Verbal Extensions as a Morphological Productivity Strategy Towards Meaning Creation in Languages

Edmund Werigbelegha, Odingowei M. Kwokwo


Languages are said to be productive because of their ability to adopt a variety of morphological strategies of word-formation through which they enrich their lexicon for ease and. facilitation of meaning creation and communication. Universally, sundry such morphological processes available for natural languages to exploit are affixation, compounding, clipping, blending and reduplication. Beyond these strategies, many African languages also adopt the device of verbal extension which seems to be absent in English morphology. This paper investigates the use of verbal extensions as a morphologically productive word-formation strategy in linguistic and communication studies. The data used for analysis in the paper are derived from standard textbooks written in English and from competent native speakers of Izọn language especially of Kolokuma and Gbarain dialects of Izọn both of which have 99% lexical contiguity. This was done through unobtrusive observations and purposive interviews and collation of a list of verbs. These methods were complemented by the researchers’ introspection. The study reveals that verbal extensions are used in Izọn as a very creative and productive word-formation and meaning-creation strategy and the ability to use them functionally is part of the linguistic and communicative competence of native speakers of Izọn language.


Verbal extensions; Word-formation; Morphological processes; Morphological productivity; English; Izọn.

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