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It is a general fact that no one can dispute that language is central to all communities of human beings. It is also important for the regulation of every community

The main focus of this research is to shed more light on how noun phrase is found in yiwom language. Therefore, the first chapter of this research focuses on the historical of yiwom language, genetic classification, the scope and organization of the study analysis, the theoretical framework, data collection, data analysis, and also the review of the chosen framework which is government and binding theory.

This branch of linguistics is concerned with how words are combined to form phrases and sentences in a rule governed manner.


The yiwom speaking people are also known as Garkawa, Gerkachi and Gerka and Gurka. Heil yiwom is what they call their town but the fulanis call them Gerkawa. it is a unit in the  South East corner of the present milkang Local Government Area and is bounded in the North and East by the Langtang section of yergam, South East by the way of Dampar South by Inshar and West by the Lalin section of montol.

The yiwom people have been in their present home for upwards of two hundred years. The pitop came to the area first and provide itself a stockaded town at a place called Hakbap. The Rohta followed second and settled in kiel-hiel at Rohta-Hills, North of Hielyoum. Other families arrived in large detachments one after the other and took refuge at Kiel-Hiel. Rohta rock was fortified and was capable of withstanding siege,

As at the middle of nineteenth century, the families came from their hills to live in their present homes. The former at Rohta , the later at pitop.

According to legends preserved by both sections, their ancestors sprang from the ground. The Rotha maintain that they are from river Guinan in the hills, while the paptop said that theirs emerged from the earth.

The word “Youm” in the Youm dialect means “leaves”. The analogy being: as trees grows out of the ground, so their ancestors came into being. The name “Gerkawa” was given to them by the Fulani/Hausa traders owing to their military prowess and stubbornness. The name was derived from “Gagararru” which in the course of time become “Gerka” and “Bergarka” and finally Gerkawa.

Legend points to the fact that all the families mentioned and who call themselves yiwom or Gerkawa were of Jukun stock that migrated after the breakup of kwararrafa empire (West of Bunkudi) and wandered until the settle down in Gerkawa town.


The home of the yioum speaker is situated in the south east of the present milkang local government area formerly at Shendam and Langtang.

It is found in co-ordinates 90000 North and 9035 East and 90 North and 9.5830 East. It covers an area of approximately 139 Km2 with 285.3 square meter

Its time zone is WAT (UTCH). In the year 2000, an estimated 14,100 people spoke the language primarily in Plateau state.


The yiwom people have homogenous cultural values especially in respect of Occupation, Religion, Marriage, Mode of dressing, Mode of leadership, festival and of course circumcision.

Before talking on their socio cultural profile, one thing that I must say is that Yiwom is a Chadic language of the Afro-Asiatic family spoken by Gerkawa people of Plateau state, Nigeria. The yiwom people have several clans such as Rohta, Killah, Balbro, Pitop, Talim, Lahlil, Pensong, Gwar-Gimgim, Bal’Nlah, Longkrom and wai clan. Each clan has its own priest (Bankumkrom).

1.3.1      RELIGION

They practice all kinds of religion including Christianity, Islamic and Animism. Children are first taught how to use their mother tongue to pray and later will now teach them Goemai and Jukun.

Anything that contradict their belief in the religion will be dealt with severally for example, crime, stealing, and adultery are punishable offence in their religions. Also, in formers days, a person abused of witch craft is burnt alive. So as a result of hot believe in what their religion teaches them this make people within their locality to fear them to the extent that any battle they embark in through their beliefs in their religion was conquered.

