International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Coordination and Subordination in the Ejagham Language
Mbu Martha Njui

In linguistics, coordination is a complex syntactic structure that links together two or more elements, these elements are called conjuncts. The unique properties of coordinate structures have motivated theoretical syntax to draw a broad distinction between coordination and subordination. Coordination and subordination are a common but important syntactic phenomena exhibited by natural languages. Coordination means combining two sentences while subordination is a principle of hierarchical organization of linguistic units. In investigating this phenomenon, scholars have paid attention to its associated syntactic features such as the connecting devices, structural types, compression rules and constraining principles. Like many other languages, Ejagham employs two major categories to conjoin phrases and clauses. These are the overt and the covert categories. In linguistics, a feature of a word or phrase is said to be covert if there is no surface evident of its existence within that phrase, while overt is an adjective which means open to view or knowledge; not concealed. B. L. Whorf distinguished between overt and covert categories, referring to them as pheno- and cryptotypes, respectively. Phenotypes are classical morphological categories with explicit grammatical meaning and formal indication that is a morpheme, while cryptotypes are covert categories, being based upon the semantic and syntactic features of words with no explicit morphological expression, but essentially instrumental for the construction and understanding of utterances; they influence the collocation of a given word with other words in a sentence. This paper describes the structure of this phenomenon in Ejagham (a Bantu Language spoken in the South West region of the republic of Cameroon). The structural approach is adopted in the data presentation to highlight on some cross- Linguistic universals on coordination and subordination in order to properly characterize the Linguistic features in Ejagham.

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