1.0     General Background

Language is the fabrics that ties every member of the society together, which serves as an instrument used by man, for specific and distinguishable purpose.

          Indeed the focus of this research is to shed light, on how noun phrases are formed in Kofyar language. Therefore the first chapter of this research is focused on genetic classification of Kofyar language. The scope and organization of the study, the theoretical frame work, data collection, and data analysis. Also the review of chosen frame work technique, as well as government binding theory of syntax.

          According to Crystal (1994:420) syntax is the study of the rules governing the way words are combined to form grammatical sentence in constrast, with morphology, that studies word structure. This branch of linguistics is concerned, with how words are combined to form phrase and sentence, in a rule governed manner.

          In a nutshell word are not strong together in a random, other they follow certain observable pattern in any language.

1.1            Historical Background

Kofyar means the home state of the ancensor has grown, Dafyar somebody has grown, Kofyar payar is the ancenstral, home of Kofyar language, there ancensor is dafyar, he decended from eastern part of the country, when  they came they come together with the angas, mahull, antiwe, siwa, buicous, when they move the came right to daka to mangul. Local government, they had a disagreement at that point the boukous panchi, moved to another direction.

The Kofar move towards garam, they had another disagreement on the issue of chieftancy. Dafyar and Daram, gave birth to frontel, frontel gave birth to gawal national, dafyar now left and stayed in kofyar, he gave birth to 12 children. Among which were twins Dajan, and Dajin, stayed in doemak (meaning my movement ends here) Lugat (scared forest for rituals) Lugat chin.

The doemak are related formed by one person seven district namely, doemak, kwa, kwag, kwalla, bwalla, namu, Jepan.

1.2            Socio-Cultural Profile

1.2.1  Festival

Ma’ap festival-final funeral rite of a great person, and this type of festival is done by slaughtening of an horse.

Kaatar festival – it is a type of festival that is been done, in thanking the Lord.

Koemteng festival – it is the celebration of mystical powers, that are build in Kofyar man.

1.2.2  Religion

Majority of the Kofyars are Christians, followed by traditional practices, with few people name of the gods of the Kofyar includes.

          Koemgwa-gods that catches evil people.

          Koemtueguna-the oracle.

Na’an-Almighty God.

Mode of leadership

          Dokapa is a ruling councel group, that covered. The whole district of Kofyar.

Wedding ceremony. Sanawang the bride is called misnanwar, after the bride price has been paid. The bride were usually taken to groom house for proper celebration.

1.2.3  Best Food and Best Drink

The best food of the Kofyar people, is pounded yam, with traditional soup bwazsusuri, lemstick guzel, balaneweh. The best soup is tookmamg, made up of mushroom, best drink of the Kofyar are muos, wdagole, waarda, chant, one thing about the Kofyars, is that they don’t waste food.

Mode of dressing in the accient days, they dress putting on animal skin, but now they dress to fit western civilization.

1.2.4  Occupation

Basically farming, and hunting as a secondary occupation.


When expressing respect, they squat when elders are telling children does not interrupt.

1.3     Genetic Classification

          According to Greenberg (1966:8), African language belongs, to various families and there are four major main groups namely, Niger Kordofonia, Niloshara, AfroAsiatic, Khoisan.

          The Kofyar language is grouped under family a sub family of language like human being, are genetically related. Kofyar language, is spoken in both quapan local government, of plateaus state, and Lafia local government of nasarawa state.

West chadic B

Afro Asiatic

Adapted from: Roger Blench (2006)




Egyptia n




East chadic


West chadic 

West chadic A

Hausa guardara


Angas Gerica 









1.4     Scope and Organisation of Study

In this research, the general overview of noun phrase, in Kofyar language will be discuss. This research work is divided into five chapters.

The first chapter: Is the introductory chapter, which includes, historical background, socio cultural profile, the scope and organization of the study, as well as theoretical frame work, the data collection method, and data analysis, and finally the brief review of those frame work.

The second chapter: Focuses on sound inventory, the basic syntactic concept. Such as phrase structure rule, lexical categories, basic word order, and the sentence type.