1.3.2      OCCUPATION

The major occupation of the yiwom people are animal husbandry and trading. Their farm product include: yam, cassava , maize and guinea corn. Farm is rooted in their cultural ethnics as the farmers purify themselves and abstain from immoral behaviour before planting or else what they have planted will not germinate

1.3.3      MARRIAGE

In Gerkawa custom, there are 3 modes of conducting their marriage ceremony. They are:

a.         Marriage by System of Exchange: In this case, the wife and offsprings virtually becomes the properly of the husband but with the passage of time, such things have been erased from their culture.

b.         By Payment of Small Customary Bride Price: Under the small bride price system, It was easy for a woman to change her husband before the sixth month of their marriage.

c.         Cousin Marriage: This is referred to as the best form of marriage in the sense that they keep wealth within the family. The second and the most important reason is that divorce is not permissible and therefore any marriage done will be permanent. The person that co-ordinate the marriage programme is called “Nwo” which  means “the person sent by God”. And what they called God  in their language is Na’an”.

1.3.4      BURIAL

In yiwom community, if someone dies, women will gather in the house of the deceased while men will go on arranging and preparing how to buy the casket they will use to bury that person.

Notably, the burial grounds are always in a spherical shaped form like a well. It is only on the mortal that the dead is being washed believing that the mortal is blessed because if is used in the process of their food. As men are carrying the corpse to the grave, the women will be preparing food. A goat will be slaughtered in a standing position and the skin will be used to cover the dead. If the deceased is a female, some of her jewelries will be buried with her. The food cooked during their burial ceremonies are called gyana-Nfirika.


Governance among the yiwom people is anchored on a council of elders including a head of chiefs and a youth in the community, making communication easy. The council of elders does the same in the community.


According to Greenberg (1966:8) says African language belongs to various families and there are four main groups namely : Niger Kodofanian, Nilo Sahara, Afro-Asiatic and Khiosan.

The yiwom language is a chadic language of the Afro-asiatic language family.

Languages are classified like what I have explained above and they are also genetically related just like humans beings.

Yiwom language is spoken among the Gerkawa people of plateau state of Nigeria and the speakers were estimated in the year 2000 to be 14,100 in number.



The general overview of this research work discuses noun phrase in yiwom language. This research is divided into five chapter.

The first chapter is the introduction which include the historical background, socio-cultural profile, the scope of organization of the study as well theoretical frame work, the data collection, data Analysis and finally brief review of the chosen framework.

The second chapter shall focus on literature review, the basic phonological and syntactic concept such as phrase structure rules: lexical categories, basic word order and the sentence type.

The third chapter will focus on the main aspect of the study, which is Noun phrase, that is, the nature of noun phrase and the processes that are attested in the language.

The fourth chapter will examine the transformational process such as focus construction, relativization and passivization while we will see the last chapter which is chapter 5 presenting a brief summary of the whole research findings and conclusion and recommendation based on such findings.


This research is made possible through the multilingual helper. However, the Ibadan 400 word list of basic items and some sentences construction are use to extract necessary information from language speakers. The method of collection was through direct translation of English to Yiwom language

However, multilingual approach was used because the informants, who are native speaker of Yiwom speaks more than two languages which includes: English, Foron  and Yiwom language.

Mr. Michael Trumbek and his wife, Mrs. Grace Trumbek are my language helpers they are both teachers in Khilafilor Nursery and Primary School. I also went to CAPRO research office and I was given a book titled CAPRO indeed. An ethnic survey in Yiwom language in Plateau State. I was also given a linguistic seminar and the institute of linguistics University of Ibadan, Jos computer written by Shimizu, Kiyoshi (1975)


In order to have accurate analysis for this research, Ibadan 400 word list with an equivalent  meaning in Yiwom language was used.

Also, the frame techniques used in this research is forming of sentences in English and translating the sentences to Yiwom language with the assistance of an informant. This enables me to determine the actual underlying form of a word constituent and possible syntactic classes to which each word belongs to in Yiwom language


For this research to achieve the set of goals, the theory to be adopted is government and binding theory in the analysis of the noun phrase in Yiwom language.

