Parametric Variation of the 3RD Person Singular in English and Some Nigerian Languages
Lamidi, M. T.
Department of English,
Faculty of Arts,
University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
Dr. Lamidi’s areas of interest include the syntax of contact linguistics and contrastive linguistics. He identified the grammatical basis of Yorùbá-English Code-Switching and is currently looking at the phenomenon of code switching in virtual communities. He has also contributed to the codification of the grammatical structure of the Nigerian Variety of English. He has published in books and journals both locally and internationally.
The third person singular is unique in English grammar as the only form that differs from the other grammatical persons. Curiously, the same phenomenon of the third person is replicated in a number of Nigerian languages. Working within the minimalist program, the study offers a cross-linguistic exploration of the third person singular effect on subject, object and possessive pronouns in different languages. Based on data analysis of English, Yorùbá, Igbo and Hausa languages, the paper suggests that the uniqueness of the third person singular is possibly a universal trait with differences being peculiar to each language or dialect. In addition, it proposes the inclusion of tone among lexical items selected for computation in the working area.
Keywords: English, Nigerian languages, third person singular effect, tone, features