Focus as an aspect of grammatical relation in Edo


  • William Aigbedo Department of Linguistics Studies, University of Benin, Benin City


Information Structure, Grammatical relations, Subject-object switch, Focus, Ẹdo language


Languages possess a rich repertoire of strategies for conveying information and this is an aspect of the grammar of a language that has generated a lot of interest from scholars of diverse fields in contemporary times. The conceptual focus is associated with the ways and means of packaging information. It is concerned with how the immediate communicative needs of speakers of a language are satisfied under a particular context or discourse setting. Extant studies in the language have viewed focus as a syntactic derivation that is simply expressed for emphasis without recourse to its underlying structure and role in grammatical relations. This study provides an insight into the nature of grammatical relations in Ẹdo, a Kwa language spoken in the South-Southern part of Nigeria. Data for the study were solicited by way of recorded utterances of the speakers of the language and the isolation of instances of emphasis by the researcher (who is competent in the Ẹdo language). The isolated elements of the recorded discourses were examined descriptively with a view to understanding the nature of focus marking. The study shows that information is packaged in a variety of ways in the language which reflects the communication strategies of the Ẹdo people. The study argues for Focus as an important aspect of the nature of grammatical relations in the language and demonstrates how it functions in satisfying the immediate communicative needs of the language speakers.

Abstract in Edo

Unu ẹvbo keghi mwẹ edọmwadẹ odẹ ne a ya gie uhunmwu ne ọre abọ ọghe ilele unu ẹvbo ne avbe ọgbẹn-ebe ughughaẹn ru ẹmwẹ ọnrẹn. Ọ keghi kaan edọmwadẹ odẹ ne a ya mwamwa itaemwi. Ọ vbe kaan evbe ne itaemwi emwa ni loo unu ẹvbo vbe ya de ye uviẹn vbe edọmwadẹ ẹbu ne ọ de yi. Iruẹmwi ne a ka gha miẹ keghi guan kaan ẹmwẹ ne a tua ta vbe ekpa esintasi vbene iran ma na guan kaan avbe emwi ni rre otọ ọre. Iruẹmwi na keghi guan kaan ilele unu ẹvbo vbe Ẹdo ne a zẹ vbe ọtọ Enaigirria vbe ẹgbẹ unu ẹvbo ekua. Emwi ne a loo vbe ebe na keghi ke obọ avbe ivbi ẹvbo ni loo unu ẹvbo Ẹdo rre vbene a na vbe gbe aro ke otọ ya hannọ avbe ẹmwẹ ne a tuare ladian. Iruẹmwi na keghi rrie ma wẹẹ odẹ ughughan ẹre ivbi Ẹdo ya kuun itaemwi vbe ifiẹmwẹ. Ebe na keghi vbe ya ẹre nyanya wẹẹ ẹmwẹ ne a tua vbe unu ẹvbo ẹre ivbi ẹvbo ya gu egbe guan kevbe ya rẹẹn emwi ne edọmwadẹ ọmwa guan kaan.


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How to Cite

Aigbedo, W. (2023). Focus as an aspect of grammatical relation in Edo. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 26(1), 48–65. Retrieved from