Now, government are binding theory (GB) will be used in the analysis of noun phrase in Yiwom language. This theory is a modular posits multiple levels of Representation related by the transformational rule (move alpha)

However, it is more advanced theory of universal drama (Sanusi, 1991;19-21)

Sanusi (1996), explains again that GB theory greatly eliminate proliferation of transformational rules, like passive , affix hopping, verb number agreement, question formation, equip-NP-Deletion, raising permutation, insertion e.t.c. Government are binding theory operates through the modules of grammar like government , case, theta and X-Bar.


Horrocks (1987, 100) states that, the core grammar   of a given language is derived from the interaction of Sub-theories of universal grammar. These sub-theories are inter-related that each of them can account for grammaticality and ungrammaticality of any sentences. These sub-theories are:

1)        X-bar theory

2)        Case theory

3)        Government theory

4)        Theta theory

There are still others like:

1)        Bounding theory

2)        Control theory

But I will be talking on the first four theories. The above listed sub-theories are ungrammatically represented below to show the interrelationship among them.



Based on appropriate analysis for the research work, X Bar is the theory to be adopted for comprehensive analysis.

Cook (1988:94) explains that, X-bar Syntax reveals large number of idiosyncratic ‘rule’ with general principles, it captures properties of all phrases not just those of a certain types and it bases the syntax on lexical categories that links with entries in the lexicon

Webelbum (1995:18) explains that, X-bar theory is the central module of the principle and parameter approach in syntax

The X-bar theory brings out what is common in the structure of phrase. A phrase in X-bar syntax always contain at least a head as well  as others constituents (cook 1988:94).

The head of projection is zero projection (X). heads are terminal modes, they dominate words X-bar theory distinguished two level of projection compliment combines with X to form X” (X-X,);YP adjust combine with X projection (X-X, YP). The specified combines with the topmost X’ to form the maximum projection (XP Spec; X’)


Due to the fact that X-bar brings out, what is common in the structure, X-bar theory will be the applicable to be used in the analysis of Yiwom noun phrase             THETA (θ)THEORY

This centers on assigning ‘thematic’ roles to sentential constituents. The Greek  letter ‘theta’ is a form of shortening for thematic

According to Chomsky, thematic roles means “to what have been referred to as semantic roles in the proceeding sections, roles such as agent, patient (or theme), beneficiary e.t.c. These are assumed to be assigned to the complements of lexical items as a lexical property.

Horrock, G (1993;102) uses the entry for put as an example and explains that the NP complement is assigned to the complement is assigned the role of location. It is also assumed that the majority of verbs ‘θ mark’ the subject position of sentences containing theme.

Thus, the subject NP of a sentence containing put is assigned the agent role. A predicate argument is denoted by any constituent assigned a θ-role by definition.

The main principle of θ-theory is the θ-criterion which its requirements in the unique assignment of each thematic role, this indicates that each constituent denoting an argument is assigned just θ-role and each θ-role is assigned for just one argument denoting constituent.             CASE-THEORY

This deals with the principles of case assignment to constituents. Kirsten (1991; 496) explains that case theory regulates the distribution of phonetically realized NPs by assigning abstract case to them.

According to Horrocks, G (1993103), the basic idea is that case is assigned under government; the choice of case is determined by the governor in any given example. Government is a traditional notion which involves the delimitation of the sphere of influence of a particular category with respect to adjacent categories.

A lexical head X may be said to govern its sisters in X-bar, and certain lexical heads also have the power to case-mark certain of their complements.

Thus, inflection assigns nomative case to subject NP, verb assign accusative case to object NP, while preposition assigns oblique case to its object.

One of most important principles of case theory is that case filter, which states that any s-structure that contains in NP with lexical content but no case is ungrammatical.

Kirsten (1991; 407) formally represented case filter as             GOVERNMENT THEORY

This deals with the syntactic relationship between the governor i.e. the head, and the governed i.e. its complement

Government theory also defines the relationship in other sub-theories of government and binding theory.

With respects to government theory, α governs β    if and only if:

1.    α  and β   naturally c-command each other

2.     α is a governor (e.g. noun, verb, preposition, adjective)

3.    α   governs β    , then governs the specified of β


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