All proceedings
Enter a document #:
Enter search terms:

Info for readers Info for authors Info for editors Info for libraries Order form Shopping cart

Bookmark and Share Paper 2192

On Nasals and Nasalization in Òko
Joseph Dele Atóyèbí
131-136 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper reexamines the claims about the historical source of nasalized vowels in languages. The author makes use of data from Òko, a West-Benue Congo language, to show that nasalized vowels evolved from a vN sequence (Greenberg 1966), and not CNV like some scholars have claimed for some African languages (Hyman 1972; Williamson 1973). The facts about nasalization in Òko are stated as follows: nasalized vowels are oral vowels in the environment of a syllable-final N; the syllable-final N only gets a surface realization across a morpheme boundary; the surface form of the syllable-final N alternates between [n] and [m]. The choice of any of the variants of the syllable-final N is phonologically predictable. That is, [n] is triggered by [-back] vowels, while [m] is triggered by [+back] vowels. However, the rule is not as straightforward as described. Under certain phonological conditions, there is an overlap in the distribution of the variants of the N-coda. This is as a result of the language's effort to prohibit the co-occurrence of adjacent identical segments at the suprasegmental level.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: Linguistic Research and Languages in Africa
edited by Akinloye Ojo and Lioba Moshi
Table of contents
Printed edition: $270.00