Journal of African Languages and Linguistics
Ed. by Ameka, Felix K. / Amha, Azeb
2 Issues per year
IMPACT FACTOR increased in 2015: 0.583
Rank 89 out of 179 in category Linguistics in the 2015 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report/Social Sciences Edition
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.396
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 1.305
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.684
This paper presents a descriptive study of nasals and nasal harmony in Ikwere, an Igboid language of Nigeria. In the variety studied here, nasality is surface-contrastive in vowels but not in consonants. Nasality has the status of a morpheme-level feature which is either present or absent in each morpheme (root or affix). If present, it is predictably distributed across nonobstruent sounds by a system of nasal harmony which operates within the domain of the simple word, spreading nasality bidirectionally until blocked by an obstruent. The class of nasalizing sounds includes the nonexplosive stops ḅ and ’ḅ , confirming results of an earlier study showing these sounds to be nonobstruents (Clements and Osu 2002). The analysis brings to light some of the basic typological parameters that characterize nasal harmony in Ikwere, as well as an idiosyncratic restriction to the “phonological root”, a domain which excludes initial syllables in noun roots that are homophonous with prefixes in other words. The paper concludes with a summary and discussion of implications for the feature analysis and typology of stops.
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