A Morpho-Syntactic Analysis of Adverbs in Standard Yoruba

Folúkë BõláÂlé Adékëyè, Michael A. Abíõdún


The adverb is one of the five commonly accepted lexical classes established in the standard Yorùbá language. Recently, controversies started to emerge on whether the adverb exists as a lexical class in the language and what items its members are. Some items classified as its members are variously classified by different scholars (Awóbùlúyì 1978, Bámgbóýé 1967, 1990, Ödëtókun 1998, among others). There is no consensus yet despite the various studies. This is why we want to look deeper into the so-called class of adverbs using the morpho-syntactic approach of the minimalist theory of Radford (1999). The morpho-syntactic approach we are employing here is suggested by Radford (1999:38) as the evidence for postulating that words belong to lexical categories. We look at the morphological process of the two lexical classes over which there are no controversies, noun and verb. We find out that the adverb has no morphological process by which its members can be derived in the language like the classes of noun and verb. Syntactically, the members classified together as a class of adverb have nothing in common for them to be grouped together as a lexical class.  The paper concludes that adverb is not one of the lexical classes attested in standard Yorùbá.


Morpho-Syntax, Adverb, Lexical, Categories, Analysis.

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