Adjectives and adjectivialization processes in Edo


  • Thomas O. Omoruyi


adjectives, Niger-Congo, Edo


Real adjectives are few in Niger-Congo languages. Welmers [1973] warns that we should be suspicious of what is traditionally called adjectives in these languages: In this article, an attempt is made to describe the processes of expressing adjectival concepts in Edo. Like many natural languages, Edo adjectives and verbs are hardly separable; areas of similarity are analyzed. Taking a critical look at some words which have been erroneously called adjectives, we discover that they are in fact relative clauses. An examination of their underlying structures reveals the sources of their singular and plural forms. Finally, we identify some real adjectives (some of which are derived from adjectival verbs) on the basis of their inability to occur alone without "qualifying" nouns.