The third chapter: Will focus on the main Aspect of the study which is Noun phrase, that is the nature of noun phrase, and the process that are attested in the language.

The fourth chapter: Will examine transformation process such as Focusing, Relativization, and Passivisation.

The fifth chapter: Which is the last chapter will present a brief summary of the whole research finding, and drawn conclusion, and recommendation, based on such findings.

1.5     Theoretical Framework

For this research to achieve, the set of goals, the theory to be adopted is government and binding theory. In the Analysis of noun phrase of Kofyar language.

1.6     Data Collection

This research is made possible through the bi-lingual language helpers. However, the Ibadan four hundred words list, and some sentence, construction, are used to extract necessary information. From the language speaker, the method of collection, was through direct translation from English to Kofyar language.

However bi-lingual approach was used because, the informants speaks more than two language, which includes English, Kofyar and Hausa Language more so the informant are native speaker of Kofyar Language.

1.7     Data Analysis

In order to have accurate analysis, for this research Ibadan four hundred word list, with equivalent meaning in Kofyar language was used. Also the frame technique used in this research is framing sentence, in English and translated to Kofyar language, with the assistance of an information.

          This enable the researcher to determine, the actual underlying form, of a word, constituent and possible syntactic classes to which each word belong to in Kofyar, language.

1.8     Review of the Chosen Framework

Government and binding theory (GB) will be the analysis of noun phrase, in Kofyar language. This theory is a modular deductive theory of universal grammar, which posits multiple levels of representation related by the transformational rule (Module alpha).

          Hegman (1991:3) define Government and binding as a theory of universal, grammar which is the system of all the principle that are common to all human language.

          G.B theory is otherwise know as, principle and parameters theory, in G.B theory the grammar is a continous, interaction between component and sub theories, embody in the different principle and parameters.

          Government and biding theory is a theory of syntax in the tradition of transformational grammar, developed principally by Noam Choamsky in the 1980s.

          Horrock (1987:29) stated that core grammar, of a given language is derive from interaction of sub-theories of universal grammar.

          These sub-theories are inter related that each of them, can account for ungrammatically of any sentence.

          These sub-theories are:

Ø Government theory

Ø Case theory

Ø Control theory

Ø Binding theory

Ø X-bar theory

Ø Bounding theory

The above listed sub theories are diagrammatically, represented below to show the inter relationship among them.


Phonetic form

X-bar Theory


Move – а


Case theory

(Case filter)

Projection principle


q- theory

(q criterion)

Logical form

Modules of grammar

(Adapted from sell (1985) and Cook (1988)

Base on appropriate analysis for the research work, x-bar is the theory to be adapted for comprehensive analysis.

          According to Sadiq, (1992) x bar theory represent, the information of phrase structure rule, with a new version since it introduce the notion of intermediate project namely x.

          In other term x-bar theory represents a new approach to phrase structure, making use of the following principle.

xp ® spec x1

          x1®   x0 COMPL

          According to these principle, a lexical head is intermediary projected into and an x1 which in turn maximally, projected into an xp as indicated by the following examples.












(1)     A student of physics

Webelum (1995:18) however explained that x-bar theory is the control module of the principle and parameters approach in syntax.

A phrase in x-bar syntax always contain atleast a head. As well as other constituent (Cook 1988:94).

The head of the projection is zero projection (X0), head are terminal modes they dominated words x-bar theory, distinguished two levels of project complement combines with x to form x1 projection.

(x1® x) yp adjunct combine with x to form X1 projection (x ® x1 yp).






The specified combine with the top most x1 to form the maximal projection xp (xp spec: x1).

Adapted form haesman (1994:105).

Indeed it has shown above that the linear order of the constituent with respect to the head of the projection is not universally fixed.

However, as proposed in Choamsky (1980) every maximal projection (xp) has a specifier of xp position, the intermediate x projection serving as xp’s core where.

The core consists of the head (x0) and the compliment which can be a maximal projection on it’s own.


(Core which is recorsive)