Ethelbert E. Kari
University of Port Harcourt
Degema is a Delta Edoid language spoken by about 50,000 people in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State of Nigeria. It is spoken by two autonomous communities: Usokun-Degema and Degema Town, which have a common origin. Little work has been done on Degema compared with other Rivers State languages. The data were collected and analysed between April and September 1996 when the author was assigned the course Grammar of Nigerian Language to teach. The linguistic analysis was combined with the author's native speaker's intuition, and tested against the intuition of other native speakers.
The study discusses phonology (e.g. vowel harmony, prenasalised stops, tones), nominal morphology (e.g., noun class prefixes, gerund, agent noun, state nouns), verbal morphology (e.g., complex stems, tonal behaviour of stems, tense, aspect, modality, negation), and syntax (e.g., noun phrases, concord in the noun phrase, co-ordination, subordination, relativization, cliticisation, serials verbs, verb-inherent complement sequence, focus) of Degema. The study concludes with a sample text with interlinear translation.
ISBN 9783895862144. Languages of the World/Materials 180. 67pp. 1997.