First published in 1969, this monograph is a descriptive grammar of a dialect of
Ịjọor (Ijaw), a language spoken in the Niger Delta area of Southern Nigeria. The
dialect described, Kolokuma, is a central one, quite widely understood. The
most interesting features of the language, on which the monograph
concentrates, are its syntax and its tonal system. An attempt is made to treat
them according to a generative-transformational theory of language. The tonal
system is of an unusual type whereby the tones that words bear in isolation are
considerably modified according to the syntactic context the word appears in.
Syntax and tones are therefore bound closely together, and the grammar is
written so as to give rules first for the syntactic sequences of words and then
for the tone patterns that will occur on these sequences.