A comparative analysis of reflexivisation in English and Ibibio


  • Maria-Helen Ekah Department of English University of Uyo


Reflexivisation, binding, co-referentiality, anaphor-antecedent, ccommand


This paper examines patterns of reflexivisation in English and Ibibio to establish their structures, similarities and dissimilarities and  implications on Ibibio-English bilinguals' performance in this aspect of English grammar. The study is anchored on Binding Theory.  Data for this research were drawn from a test conducted among selected Ibibio-English bilinguals. Findings indicate that the two  languages have proforms which occur leftward and rightward; and that those proforms in leftward position, our area of interest, are  anaphors and have antecedents. Findings also show that anaphors and their antecedents in the two languages agree in person and  number but differ in gender as there is no gender distinction in Ibibio reflexives whereas English anaphors and their antecedents show  gender distinction. It is also discovered that Ibibio-English bilinguals encounter difficulties in assigning appropriate  grammatical  interpretations to English anaphors and their antecedents as well as misunderstand reciprocals. Cross- linguistic influence, interlanguage problem and overgeneralisation of grammatical rules are some of the major causes of infelicities in  the use of reflexives among Ibibio-English bilinguals. The paper recommends intensive instructions on this aspect of English grammar  among these bilinguals. 


Author Biography

Maria-Helen Ekah, Department of English University of Uyo





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How to Cite

Ekah, M.-H. (2022). A comparative analysis of reflexivisation in English and Ibibio. Journal of the Nigerian Languages Project, 4, 93–107. Retrieved from https://jnlp.com.ng/index.php/home/article/view/34