Olaide Oladimeji


This study investigates the syllable structure of Ikhin, an Edoid language in South-South, Nigeria. Being a phonological study, it is the first full-length investigation and analysis of Ikhin syllable structure which hitherto had not been studied to this depth. The previous study mainly dwells on the phonetics of the language. I examine the syllable structure of Ikhin at the phonetic and phonemic levels. The study observes that the Ikhin syllable structure types are CV and V at the phonemic level. Further reviews show that Ikhin does not have syllabic nasal as is found in some other Edoid languages. This paper observes that these phonemic syllable structure types, CV and V, sometimes have surface CCV structures. The study reveals that the C2, in CCV syllable is due to the creation of approximants and the possible C2 is [j] or [w]. As in the case of related Edoid languages that have been previously described, the study confirms that the created approximants are a result of the glide formation rule. In the case of [Cj], previous study on Ikhin language observes an assimilatory process known as palatalization. Therefore, this study undertakes some analyses of these suspicious segments [Cj] and [Cw] in Ikhin with a view to confirming that it is a sequence of a consonant and a glide, not a single segment. Thus, using a descriptive approach, the paper presents syllable structure processes such as glide formation, vowel elision and vowel insertion in Ikhin. Optimality theory is used in analyzing and presenting the data.


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syllable structure, Ikhin, Edoid language, phonological study, optimality theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejals.v5i2.365


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