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

By Joseph Dele Atoyebi

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

Example text

K>r? mC@]? # [íbé] bush [JOn@? úJQ] ‘open a door’ (c) child [óbOnutù] @? ofòro] [ógbe@n ‘boy’ ? mC@n? íbé] ‘inside a bush’ On the other hand, the realization of [m] is mainly triggered by [+back] nasalized vowels /uo oo ^o/ (cf. 4). SG work place [fV] # [ìgìlà] to pound yam [útQm áyC] ‘the job’ [útQmCfà] ‘workplace/office’ \ [fo@Km ígìlà] ‘to pound yam’ 50 (d) [f>@]? # [ikerese] enter vehicle \ ? 4 The bilabial onset The phonological rules that determine the surface form of the underlying N, namely, [+back]/[ – back], are not as straightforward as they appear.

2), represents a high tone, all instances where any particular vowel is not tone marked represents the mid tone, and the grave accent [ / ] on any tone-bearing segment represents a low tone. Items that are enclosed within slanting lines / / represent phonemic transcription, while those enclosed within square brackets [ ] represent phonetic transcription. 2 Consonant phonemes There are twenty consonant phonemes in Òko. Table 1 below gives the inventory of consonant phonemes in the language. 33 Glottal kp gb velar Palatal alveolar kg n p b Fricatives Labial- Plosives Palato- Alveolar dental m Velar Nasals Labio- Bilabial Table 1: Consonant phonemes of Ò# ko# t d f v s h Affricates l m Trill r Approximants l j w Minimal and near-minimal pairs of some words showing various contrasts between consonant phonemes are presented below.

To dance’ Similarly, vowel elision processes also occur in the formation of nominal compounds. And as it is always the case, it is the first of two contiguous oral vowels at word boundary that is elided (cf. 6). EC@/? EC@] footwear [íwógbigb`] health The examples above reveal that whenever V1+V2 occur at morpheme boundary, V1 is elided; this results in a reduction in the number of syllables. Furthermore, vowel elision also occurs with the question marker í- (7a), the locative marker í- (7b), and the negative marker è- (7c).

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