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TENSE AND ASPECT IN OGBUNIKE IGBO
Igbo language is made up of so many dialects that comprise the Igbo speaking areas of the country and is marked by certain tense and aspect just as in every other language of the world, which are used to indicate the time of events/ actions as well as the duration, inception , continuity and completion of such events/ action ie (Aspect). These dialects that make up the Igbo language have their own tense and aspect peculiar to themselves or are related in one way or the other. In this piece of work, the writer wishes to investigate and to expose tense and aspect as found in Ogbunike dialect as one of the Igbo speaking communities ie if there is any tense-marker and how they are realized. Also to portray how these tense and aspect relates with the standard Igbo, if there is any similarities or differences found within.
All the languages of the world have their own rules that must be followed by the speakers of such a language. This is called the grammar of that language. In discussing grammatical categories certain things that are discussed are number, gender that points to the Noun, while tense, aspect, mood etc. point to the verb in a sentence. Tense, points to the actual time of an event while aspect, points to the duration of an event as regards to its inception, continuation, as well as the completion of such an event. All of them point to the distinctive forms the verb can take to portray these actions.
This work is set to unfold the 2 grammatical categories of tense and aspect in Ogbunike Igbo.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The notion of tense and aspect has evoked some contradicting opinions among some linguists in the past. Emenajo (1978:167) claims that they interact in some subtle ways and in practice, is sometimes quite difficult to make. The term tense is used to denote time reference of events. It explains the relationship between actions or events and the actual time they took place, while aspect on the otherhand shows the function of the verb that defines the duration of the action of the verb as regards its completion and continuation.
The notion of tense and aspect seem to be a universal phenomenon as all languages of the world make use of either of them or both in distinct forms. The Igbo language also makes use of both tense and aspect as well. Ogbunike, a dialect of Igbo language, shows distinctions among events via the morphological changes in their verb roots. This work
therefore, hopes to unravel the distinctions between the 2 categories of tense and aspect in Ogbunike Igbo.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There are varying/ contradictory opinions among the Igbo linguists as it concerns the categories of tense and aspect in Igbo language. Some linguists claim that they interact in a subtle way and in practice sometimes quite difficult to make, while others clearly identified the categories separately in Igbo language.
This age long confusion stares us in the face as we delve into these grammatical categories in Ogbunike dialect.
Secondly, another perceived problem is the dearth of materials and literatures on Ogbunike dialect, such that, to the best of my knowledge, not much work on tense and aspect has been done in the dialect.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY.
This study is set to achieve the following aims.
(a) To describe tense and aspect in Ogbunike Igbo and how they are realized.
(b) To draw a distinction between tense and aspect in Ogbunike Igbo as well as with the Standard Igbo.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This work would be of immense importance because it confirms the existence of tense and aspect as grammatical categories in Ogbunike and to explore their forms, meanings and distinctions.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In dealing with the topic at hand the following research questions are vital
1. In what ways do tense and aspect differ in Ogbunike Igbo.
2. To what extent are the realizations of tense and aspect in Ogbunike Igbo similar or otherwise with tense and aspect in Standard Igbo.
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATION OF STUDY
As a matter of fact, a work of this nature requires specification and delimitation. This study therefore, is limited to the general conception of tense and aspect in Ogbunike Igbo because of variables of time, space and finance that are not favorable to us.
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