1.0 GENERAL BACKGROUND
This is a long essay
on the noun phrase of kurama language. It is aimed at describing the structure
of noun phrase of the language under Government and Binding syntax. Kurama
language is a language spoken in Lere local government Area of Kaduna State.
The tribe known generally as the Kurama, but who themselves the Akurmi (Sing. Bukurmi), or forest people, are
situated to the north and north-west of the Katab in the Zaria province. They number
between 11,000 and 12,000 persons and are administered by the Emir of Zaria.
The study opens with
an introduction and focuses on the Historical background of Kurama, its social
grouping and emblems, its socio-cultural profile, geographical location and
genetic classification. It also covers the scope and organization of study,
theoretical frame work, data collection, procedures data analysis and the brief
review of the chosen framework.
1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
According to Meek
(1931), the kurama speakers claim a traditional connection 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, i.e. those most influenced
by contact with Muslims, profess to be able to trace the wandering on the tribe
back to the time when they dwell at Medina.
In later days, they
were subject to ancient kingdom of Zaria, and during the days when Zaria fell
under the influence of Kebbi and Songhai, the Kurama suffered at the hands of
the Kebbawa who raided the district annually for slaves. They are also raided
frequently by the Ningi in the nineteenth century. The Kurama are “playmates”
with the people of Kano, and with the Kanuri, but whether this is due to any
close association in the past cannot now be determined. What is certain is that
the Kurama belong linguistically to the classifying group of The Sudanic
division i.e. to the so-called Semi Bantu speaking group of the Nigerian middle
1.2 GEOGRAPHICAL AND SOCIO-CULTURAL PROFILE
The Kurama people or
speakers are found in Lere local government area of Kaduna State of Nigeria.
The kurama people are located at the Garu-Kurama district. The line is
Southeastern part of Kaduna state, North of Damakasuwa and South from Kumana.
According to Crozier
(1976), Kurama language belong to Benue Congo, eastern Kainji and Northern Jos.
220(NAT 1949), 2,000 (STL 1973).Kurama is along Kaduna/Jos road. From Jos, it
is 140 km and from Kaduna, it is 250 km.
1.2.1 SOCIAL GROUPINGS AND EMBLEMS
According to oral
history, the Kurama consist of a number of exogenous divisions wholly or
partially localized. Thus the small clan of the Kamau is wholly localized at
the village – area of Guru, whereas sections of the Abisi clan are to be found
at a number of different village areas. Viz Garu, Srubu, Damakasua, and Kudaru.
It appeared that in some instances a number of exogamous units share a common
title and a common emblem, but that intermarriage between the units is
The Har Asre, for
example consist of the following sub-divisions, all of which respect the
crocodile (1) Koranga
A Koranga man may not
marry a Koranga woman, but he may marry a woman of any of the other
subdivisions with the exception of Kipiri, the koranga and kipiri consider
themselves to be related through a common forefather, a relationship which
cannot now be demonstrated genealogically. It would seem, therefore, that the
Asare at one time constituted a single exogamous clan, but that with the
increase or spread of the clan exogamy was replaced by a local exogamy.
There are numerous
other kurama clans (e.g. the Asa, Asana, Bisawa, Awai, Akurgi, Nargi, Gurya,
1.2.2 Culture and
The Kurama people are
largely enriched with traditional practices, which are often reflected in their
various exogamous groups.
Firstly, the Arerus
appear to respect the cock (Bugwara). It was stated according to my informant
that, if the husband of an Areru woman had a cock cooked in the compound, he
had subsequently to purify the place where it had been cooked by sweeping it
with the leaves of the locust bean and shea trees.Secondly, an Asare can play
fearlessly with a crocodile; it is regarded as a relative to the Asare. If an
Asare man sees the corpse of a crocodile he must dig a grave for it and bury it
reverently, pushing the corpse into the grave with sticks.
The normal mode of
obtaining a wife was, and is, by agricultural service plus cash and other
payment to the girl’s parents or guardians. The scale of payment of service of
obtaining a wife was as follows:
An initial services
extending over ten years, equal to the amount of work performable by three men
for three days each year on the farm of the girl’s father, and for one day on
that of the girl’s mother.
A bride-price of
40,000 – 60,000 cowries.
2,000 cowries, one
basket of rice, guinea corn, one goat, four chickens and one pot of honey.
These gifts were given during the concluding rites.
Few inquiries were
made on the subject of 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, the bull roerer (Makili) plays a
prominent part. Noteworthy points are that, although women never resort to the
ancestral graves, men perform their rites at the graves of female ancestors as
well as of male.
1.2.5 Mode of Dressing
According to oral
history, the Kurama people dress like the Hausa people. In the olden days,
wools were woven to make strapless tops for the men who cover their private
parts with animal skin. Wools are also woven for the women to make a long but
not wide piece to cover their breasts. The females also cover with leaves from
a tree, which looks like palm trees.
1.2.6 POLITICAL SYSTEM
Governance of Kurama
traditional system of governance, where there is an exogamous and social group
which is recognized as the chieftain whose duties are religious and social
rather than political (the political chieftainship being purely a local
matter), it is his business to settle individual and family disputes and allay
ill-feeling within the kindred or clan. In addition to the clan or extended
families who exercise a social authority not merely over their own households
but over those of all younger brothers, cousins, and children.
1.2.7 SOCIO-LINGUISTIC PROFILE
Olaoye (2002: 98)
defines socio-linguistic as “the study of various social, political, cultural
and linguistic situations within a given speech community that give how
language choice and use reveal the values, cultural beliefs and practices of
the community”. This shows that cultural beliefs, way of life etc cannot be
separated from language. In other words, language and culture are inseparable
Most Kurama speakers
including the younger generation are bilingual. The older generations are not quite
fluent in Hausa as the younger generation who through education hold position
in administration and public services including the police. Through education,
the younger generations speak two or more languages i.e. Kurama, Hausa and
English language making them bilingual.
1.3 GENETIC CLASSIFICATION OF KURAMA LANGUAGE
According to Comrie
(1990), genetic classification is a sub-grouping of all relevant languages into
genetic nodes. Kurama is under the Benue-Congo language family.
Afro Asiatic Niger Kordofonian Nilo Sahara Khoisan
Mande Gur Kwa Benue-Congo Adamawa West
Isam Kumana Biron Junkun Kurama
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
This particular work
focuses its attention on the formation of noun phrase in the Kurama language.
The description will also delve on some of the peculiar features of the
language. This research is expected to add to the linguistic finding on Kurama
1.5 ORGANISATION OF STUDY
This research work
has five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction covering the historical
background, socio-cultural and socio-linguistic profile of Kurama language and
its speakers as well as the genetic classification, scope and organization of
study, including theoretical framework, data collection, data analysis and a
brief review of the chosen framework. Chapter two focuses on the basic
syntactic concepts which include phrase structure rules, lexical categories
basic word order and the sentences Types. Chapter three focuses on the aspect
of noun phrase in Kurama language, chapter centers on the transformational
processes of the language. Chapter five concludes the research work.
1.6 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
framework adapted in this research work is the theory of Government and
1.7 DATA COLLECTION
The data for this
research were collected using the language informant to elicit the data. The
Ibadan word list of (400) four hundred basic items is used for the collection.
The data were
collected through direct interviews with the informants or language helper with
the use of Ibadan wordlist which contains items that are illuminating and
capable of making linguistically significant generalizations.