Demonstrative Paradigms in English and Ibibio: Some Contrastive Observations


  • Maria-Helen Ekah Department of English University of Uyo



Deictic Markers, Demonstrative, Head, Specifier.


This paper describes demonstrative paradigms in English and Ibibio based on their syntactic and semantic behaviours, especially with English as the language of education in Nigeria. This study is anchored on Chomsky (1986) generative grammar paradigm to explain the structures of demonstratives in the two languages and argues that the structures resemble and differ from each other in some respects and gives possible linguistic implications for Ibibio speakers of English. While data for English were extracted from English grammar texts, those of Ibibio were extracted by the researcher’s native speaker’s knowledge of the language. From the analyses, it is discovered that while demonstrative paradigm in English is a two-way opposition, Ibibio has a three-way opposition. It explains that all demonstratives in English inflect for person and number whereas of the two classes of demonstratives in Ibibio one class inflects for number while the other does not. It establishes that this grammatical unit functions as subject and determiner in the two languages while in Ibibio it further functions as an article and a verb.


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