Disambiguating Ambiguous Constructions in Ngwà Ìgbò

Main Article Content

Jephthah Asuoha


This paper examines ambiguity in Ngwà dialect of Ìgbò, spoken in South-eastern Nigeria. Ambiguity is a situation whereby a single lexical item or phrase in a construction is construed to have more than one meaning. The aim is to identify and analyse lexical and
structural elements in the dialect which lend a construction to multiple interpretations with a view to disambiguating them. Data were elicited through questionnaires and interviews from six competent Ngwà native speakers who were within the age range of 45-60 years. The participants cut across different groups: community and religious leaders, titled persons, as well as male and female politicians. Simple descriptive method of analysis was adopted using Leipzig Glossing Convention and inter-linear glossing. The article examines lexical items in Ngwà verbal communication that are ambiguous. The result shows that context and word order, among other factors, in most cases are responsible for the construction of ambiguity. For adequate resolution, it is suggested that the meaning of a construction be sought outside the context. The study is useful to language teachers, students and curriculum designers as it greatly enhances how language is most effectively taught and learnt.

Article Details

How to Cite
Asuoha, J. . (2022). Disambiguating Ambiguous Constructions in Ngwà Ìgbò. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 25, 109–128. Retrieved from https://jolan.com.ng/index.php/home/article/view/347
Author Biography

Jephthah Asuoha, Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), Aba


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