A Contrastive Analysis Of Interrogatives In Standard Yorùbá And Central Yorùbá Dialects


  • Emmanuel Ọmọniyi Olánrewájú Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria


Syntax of interrogatives, Central Yorùbá dialects, Standard Yorùbá, Dialectal variations


Interrogatives are conventionally associated with the act of requesting information. Several researches have been carried out on the syntax of standard Yorùbá (SY) and its dialects but with little attention paid to the syntax of interrogatives in CY dialects and the comparative analysis of interrogatives in the standard dialect and Central Yorùbá (CY) dialects especially under the confines of the latest theoretical requirements. This paper therefore, investigated the syntax of interrogatives in SY and the CY dialects with a view to comparing how they both form their interrogatives. Data were sourced using primary and secondary methods. These were subjected to syntactic analysis within the theoretical framework of the Minimalist Program (MP). Interrogative features setting CY dialects apart from SY were identified: CY dialect operate yèsí/ìsí “who” in the place of ta used by SY (to question human referents). Focus markers are also optionally dropped in CY dialects unlike their SY counterpart. Also, CY dialects use the question noun (QN) kí for both non-human referents Kí lo rí “ What did you see?” and maner Kí o ṣe gbọ́ “How did you hear?”. Among the similarities identified is that both CY dialects and SY do not observe Attract the Closest Principle (ACP) when they stack QNs in their constituent interrogatives. Therefore, many of the items that in SY take their sources from its dialects.