A Linguistic Analysis of Verbo-nominal Formation Processes in German and Yoruba Languages

Ajibola A. Fabusuyi, Joshua A. Ogunwale


This paper undertakes a linguistic analysis of the various processes that are involved in the morphological configurations of certain composite verbal and nominal structures in both German and Yoruba languages. The lexical expansion capacities of the two languages in the domains of their verb and noun forms are critically analysed to expound on their morphological peculiarities. The data are decomposed to highlight the derivation history and the configuration mechanisms of the word forms that might have undergone structural changes during their morphological make-up over time. Among other morphological explanations, the issue of word boundary is highlighted, where an experimental approach is employed to identify morpheme boundaries of the corpus. Fleischer and Barz’s Three WordFormation Technique is adopted as a framework for articulating the formation processes involved in the corpus. The study found that the two languages are similar in certain respects. However, it was found that much premium is placed on the tonal nature of the Yoruba language in the processes, thereby placing emphasis and preference on the tonality of word forms in order to make them available for yielding copious morphological encodings contextually. Moreover, in German composition processes, repetition of segments and semantic emphasis are substantially attested. The paper, therefore, found that during the word formation processes in the two languages, placement of morpheme boundaries is idiosyncratic to the individual language students, and so it is less transparent and uniform. It also found that wobble knowledge, on the part of the language students, about word segmentations could distort word meaning. The paper, therefore, recommends that, since these linguistic parametric pieces of evidence are outstanding in the two languages at varying depths and degrees, they should be given sufficient attention in future studies.


Keywords: composite verbal and norminal structures, German, Yoruba, morphological encodings, morpheme boundaries

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