Title page i

Dedication ii

Certification iii

Acknowledgment iv

List of abbreviations v-vi

Table of contents vii-x

Chapter one

General Background1

Geographical and Historical Background1-2

Historical Background2

Socio-cultural Profile3

Cultural Profile3






Marriage Rite5

Socio-Economic Life6




Sociolinguistic Profile7

Genetic Classification8

Scope and Organization of the Study9-10

Justification of the Study10


Data Analysis11

Review of Theoretical Framework12-13

X-Bar Theory13

Chapter Two


Basic Syntactic Concepts14

Phrase Structure Rules14-15

Noun Phrase15-16

Verb Phrase16-17

Finite and Non-Finite Verb17-18

Adjectival Phrases19-20

Basic Word Order20-21

Types of Sentences22

Sentence Types in Kuturmi22-24

Tone System in Kuturmi Language24

Syllable Structure25-32

Vowel Sound System in Kuturmi32-35

Chapter Three

Structure of Kuturmi Verb Phrase36


Headedness/Head parameter37

Sub-categorization of verbs37-46

Chapter Four

Transformational Processes in Kuturmi Verb Phrase 47

4.0 Introduction 47-50

4.1 Relativization 50-53

4.2 Summary 54

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation55





References 58-60



This research work is on the Verb phrase of Kuturmi. Kuturmi is one of the languages spoken in Kaduna State. It is spoken in Awon and Arikwo. It has two dialect, Inuwa and Umsuwe which is used in Arikwo and Inuwa is been used in Awon (district head quarter) Umsuwe is the majority while Inuwa is the minority.

In this chapter, we shall discuss the historical background, Geographical location and  Socio-linguistics profile of Kuturmi speakers, the genetic classification of Kuturmi language, Scope and organization of the study, Justification of the study, Methodology, Data collection, Data Analysis and the Theoretical frame work.


Kuturmi land is situated geographically between latitude 9-5 degree North and 10 degree north and longitude 7.5 degree East and 8.0 degree east. The region lies to the Western part of Kachia district headquarters. The region is bounded by the river guinea to the East and South and to the North and West by the Kadara tribe. It is about 12km from Kachia town.

The vegetation of this Area falls under the guinea savannah type with prominent feature of fall grasses called elephant grass.

Among the natural resources of the region are timber, palm produce, trees and some agricultural products such as ginger, maize, millet, yam, cassava and a host of others.


The history of Kuturmi people was associated with migration. There exists two sources of the Kuturmi Origin. One traditional source holds that the Kutumbawa people captured Kanu empire in the year A.D. 499. Bagauda was said to be a grandson of Bayajidda the snake killer of Daura.

The second source which is the Katsina fable, simly puts it that the Kuturmi people migrated to their present settlement from Kano city in 1807 (Burdon 1969).

The Kutumbawa people were nicknamed after their occupation “Mortar carving” by their neighbour the word “Mortar” is Turimi in Hausa, But they later moved from Kano and by-passed Zaria to the north and Kauru to South and settled at a village called Kallah in Kajuru district of Kajuru Local Government Area.



Culture is a shared learned symbolic of values, beliefs and attitude that shape and influence perception and behaviour. In Kuturmi land their culture respect the fact that females should not wear trouser while males should not wear skirts. Their belief is that men should not wear women clothing while women should also not wear men’s clothing. Also the longitudinal tribal mark on their cheeks is an identity to describe the Kutumbawa people.


The Religion in Kuturmi land before Christianity was around just like other Nigerian community was essentially traditional, but now they have three religions namely: Traditional, Christianity and Islam. TRADITION

This religion embraces a number of beliefs and practices among which he belief in the supernatural, who is believed to be the architect of their lives. In this practice, there is the belief of several spirits those that posses powers above those of ordinary human beings and the constitute power of their own and live as human beings live, they are commonly known as “Ushara” and they live in various places like rivers, trees, forest and mountains. CHRISTIANITY

To the Kuturmi’s God is the creator and controller who have the final authority over the universe. He (God) is known by the name “UCHE” that is the Supreme Being. In this Religion, the idea of God is fundamental. They believed in the existence of the supreme being. The lord of the universe and its creator.

To them he is the author of all things and the God of all gods “UCHE” is represented by the Kuturmi’s as being too holy to be approached directly, and so they have devised other means of approaching him through prayers. In this religion the people serving God are known as the Christians and goes to church every Sunday to worship and adore him. ISLAM

In Kuturmi land, there are no many Muslims in the land, they are not more than 10-20 people in this religion, they also have their own way of praying or approaching their God, they pray at intervals while on Fridays mainly, they go to the mosque for their worship service.

 1.3.3  FESTIVAL

There also exist some festivals in Awon, these include, harvest festivals, masquerade festival and installation of chiefs among others. The harvest festival comes up whenever new “Accha” (hungry rice) is around, they celebrate it while the chiefs will pray on it and take it first before any other person can take it.


Marriages in this community were in the olden days the responsibility of the parents. The parent chooses wives for their son’s right from the day female child is born. The father or the mother simply ties a small rope around the leg of the baby indicating his or her willingness to marry her to his or her son, from that time gift of food stuff will be taken to the girls parent at the end of every farming season until she grows for marriage age when dowry will be taken to her parents. The dowry is usually a hen and a pot of local wine (burukutu) the culture has since given way to the modern methods of marriage as practice use were in the northern part of the country.


