A Case for Nominalised Focus in Yorùbá

A Case for Nominalised Focus in Yorùbá
CLAREP Journal of English and Linguistics (C-JEL)

Author: Francis Olayinka Adefabi
Institution: University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Email: abbb4fransico@yahoo.com


This article examines the syntactic and semantic components of the nominalised elements in Yoruba focus construction. It is motivated by the observation that previous scholars on focus construction in the Yoru bá language have regarded the nominalised version of the Yoru bá verbs as “verbal focus”. However, my knowledge as a native speaker of Yoruba language and a scholar of linguistics suggests that there is an error in this conclusion. With this doubt on the analysis, I set out to comprehensively examine the categorial status of the nominalised constituents in a Yoruba focus construction to resolve the evident dual word categories (noun and verb) associated with a nominalised element in Yoruba. The study adopts the Principles and Parameters Framework to explore an alternative analysis of the focus construction in the Yoru bá language. The analysis, along this framework, shows that the focus in the Yoruba focus construction is on nominal elements rather than verbs as earlier established. Consequently, the paper recommends a change of the nomenclature of the elements from “verbal focus” to “nominalised focus. ” The change will ensure the perfect description of a situation where a nominalised constituent is focused.


verbal focus, nominalised focus, nominal element, specifier position, focus phrase, arguments etc.

Pages: 185-200
ISSN: 2698-654-X
ISBN: 978-3-96203-100-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-96203-244-9 (PDF)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56907/gllqbjha