Hyponymy in Enugwu-ukwu Igbo Dialect

Author: Nwosu John Ifeanyi
Department: Igbo, Asian and African Language
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Hyponymy is one of the meaning or sense relations of lexical items in semantics. It is the meaning relation that exists between generic and specific lexical items, such that the meaning of the specific lexical item is said to be included in that of the generic lexical item. On the other hand, Componential Analysis (CA) as a theoretical framework account for sense relations which hold among lexical items through sets of component features. This research study therefore, makes use of the theoretical framework of Componential Analysis (CA) to explore the hyponymy relations of Igbo lexical items with particular reference to Enugwu-Ukwu Igbo dialect. It is also very important to note that we make use of participant and non-participant observations of the native speaker’s utterances using the words of the Swadesh 100 wordlist as guidelines or the instrument for our data collection. Finally, one of the findings of this study among other things is that hyponymy relation of Igbo lexical items is very necessary because it helps in the proper specification of the Igbo speaker’s true intentions in order to avoid vagueness in Igbo statements/ sentences or expressions.

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