The Verb Phrase Of Kofyar Language

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

The Verb Phrase Of Kofyar Language


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

This study focuses on the verb phrase of kofyar. Kofyar is a dialect of “sura” that can be found in the northern part of plateau state in a local government called Qua’an pan. The kofyar are a population in the middle belt of Nigeria numbering around 50,000.

They are majorly known as ‘KOFYARA’ among the speakers but in the local government they are known as “PAN”. It is also spoken in a part of Nassarawa State.


1.1 General Background

Colonial Back Ground

Kofyar population comprises of three different tribes as designated by british colonial officers and the tribes are the Doemark, Merniang and kwalla. The three groups have a common language, economic pattern and origin myth and had formed into a union called the kofyar federation in 1940’s. They have therefore been referred to as a single group by the anthropologist.

When they were first met by early British colonial authorities, they lived in the rugged hills in the south eastern corner of the Jos plateau and in settlements around plateau state. They remained at peace with Britain officers until 1930, when a young assistant district officer named Barlow was killed in the hill village of Latok by a rock thrown on his head. After this the resident were forced out of the hills making them spread themselves in different places in plateau state.


1.2 Historical Background

Kofyar means the home state of the ancestor has grown. There are two kofyar in Qua’an pan local government area, they are kofyar payar and kofyar doemak, the only difference between these two kofyar is the distance. The name of the originator is Dafyar which means a child has grown. He descended from the eastern part of Nigeria.

When he left for the eastern part of the country he moved with tribes like the Angas, Mahvul, Ankwe, Gwai and the Bokous. When were moving they came straight to Daika in Mangul Local Government, Plateau State. At that point, they had a disagreement, the Bokous and the panchi left and headed towards another direction. The kofyar headed towards Garam, at Garam they had another disagreement on the issue of chieftaincy.

Mean while, Dafyar had a brother named Daram, they both moved from Garam to chip, in chip, Dafyar left Daram, Dafyar left and settled in kofyar payer. He gave birth to so many children among which were a set of twin called Dajan and Dajin, Dajan went to namu and Dajin stayed in Doemak meaning my movement ends here. The offspring of Dafyar comprised his sons and grandsons or even great grand sons and so on. Oral tradition has for long mentioned the fourteen who have been popular due to the settlements that grew in the wake of their earlier locations. These offspring’s whose location have created urban and semi urban settlements are as presented below.


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