Verb Phrase In Kurama

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Verb Phrase In Kurama


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

General Background Of The Study

This research work is on the aspect of the syntax of Kurama language. By Syntax we mean the branch of linguistic analysis which involves the branch of linguistic analysis which involves the arrangement of words to form grammatical sentences in a rule governed way.

Syntax is also the study of the way in which different meaningful units of language can be constructed and combined to form larger units such as sentences and the interrelationships of the these larger constructions. According to Yishai Tobin (1990) it should be noted that there are many aspects of syntax but this research work will specifically focus on the verb phrase of Kurama Language.

A phrase could be described as a group of words that form an integral part of a sentence. There are different types of phrasal categories, for example; Verb, Noun, Prepositional, Adjectival, Adverbial Phrases e.t.c. Each phrasal category is headed by its name. A Verb Phrase is headed by a Verb which may also have many satellites.

In this chapter, we will look at the historical background of the language, sociolinguistic profile under which we shall discuss the marriage, religion, mode of dressing, occupation, festival, language status, the location as well as genetic classification of the language. The research methodology used is the frametechnique while government and binding theory is used to analyze Kurama verb phrase.


1.1 Historical Background Of Kurama People

The tribe known generally as Kurama, but who call themselves the Akurmi (singular Bukurmi) or the north and the North-West of the Katab in the Zaria provinces. They number between 11,000 and 12,000 persons, and are administered by the Emir of Zaria.

They claim a traditional collection with Kano, and in proof of this claim assert that the Kurmi market at Kano derived its name from them (Viz the Akurmi). The more learned among them that is those most influenced by contact with the Muslims, profess to be able to trace the wanderings of the tribe back to the time when they dwelt at Medina.

There in the early days of Islam the tribe was partially exterminated as a punishment for their habit of giving false measures of corn. The more honourable among them were allowed to depart, and came to Bornu, where they dwelt for 730 years.

Thereafter they proceeded to Kano, and occupied the Dala district of the city for 431 years, being driven out by the Kutumbawa, some say for refusing to accept Islam, others for refusing to give their daughters in marriage to the Kutumbawa who were not prepared to perform the marriage rites.


1.2 Sociolinguistic Profile

The language (Kurama) is used as a means of communication in the market and it is also used in teaching primary school. The language is spoken in many town in Kaduna and Kano States, some of which are; Ikara, Saminaka, Tudunwada etc.

1.2.1 Marriage

The normal mode of obtaining a wife among the Kurama people is through agricultural service whereby the husband to be will labour on the farm for the father of the bride. The man will also make cash available and other payment to the girl’s parent or guardians.

A bride price of 40,000 – 60,000 cowries, one basket of rice, one pot of honey, these gifts were given during the concluding or final rites. Intermarriage with close relatives of the mother is prohibited by tribal custom.

1.2.2 Religion

Muhammadanism is spreading and those who have not embraced it practice a lackadaisical form of ancestor worship in which, as so often among the Semi-Bantu speaking tribes.

1.2.3 Mode Of Dressing

Dressing is an important aspect of any culture. Your dressing will speak for you that is the tribe that you belong to.

The Kurama people dress according to oral history, like the Hausas.

1.2.4 Language Status

Kurama language is spoken in the northern part of Nigeria. The population of the speakers in Nigeria as at 2000 is 40,300.

The Kurama language is a language within the sub groupings of the Benue – Congo group of languages, which are in turn the largest branch of the Niger-Congo language family. The language is indigenous to Nigeria, with a little over 40,000 speakers (2000 estimate).

Kurama speakers are found in the central Northern Nigeria states of Kaduna and Kano.

The alternative names for the language are; Akurmi, Akurumi, Azumu, Bagwama, Bukurumi, Tikurami (by non-native speaker)

The language is spoken in Saminaka and Ikara local government area of Kaduna state and Tudunwada Local Government Area of Kano State. “Akurumi” the people, “Tukurami” the language and “Bukurumi” is the speaker.

1.2.5 Occupation

The people of Kurama are mainly Agriculturist. They plant crops like Maize, Beans, Millets, Guineacorn, Yam, Melon, Wheat (Alkama) and Vegetables. Some of them engage in bush hunting and craft making like mats, image, and skin (for shoes and bags).


1.3 Genetic Classification

Genetic classification is based on the assumption that the language have diverse from common ancestors. This method used in classifying language genetically is based on resemblance found in language.

Kurama language is from the largest language family in Africa, that is, Niger Kordofanian.


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