Phonological processes in Ọrọ compound nouns
Keywords:Compounding, compound nouns, syllable weight, moraic phonology, internal structure, phonological processes
This paper deals with the phonological processes that occur because of compounding in Ọrọ. The author concentrates on two processes – consonant weakening and assimilation. The data for the study were elicited from three selected native speakers of Ọrọ using the 1700 SIL Comparative African Wordlist, as well as a structured wordlist. The data were carefully coded and transcribed for analysis. Analyzing the data within the moraic phonological framework clearly brought out the modifications that segments undergo, thereby making explicit, the alteration in the syllable internal structure of the compounds as maintained in this paper. From the results of the analysis, the phonological processes entail that Ọrọ phonotactics play a major role in defining structurally preferred lexical items in the Ọrọ language. It is therefore opined that compounding in Ọrọ is defined by the phonotactic constraints of the language.
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