Referential nouns and complementation in Ḿbáīsé-Ígbò: A Government and Binding Approach


  • Obioma Bibian Enwere Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies
  • Ozo-mekuri Ndịmele Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies


Government and Binding, Referential nouns, Noun phrase complement, complementation


Different noun types demand for and selects other grammatical elements (complements), which help to expand the head from a bare lexical element into a phrase. This paper investigates the derivation and order of relationship between simple referential nouns and derived referential nouns with their modifying/specifying elements and the complementation processes of these nominal elements. Adopting the Government and Binding (GB) framework and a qualitative method, with primary and secondary data, it is observed in Ḿbáīsé-Ígbò, that simple noun heads take complements to the right to specify and limit their references, while derived nouns are generated in situ with their complements which receive their inherent theta roles, but reflexives/reciprocals (anaphors), do not subcategorize complements in that their complements have been inbuilt in them. In a [noun+ noun] relationship or a compound noun, the initial noun is the head, the other nominal element is the modifier/specifier. The observation generally is that of head-complement relationship, where the head occurs in the initial position, with modifier following it.

Author Biographies

Obioma Bibian Enwere, Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies

University Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt


Ozo-mekuri Ndịmele, Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies

University Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt


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How to Cite

Bibian Enwere, O. ., & Ndịmele, O.- mekuri . (2019). Referential nouns and complementation in Ḿbáīsé-Ígbò: A Government and Binding Approach. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 22(2), 143–155. Retrieved from