SEGMENTAL ASSIMILATION PROCESSES IN ÈWÙLÙ

Don Chukwuemeka Utulu

Abstract


Segmental assimilation processes are phonological patterns that involve the adoption of a feature(s) by one segment from another thereby making the two assume total or partial structural identity. The objective of this study is two folds: (1) to use existing Èwùlù data to examine a number of segmental assimilation processes: vowel nasalisation, vowel (dis)harmony, homorganic nasal assimilation and vowel assimilation deployed to modify sound segments in local contexts in native phonology of Èwùlù (Igboid: Delta State, Nigeria). (2) To provide further insight into some recurrent natural feature spreading phonological phenomena found in Benue Congo languages of Nigeria from a dialectal perspective. Since assimilation processes/rules are characterised as association or spread of feature(s) of one segment A to a neighbouring segment B following the theoretical assumptions of phonologists of the Post-SPE era, the framework adopted in this work is autosegmental theory (Goldsmith, 1976). In the study, the autosegmental alignment of the features, [±nasal]; [±ATR]; [labial], [coronal], [dorsal]; [±high] and [±back] are explored to capture the association/spread of feature(s) from trigger segments to target segments in the aforementioned assimilation processes most of which typify feature-filling assimilation processes.  

 

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Keywords


Èwùlù, segmental assimilation processes, trigger segments, target segments, features

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References


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