• Akase Tiav Thomas
Keywords: Ambiguity, Lexical and Structural Ambiguity, Tiv



This study examines ambiguity in Tiv discourse and how it can be interpreted. Ambiguity connotes a situation where a word or sentence has more than one meaning or interpretation. Ambiguity affects communication in language where meaning is distorted between a speaker and a listener, leading to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. This study therefore examines ambiguity in general with emphasis on lexical and structural ambiguities. Other causes or factors that are responsible for ambiguity in Tiv such as homonymy and polysemy are also examined. The study reveals instances of such ambiguities in Tiv discourse. The choice of appropriate words and the role of context are used to disambiguate such ambiguities. This is done, in order to ensure effective communication in Tiv as well as to contribute to the development of the Tiv language.     


Author Biography

Akase Tiav Thomas

Department of Languages and Linguistics,

Nasarawa State University, Keffi


Abraham, R.C. (1940). The Tiv religion. London: Crown Agents.
Akase, T.T. (2017). Tiv personal name: form and meaning. Mauritius: Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP).
Akwanya, A. (2002). Semantics and discourse theories of meaning and textual analysis. Enugu: ACENA Publishers.
Dzurgba, A.A. (1985). Tivian people and their traditional religion: the critical historical, sociological and ethnical perspective. Katsina-Ala: Celebrity Press.
Ejele, P.E. (2003). Semantics, lexical structure and lexical relations. Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt Press.
Fromkin, V. & Rodman, R. (1993). An introduction to language (5th edition). Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Gbor, J.T. (1981). Mdugh u Tiv man mnyer ve ken Benue. Jos: Gaskiya Corporation.
Kempson, R.M. (1999). Semantic theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leech, G.N. (1981). Semantics: the study of meaning. London: Penguin Books.
Makar, T. (1975). A synopsis of the history of Tiv people. Makurdi: Sato Press.
Malmkjaer, K. (2002). The linguistic encyclopedia (2nd edition). London: Routledge.
Matthews, P.H. (1997). The concise oxford dictionary of linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ngutswen, F. (2013). Tiv man tsombur na. Makurdi: FBTN Ventures.
Ogbulogo, C.U. (2005). Concepts in semantics. Lagos: Sam Iroanusi.
Ozo-mekuri, N. (1999). Semantics and the frontiers of communication. Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt Press.
Pushpinder, S. & Jindal, D.V (2010). Introduction to linguistics, language, grammar and semantics. New Delhi: PHI Learning Private Limited.
Tseror, T. (1992). Tiv and their neighbours. Jos: Alpha Press.
Ullmann, S. (1977). Semantics: an introduction to the science of meaning. Oxford: Blackwell.
Yule, G. (2007). The study of language (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.