A Syntactic Reappraisal of Polar Question Constructions in Igb

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Ilori, J.F.
Onuora, J.
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Assumptions in the literature suggest that Igbo language employs a combination of a low-tone and a resumptive pronoun which agrees with R-expression subjects of question clauses to derive polar questions. This study, however, additionally identifies a high-pitch intonation, apparently missed out in the earlier studies, as a crucial functional item in Igbo polar questions (IPQs henceforth). This informs a reappraisal of the syntactic projection of IPQ constructions undertaken in this paper. Relying on insights from minimalist grammar and other works within the generative tradition alongside acoustic investigation of pitch tracks of relevant speech samples on Praat, the paper proposes a complex but split pre-clausal functional morpheme which subcategorizes for declarative TPs as complement and subsequently, via internal merge, optionally sandwiches either the Pronominal/R-expression subject of IPQs or the whole of the declarative TP of IPQs having clause-final particles to derive convergent polar question constructions in the language.
Scholarly article
Ilori, J. F. & J. Onuora 2021. ’A Syntactic Reappraisal of Polar Question Constructions in Igbo’. Journal of the Linguistic Association of Nigeria (JOLAN) 24, 2, pages 37-60.