Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics: Volume 5
  • ISSN 1572-0268
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0276
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


In her pioneering research on what she described as the subject–object switching (SOS) phenomenon of the Igbo language, U.walaka (1988) explains the phenomenon as the formation of a sentence pair with the same verb but involving a switch of subject and object between the two sentences. This paper takes up and strives to improve on this pioneering work. It is argued that while some of the earlier conclusions on the phenomenon could indeed be described as inappropriate, the conclusions might definitely have been influenced by two main factors. The first is the usual lexical gaps in translating from Igbo to English, while the second is most likely the transformational approach used in the analysis. A ‘new’ insight into the phenomenon is proposed through the application of Cognitive Grammar’s concept of construal, with the conclusion that the SOS phenomenon involves two construction specific orientations: an agent-orientation and a patient-orientation. It is further shown how the adopted approach not only contradicts the lexicon-OR-syntax approach in Igbo linguistics, but also provides an insight into the two different citation forms connected with the two orientations.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error