NEGATION IN THE EHUGBO DIALECT OF IGBO
This study focuses on negation in the Ehugbo dialect of Igbo. Every language has a way of showing that an assertion is not true; the Igbo language is not an exception. A language can utilize more than one negative morpheme in its negative expression which may differ depending on the negative construction. This research seeks to identify the negative marking strategies employed in Ehugbo dialect of Igbo. The study is anchored on the Basic Linguistic Theory espoused by Dixon (1997) to describe negation in the dialect and to bring out the features that make the dialect unique and different from other dialects of Igbo. The different affirmative and negative constructions in the dialect are explored using the Emenanjo (1978) classifications of Igbo negation which include: the indicative, the progressive, the perfective, future, the unfulfilled and imperative. Some of these verb forms have sub-categories like the future simple, future immediate, and so on. Using oral interview method of data collection, relevant data have been sourced and purposeful sampling technique was also adopted to select Ehugbo informants, who are competent in the dialect and would offer relevant data. The informants selected were born and bred in Ehugbo communities and still reside there. The researcher being a native speaker of the dialect has also used her residual knowledge. The study observes that Ehugbo dialect has different negative strategies; that dialect is by affixation and tone. The role of this tone, especially, the high tone of the agreement prefixes and on the auxiliary verbs triggers negation in the different constructions.