Kuturmi people lives in traditional mud houses, the houses which was formerly circular in shapes with thatch roofs had gradually given way to the modern rectangular houses with corrugated iron sheets. The houses built in clusters belonging to an extended family. Families were divided or distinguished along the clandestine lines. The clans were named after occupations or social status of family like Arikpan (The warriors) ‘Arigumo’ (The ruling clan) ‘Arikma’ (The blacksmith) and Aritaworo.  OCCUPATION

Kuturmi people’s occupation is majorly farming, they in addition to farming practiced mortar carving and blacksmith hunting and fishing are practices to their dishes, farming is carried out in sessions beginning with yam, cocoyam, hungry rice, guinea corn and millet.

Today, Kuturmi’s food crops are in commercial quantity for sale to the outside communities. FOOD

The food eaten majorly by this people (Kuturmi) is ‘Tuwo and Kalkash soup (okro) they use Accha in making their Tuwo this days, but before it was guinea corn they use in making their Tuwo. DRESS

Kuturmi women dress in ‘Ture’ a piece of cloth of about 1.5 meter long and two inches wide tied around the waist and upper part of their body (covering the essential part of them. The young girls use leaves while the men dress in animal skin which covers just the waist covering their private part. This tradition has since given to modern way of dressing. The men now dresses simply but occasionally uses flowing gowns on festivals and Sundays while their women folks wear wrappers and blouses with head tie to march.


It (Kuturmi) is a language of the home, it is not in use in the educational system, but it is used for communication in the home. While Hausa is the Language of Education together with English Language. The orthography used in writing Kuturmi is the Greek-Roman Orthography and not Hausa Orthography.

The relationship between Hausa and Kuturmi is that, both Hausa and Kuturmi are been used concurrently, Kuturmi borrowed more of Hausa sounds. In a nutshell we can say Kuturmi is endangered because Hausa language has dominated it.



NIGER CONGO                                                                     KORDOFANIAN

West Atlantic    Kru    Kwa     Mande      Benue Congo

Plateau                   Junkoid                Cross River     Bantoid

Plateau 1    Plateau 2         Plateau 3   Plateau 4   Plateau 5    Plateau 6        Plateau 7

Eloyi                              Zaria Group

Koro Subgroup    Jaba        Mandu Subgroup    Central Kadara subgroup

Idon           Kadara          Doka          Ikulu cluster      Kajuru




This work aims at describing the Verb phrase of Kuturmi language using the Government and binding theory. The work will describe the various verbs and verb complements in the language and discuss some transformational processes involved in their derivation. The scope of this work is therefore essentially the verb phrase in Kuturmi language.

The research work is divided into five chapters.

Chapter One discusses the general background to the study, the historical background of the language and people, their socio-cultural profile, genetic classification of the language, scope and organization of the study, justification of the study, methodology, collection and data analysis.

Chapter Two reviews some literature review to the study, such as phrase structure rules, lexical categories, sentence types and the verb phrase and its constituents tone and syllable structure as well as the basic word orders.

Chapter Three deals with the verb phrase of Kuturmi language, it identifies the verb in the language and classified them based on their syntactic and semantic functions, the chapter also discusses the verb phrase in the language together with their components.

Chapter Four focuses on the transformational processes that are relevant to the derivation of the verb phrase in the language while Chapter Five summarizes the work, make the recommendations and concludes the study.


The study of Kuturmi language is very important because to the best of our knowledge no work of this type has been done on it. This work will therefore help in reserving the language by committing it into writing and providing an orthography for it. It will also promote future work on this language as the present work can be used for future research into the language.


The following methodology was adopted in collecting the Data for this long essay. The Data used in this research work are face to face contact method, using oral interview and the Ibadan word list of 400 basic items.

Two literate native speakers of the language were used to collect the Data. Hence, questions were asked in English language and answers were given in Kuturmi language.


NAME: Mrs. Lyda Oguche

AGE:                             36 Yrs

SEX:                    Female


RELIGION:        Christianity


OTHER LANGUAGES SPOKEN:  Hausa, Igala, English and


NAME: Mrs. Kankana Bilihatu

AGE:                             40 Yrs

SEX:                    Female

OCCUPATION: Teacher (Vice Principal)

RELIGION:         Christianity


OTHER LANGUAGES SPOKEN:  Hausa, English and Kuturmi


The analysis of the Data collected will be carried out using the Government and Binding Theory.



This theory was formulated by Noam Chomsky in his 1981 lectures on Government and binding theory (Chomsky 1981, Cook 1988). Transformational Generative Grammar is a complex theory involving abstract components. Creating a new simplicity and capturing the internal and universal knowledge of language using small numbers of properties.

The following are the components of Government and Binding theory according to Chomsky 1981 lectures on Government and binding.

X-bar Theory

Control Theory

Bounding Theory

Case Theory

Theta Theory

Binding Theory

Government Theory

We believe that there is a relationship that relates these theories together in one way or the other which am going to bring out diagrammatically below with the use of X-bar to show us their relationship.

1.6.1                            X-BAR  THEORY




CASE THEORY                                                            q Theory

(CASE FILTER)                                                          (q-criterion)

ECP                                                                CONTROL


Modules of Grammar

(Adapted from Sells (1985) and Cook (1988).



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