If you are preparing for questions that may be asked during your defense, then your answers will flow smoothly and effectively. This will prove your knowledge on the subject e.g “Question Formation In Mernyang“, and strengthening your argument. Ask friends and family, read your work for them to listen to your presentation, and write down questions. You may be lucky the panel will ask you those you have already prepared on.

2. Strong Summary:

Summarizing your chapters will help keep your audience focused because it is easy for a mind to drift, so providing summaries will ensure your panel will follow along, even if they lose focus for a brief moment. Visual aides, such as graphs and power-point presentations can be very helpful. If you are going to use these, make sure you will practice your presentation with them.

3. Be Confident in Your Research Work:

Not knowing your topic “Question Formation In Mernyang” inside out will cause you to struggle and ultimately fail with your defense. You need to know the subject from every angle to ensure you are fully prepared for any question that may come your way.

4. Conclusion:

Reinforce your findings to conclude your defense. The finale of your presentation should focus on proving the work that has been done. You may need to recap on what has changed and remained unchanged, if is necessary.

5 . Listen:

Before you get defensive or recite a particular answer, make sure you truly understand the question being asked. Being a good listener is an important quality, because providing an inaccurate or off-topic answer will also weaken the validity of your paper.

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