Accepted paper:

Lexicostratigraphy: Tracing Geographical Location and Linguistic Change in Koring


Linda Nkamigbo (Nnamdi Azikiwe University)

Paper short abstract:

The Igbo people co-habit with the Oring people in Southeastern part of Nigeria. This paper intends to examine the linguistics effects of the Igbo migration on the Koring language. Koring lexical items were investigsted and the result showed that Koring borrowed extensively from Igbo. Also the two languages’ contact resulted in Koring lexical change.

Paper long abstract:

Lexicostratigraphy is an aspect of historical linguistics that makes use of interlingual borrowings in determining the original settlers of a given speech environment. This paper explores this theoretical framework in an attempt to determine the original settlers in Ebonyi state, southeastern Nigeria. The two groups of people being investigated are the Oring people numbering less than three hundred thousand and the Igbo people with a numerical strength of about fifteen million. The Oring and Igbo people speak Koring and Igbo respectively. The two groups occupy the southeastern geopolitical zone in Nigeria but their languages belong to different language families within the Benue-Congo phylum. Koring belongs to the East Benue-Congo while Igbo belongs to the West Benue-Congo. Borrowings were used for two purposes. Firstly, to determine the Oring settlement; then, to examine linguistic change in Koring. An investigation of the two languages' lexical items revealed that the Oring were the first to settle in their present location. This study also showed that the two languages' contact has resulted in Koring lexical change.

panel MMM15
Migration and its linguistic consequences in South Asia and neighbouring regions