Download A reference grammar of Oko: A West Benue-Congo language of by Joseph Dele Atoyebi PDF

By Joseph Dele Atoyebi

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Additional resources for A reference grammar of Oko: A West Benue-Congo language of North-Central Nigeria

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3, I give a detailed discussion on the identity of the N-coda. 1 Nasal stops In the production of nasal consonants, the velum is lowered to allow air to escape through the nasal cavity and subsequently through the nose. However, there is also an oral closure at the lips or at the alveolar ridge. 37 Sounds produced through this gesture are referred to as nasal sounds. This gesture is in contrast with what obtains in the production of oral sounds which involves the raising of the velum, forcing air to escape only through the oral cavity.

Similarly, when the nasalized vowel [ã] occurs across morpheme boundaries, it can trigger [n] or [m]. The choice of any of the variants is also determined by the place of articulation of the onset consonant. For instance, [ã] triggers [n] if the onset is bilabial. In example (39a-d), [ã] occurs after the following bilabial consonants /p w m/. pa@]? sCrC] \ ? pa@]? + [ófú] \ (c) [Wwa@]? # [úwó] \ (d) [ma@]? rC@]K \ (b) head kill sit bone dog front ? pa@nófu] ‘skull’ ? úwó] [Wwa@n ‘kill a dog’ ? rC@]K [ma@n ‘sit in front’ On the other hand, where the onset consonant is non-bilabial, the surface form of the syllable-final N is always [m] after the nasalized [ã].

This view adequately captures the situation in Òko. The only area where Òko differs is that the final N has not been completely deleted. It is still part of 47 the sound system of the language. Òko is still in the second stage of Greenberg’s evolution schema, that is, VN > zN. The following discussions and examples will shed more light on this claim. 3 Identifying the N-coda When a word is pronounced in isolation, the syllable-final N is not articulated. But when words or morphemes occur in connected speech, for example, in compounds and in phrases, the syllable-final N gets a surface form.

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