Argument Structure of the Urhobo Verb: A Minimalist Approach : Current School News

Argument Structure of the Urhobo Verb: A Minimalist Approach



Argument Structure of the Urhobo Verb: A Minimalist Approach.


This research work examines the argument structure of the Urhobo Verb: using the Minimalist Approach, the various types of argument and the manner in which they are introduced in a sentence were described. The basic assumption is that Urhobo language is a potentail source of input for the determination of the predicate argument structure.

The specific objectives are: to classify Urhobo verbs into the number of arguments a verb can take, explore the role of valency, and transitivity in the predicate argument structure of Urhobo, as well as relate thematic functions to argument structure in the Urhobo language.

A thorough literature was reviewed of languages whose materials were accessible at the time of this work. The method of data collection was categorized into two main sources: primary and secondary data. The primary data refers to the information that were obtained using, oral interview, the secondary source refers to documented information obtained from library, internet, and other published materials.

Finally, we discover that functional arguments are lexical items, which strictly subcategorize phrases in their syntactic environment. It was also a finding that Urhobo language is centered around the verbs, in most cases verbs are the basis for the expansion of Urhobo words, though nouns and adjectives and other word formation process contributes to the expansions of its vocabulary, words and sentences.


The minimalist program is an attempt to situate linguistic theory in the broader cognitive science. Minimalism makes a case for an economical and elegant theory of syntax, which eliminates the rigors of convoluted analysis of the process of generating and interpreting linguistic structures. It claims that grammar is minimally complex and that it is a perfect system of optimal design.

Minimalism, according to Asher (1994), seeks to develop an account of linguistic universals that on the one hand, will not be falsified by the actual diversity of languages and, on the other, will be sufficiently rich and explicit to account for the rapidity and uniformity of language learning.

Within the theoretical framework of minimalist program, linguistic  expressions are generated by optimally efficient derivations that must satisfy the conditions that hold on the interface levels, the only levels of linguistic representation. Chomsky (2001) posits that the interface levels provide instruction to two types of performance system: – articulatory- perception, and conceptual – intentional.

He maintains that all syntactic conditions must express properties of these levels, reflecting the interpretive requirements of languages and keeping to very restricted conceptual resources. The minimalist approach to linguistic theory is formulated and progressively developed on the theory of principles and parameters.


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CSN Team.



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