Publisher: University of Port Harcourt

Aspects of The Semantics & Pragmatics of Verb-Noun Selection Restrictions In Igbuzo-Igbo

Esther N. Oweleke
KEYWORDS: Semantics, Pragmatics, Verb-Noun, Selection Restrictions, Igbuzo-Igbo


The paper discusses the semantic as well as the pragmatic properties of the Igbo language that are responsible for the co-occurrence possibilities of verbs and their objects. It examines the linguistic and extra-linguistic information inherent in this interesting phenomenon attested in the language. Using the binary feature format of componential analysis, the paper identifies the semantic components that constitute the meaning of the nouns in the NP2 position and so shows that verbs select or impose selection restrictions on the nouns that can co-occur with them. The paper also analyses some sentences in Igbuzo-Igbo to demonstrate that the semantic combination of words and phrases in abstraction from context often fall short of being the complete meaning of an utterance. The paper therefore argues that the interplay of the semantic and pragmatic components of meaning is needed to achieve effective communication.

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