Idris O̩láwálé Allison
|Ekiti State University, Nigeria|
This paper describes and documents how the phonological process of assimilation manifests in Úwù, a minor and endangered language spoken by a minority ethnic group domiciled in Àyèré community in Ìjùmú Local Government Area of Kogí State, Nigeria. The data analyzed in the paper were sourced from the native speakers of Úwù who are very fluent in the language. With the aid of the 1000 word-list of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, about five hundred lexical items of Úwù were gathered. Analysis of data is premised on Autosegmental Phonology which assumes that prosodic features and segmental features are autonomous, and are usually synchronised by the Well-Formedness Condition (WFC). Findings in the paper show that assimilation is rarely observed in both verb + noun and noun + noun constructions unlike what obtains in most Benue-Congo languages with which Úwù shares affinities. However, the environments where the assimilation process manifests include: reduplication, negation and interrogative expressions. The process can also be observed in cases that involve nasalization, labialization and Affix harmony. The paper, therefore, validates the position of the earlier scholars who averred that assimilation is one of the most productive processes observed in the phonology of all languages.
Proceedings of the 6th Annual Linguistics Conference at UGA
Published January 19, 2022
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