This study is a calculated attempt at making explicit what is implicit about the aspect of “noun phrase” in koeneom language spoken in SHENDAM local government of Plateau State. The noun phrase is a group of words which have the noun as the head. Its structure is determined by the type of noun that exist in the constituent. In the same manner, the noun type is determined by the sub-categorization features of the noun. In this type of phrase, the noun carries the highest load of semantics information. This study analytically examines the minimal noun phrase and its maximum phrasal expansion.
As an introductory chapter, attempts shall be tirelessly made to trace the origin, socio-cultural profile, administrative system, religion, geographical location, topographical (life zone) economy, marriage, map genetic classification and burial rites. In this same chapter, effort shall also be extended to the organization of study, theoretical frame work together with a review of the chosen theory data collection and analysis and some syntactic concepts.
There are contradictory versions about the origin of the koeneom. Some primarily and secondary of oral base, assumed monolithic origin of the koeneom.
However, all these contradictory version reflect migrations and interrelations. A popular legend of the koeneom claimed that they were evidently influenced by the attempt to link their origin to the universal respective and centre of old civilization. This legend claimed that they migrated from France to their present abode because of the unlimited economic potential possessed by the area.
Linguistics consideration strongly point to the fact that all koeneom could not have one origin nor came together into central Nigeria, as they do not speak the same language. Infact, the differences in dialect from one koeneom group to another further point to the fact that they have distinct origin.
Literarily, the word “koe” means ‘to’ while “neom” means ‘refuse’. This name emanated neigbour over a river dividing them. The koeneom were the rightful owner of the river but their neigbour were immense economic benefits.
The koeneom could not stand akimbo and see themselves been derived of their inalienable rights they beseeched terrestrial powers from their ancestors with which most of the neigbouring competitors were striked to death.
The neigbouring town later compromises their stand and left the land for its rightful owner till today the koeneoms are respected from their traditional prowess.
1.2 SOCIO-CULTURAL PROFILE
The koeneoms are known for unshakable and unflinching tolerance even with other distinct neigbour. They believe these element (peace and tolerant) are indispensable for survival and productivity. The puzzles of koeneom social, psychology attract scholarly interest to examine the binding forces. Other groups are most comfortable with them for their humor, human relations, common facial marks, sharing of foods, traditional and cult consultations, moving together in the market or social occasion and sometimes forging common origin.
The koeneom are dominantly traditional worshippers with every families having its own ancestral shrines, town shrines and clan shrines. The intrusion of colonial masters had propagated Christian region to the point that it has more preference today than traditional religion. However, Islamic religion is practiced by only those who are true son of the soil. The language of worship is HAUSA. For the traditional worshipper more allegiance is paid to their kins and cultural aim religions head.
Festival are organized to unite their kins from far and near. The chief priest is regarded as the ruler of the tribe only but without defined territory ceremonies are some of the areas as for hosting neigbouring groups. Some of the ceremonies are burial, marriage and annual festival. There is a particular festival celebrated to commemorate the death of their heroes who had fought tirelessly to emanated them from the shackles of invaders and other forms of oppression. Others are celebrated after the drop of the first rain. There is also an annual festival celebrated for this festival, an antelope must be cast to appease the gods.
Agriculture is the mainstay of koeneom’s economy. The people here are gainfully employed in farming. Commercial and subsistence farming are dominant. Yam, maize and guinea corn are the major articles of trade. The land has varying proportion of silica, salt nitrogen and phosphors. It is alluvial and sticky in the paddy areas and sandy on the uplands. They ensure proper growth of crops. In other words, the boom in agriculture is related to the fertility of the soils. It is pertinent to note here that farming in this region is of great antiquity agricultural produce are sold to buyers from the urban centres.
However, agriculture here doesn’t possess the rich potentialities that belong to it in the other regions. Crops are sold at give away prices.
1.2.4 Marriage, Divorce/Rites
Marriage is an inescapable necessity in every human society. It is the formal universal approach to procreation. The koeneom like any other tribes have approach a marriage system. After a marriage proposal had been cons cited by a girl and her family, the man is respected to pay a bride price. The bride price is usually bearable because of the stagnant economy of the area. The money is combined with material things like, wrapper traditionally called “shinggida” millet and local bear for the bride’s family.
The second step is that the groom’s farmland is visited to ascertain his financial status. This is executed without his groom knowledge. Having certified that groom is financially capable the next step is introduction of both family and subsequently marriage ceremony.
After the marriage ceremony, the bride is also expected to different type of physical fitness exercise to keep her warm for the routine duties ahead of him.
1.2.5 Administration System
The unit of authority start from the house hold under the house head. The house hood head area answerable to ward head. They are also answerable to the village head while all the village head are answerable to the chief who might even be the village. Title holders have overlapping roles in the palace but the most significant ones are the secretary and the chief security officer. The committed leadership attracted the admiration of Arab and European writers and remarked that “they were world famous in governance, better than European, Asian or American systems” Ibn Batata, are knowned historian also observe that
“The Negros possess some admirable quantities they are seldomly unjust and have a greater abhorrence of injustice than any other people. Their kings show no mercy to any one who is guilty of the least act. There is complete security in their country. Neither travelers nor inhabitant in it have anything to fear from robbers or men of violence. They do not confiscate the property of any man”
1.2.6 Geographical Location
Koeneom people are located at Northern part of shendam local government of plateau state and eastern part of mikang local government area of plateau state. The koeneom village was formally a ward under shendam province and later relocate to mikang local government area. The major town around koenenom are Doka, Zomo, Piapun. The local government area is divided into four administration district of shendam, Dorok. The major occupation of the people is farming, trading, craftwork e.g pottery.
People here derive their livelihood from the environment in similar ways from the environmental wealth and this thus have a strong traditional affinities. The most obvious physical feature of the areas are the topography and drainage with ranges of hills of base granite outcropping with kurape hills.
The hills protrude through Jos but cut off with plains making it becoming dotted to the confluence of Kogi state. These hills serve as waterhead for river Gurara like in Kaduna and Nasarawa respectively. There are also many patches of densely thick forest of several square kilometer, some of he running along the banks of river. The natural environment and the water opportunities have greatly influenced human habitation in the southern plateau. The plains are between 500-600meters above sealevel with some hills as high as 900meters above the sealevel made of older granite and black rocks (Gojeh, Jatau, and Mamman 1998:2426)
1.2.8 Educational Background
The koeneoms are fairly educated. Though, the belief that forming is profitable has improsened their psyche to nothing but agriculture but we can say to a considerable degree that a few number of the people are educationally motivated. A survey of some of the primary school around the area reveals that more children are enrolling in school than never before.
Genetic classification is an offshoot of genesis while genesis is derived from the word ‘gene’ cell language could be genetically related. Language of the world can be divided into certain compartments based on the striking similarities.
Languages of the world are genetically classified based on the similarities in their linguistics item. However, language might be similar because they belong to the universal sets, this doesn’t mean that such resemblance can be traced to common origin.