This chapter gives a general introduction of this research work covering background of the study, classification of African languages, history of Ibiakpan Community in Ikot Ekpene, purpose of the study, scope of the study, significance of the study, method of data collection and delimitation of the study.
Pronouns belong to the closed class or system of words because like the preposition, they are fixed in number. A pronoun is used instead or in place of a noun or noun phrase, mostly to avoid the undesired or unnecessary repetition of that noun or noun phrase.
To put it more simply, a pronoun substitutes or replaces any nominal category which are nouns and noun phrases for instance, in the sentence below.
“Mary told Mfon’s guest that Mfon was away and that Mfon would return soon”
On the other hand to avoid redundancy and unnecessary repetition, the sentence would better be written as Mary told Mfon’s guest, that he was away and he would return soon”.
It is evident and obvious that the pronoun can only substitute or replace a noun that has already been mentioned in a construction and this noun is called the ANTECEDENT OF THE PRONOUN.
According to Essien (1990:138), “pronoun are said to stand for or replace nouns, not just nouns but the entire noun phrase for which the noun is a part”.
In modern syntactic analysis, we do not only deal with pronouns but also the process of changing a noun or noun phrase or nominal element into a pronoun and this is known as PRONOMINALIZATION.
In this research, titled, “the pronominal system of Annang”. Various kinds of pronouns are analysed and the process of pronominalization will also be x-rayed, as it affects this language.
This chapter therefore, is the complete overview as well as the general introduction to the work.
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
ANAANG PEOPLE AND THEIR LANGUAGE
Anaang tribe is made up of a homogenous group of people with common linguistic heritage albeit with slight variations of Ika, Abak, Ukanafun and Ikot Ekpene. The language is used as first language (L1) by the indigenes of the present Abak, Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene, Obot Akara, Oruk Anam, Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun and Ika Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State.
Annang tribe constitutes the second largest ethnic group in Akwa Ibom State after Ibibio. They number 1.4 million following 1991 census result (Okorukpong 1999). They occupy the North-Western part of Akwa Ibom State covering a total area of 2.73sq. kilometers. They are bounded by the people of Abia State to the North, Rivers State to the West, the Ibibio to the South and North-East. Details on the origin, migration and culture of the Annang people are published in Umoren U. E. (ed) 1997 in a Journal entitled AFE: ANAANG JOURNAL OF MINORITIES STUDIES VOL. 1. NO.
1.2.1 CLASSIFICATION OF ANAANG LANGUAGE
Language classification is based on many factors: genetic, socio-linguistics and geo-demography.
Genetically, Anaang is a lower-cross language, of the Benue-Congo sub-family in the Niger-Congo family of languages according to Greenberg’s (1963) classification. In a new classification by Connell (1991), Urua (1992) Annang belongs to a Central Lower Cross group of the Lower Cross Languages with which Ibibio, Efik, and Ukwa belong and also forms a cluster of Languages. In other words, Annang is related to Efik, Ibibio and Ukwa languages as such could be called language cluster