LANGUAGE AND ITS SPEAKERS
1.0 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Introduces the language and its speakers, other issues in the chapter includes
the historical background, sociocultural profile, geographical location,
genetic classification, scope and organization, theoretical framework, data
collection, data analysis, brief review of the chose theoretical framework and
the literature review.
1.1 GENERAL BACKGROUND
defines linguistics as “the scientific study of language” .This means that
linguistics is the scientific study of natural language as everything
concerning language is undertaken in linguistics. This project work is on the
aspect of morphology of Yiwom language.
The speakers of the
Yiwom language are estimated to be 14,100 in the year 2000. The Yiwom people
are also known as Garkawa, Gerkanchi, Gerka and Gurka. The speakers call themselves
Yioum instead of Yiwom and they will be referred to as Yiwom in this project.
1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Hiel-Yioum is what
they call their town, but the Fulani people call them Garkawa. It is a unit in
the southeast corner of the present Mikang local government of Plateau states
in Nigeria. The unit consists of an undulating county slightly rising from south
to the Garkawa hills in the extreme North. The Yiwom people have been in their
present home for upwards of two hundred years (200 years). The Pitop came to
the area first and provided itself a stockaded town at a place called Hakbap.
The Rohta followed second and settled in Kiel-Hiel at Rohta-Hills, north of
Hiel-Yioum. Other families arrived in large detachments one after the other,
and took refuge at Kiel-Hiel. Rohta rock was fortified and was capable of
About the middle of
nineteenth century, the families came from their hills to live in their present
homes. Yiwom was once divided into two distinct sections which are the Hill and
Plain, the former which is the Hill at Rohta, the latter which is the plain at
Pitop. According to legends preserved by both sections, their ancestors sprang
from the grounds. The Rohta maintain that they are from river gulnam in the
hills, while the Pitop says that their ancestors emerged from the earth. The
word “Yioum” in Yiwom dialect means leave. The analogy being: as trees grow out
of the ground, so their ancestors came into being. The name “Garkawa” was given
to them by Fulani/Hausa traders owing to their military prowess and
stubbornness. The name derived from “gagararru”, which in the occurrence of the
time became “Garka and Ba Garko and finally, Garkawa”. History shows the Yiwom
people to have been a formidable tribe. Legend points to the fact that all the
families mentioned and who call themselves Yiwom are of Jukun stock that
migrated after the breakup of Kwararrafa Empire (West of Bukundi) and wandered
about until they found their present home. Until now, they kept very much to
themselves and are good agriculturalist.
Yiwom is regarded by the British as one of the “unconquered tribes”
living near or along the trade routes. Source Dabup (2009:67-73)
1.3 GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
The home of the Yiwom
speakers is situated in the southeast of Mikang local government in Plateau
state, Nigeria. It is found in coordinates 9000 north, 9035 East and 90 North,
9.5830 easts. It covers an area of approximately 739km2 which is 285.3 square
meters, its time zone is WAT (UTC + 1). It is bounded in the North and East by
the Lantang section of Yergam, southeast by the way to Dampar, south by Inshar
and West by the Lalin section of Montol.
1.4 SOCIOCULTURAL PROFILE
Yiwom is a Chadic
language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by the Garkawa people of
Plateau state, Nigeria. They have several clans such as Rohta, Killah, Balbro,
Pitop Talim, Lahl, Pensong, Gwar-Gimjim, Bal’Nlah, Longkrom and Wai. Each clan
has its own priest called Bangkrom-Krom and its own traditional religion.
The Yiwom speakers
practice all kind of religion including Christianity, Islam and animism. In the
olden days, the speakers of the language were mainly practicing animism but
over the years, Christianity has taken over and a few practice Islam.
A lot of ceremonies
go on in the Yiwom culture which includes marriage, burial ceremony.
184.108.40.206 Naming Ceremony
Yiwom speakers do not
celebrate naming ceremony. It is the father side that names a child and it is
done immediately or at most after three of five days after the child had been
given birth to. There is no celebration a lady is not given the chance to name
a child even though a mother can name a child, it has to be with the consent of
the father but it is usually the father side that gives the child a name.