What is the Phonological Word in Dagbani? A Positional Faithfulness Account

Authors

  • Fusheini Hudu Department of Linguistics University of Ghana Legon, Accra, Ghana

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4314/gjl.v3i1.23

Keywords:

Dagbani, nasal place assimilation, vowel harmony, underspecifiation, positional faithfulness

Abstract

This paper offers a phonological diagnostic for defining the word in Dagbani, a Gur language of Ghana. It shows that a morphological unit that constitutes a complete word blocks contrast-neutralising phonological processes from target segments within its boundaries when triggered across its boundary. In sub-word units, these processes (e.g. nasal place assimilation, vowel harmony, segmental deletion) apply to target sounds without restrictions. The result is the maintenance of contrast in words and neutralisation of contrast in sub-words. The paper further argues that the asymmetrical application of these rules is an indication of a morphological strength distinction between the word as a strong position where segments are fully specified for phonological features, and the sub-word domain as a non-privileged position where segments may be underspecified for features. A formal analysis of the asymmetry is presented using the theory of positional faithfulness within the framework of Optimality Theory.

Author Biography

Fusheini Hudu, Department of Linguistics University of Ghana Legon, Accra, Ghana

Dr. Fusheini Angulu Hudu PhD (University of British Columbia) is a Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Ghana. Research focus: phonetics, phonology, morphology, psycholinguistics, Dagbani.

References

Alderete, John. D., 2003. Structural disparities in Navajo word domains: A case for lexcal faithfulness. The Linguistic Review 20: 111-157.

Archangeli, Diana, and Douglas Pulleyblank, 1994. Grounded phonology. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Baković, Eric, 2000. Harmony, dominance and control. PhD Dissertation, Rutgers University.

Beckman, Jill, and Catherine Ringen, 2004. Contrast and redundancy in OT. In Proceedings of the 23rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, ed.

Vineeta Chand, Ann Kellerher, Angelo J. Rodríguez, and Benjamin Schmeiser: 101-114. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Beckman, Jill, 1998. Positional faithfulness. PhD Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Beckman, Jill, 1997. Positional faithfulness, positional neutralization and Shona height harmony. Phonology 14: 1-46.

Benzing, Brigitta, 1971. Neues Material zur Morphologie der Nominalklassen in Dagbani. Hamburger Beiträge zur Afrika-Kunde, Bd. 14, Afrikanische Sprachenund Kulturen, Ein Querschnitt. 66-78.

Blench, Roger, 2004. Dagbani-English dictionary. With contributions from Harold Blair Tamakloe, Harold Lehmann, Lee Shin Chul, André Wilson, Maurice Pageault, Knut Olawsky and Tony Naden. Tamale.

Casali, Roderic F., 1997. Vowel elision in hiatus context: Which vowel goes? Language 73: 493-533.

Casali, Roderic F., 1996. Resolving hiatus. PhD Dissertation, University of California Los Angeles.

Dakubu, Mary Esther Kropp, 1997. Oti-Volta vowel harmony and Dagbani. Gur Papers 2: 81-88. Ghana Journal of Linguistics 3.1: 1–44 (2014)

Dixon, Robert Malcolm Ward, and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, 2002. Word: a typological framework. In Word: a cross-linguistic typology, ed. Robert Malcolm Ward Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, chapter 1: 1-41. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Goldsmith, John, 1990. Autosegmental and metrical phonology. Oxford: Blackwell.

Harris, James W., 1969. Spanish phonology. Cambridge: MIT Press.

House, A S., 1957. Analogue studies of nasal consonants. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders 22: 190-204.

Howe, Darin, and Douglas Pulleyblank, 2004. Harmonic scales as faithfulness. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 49: 1-49.

Hudu, Fusheini, 2014. [ATR] feature involves a distinct tongue root articulation: Evidence from ultrasound imaging. Lingua 143: 36-51.

Hudu, Fusheini, 2013. Dagbani tongue-root harmony: triggers, targets and blockers. Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 34: 47-73.

Hudu, Fusheini, 2012. Dagbani focus particles: a descriptive study. Journal of West African Languages 39: 97-129.

Hudu, Fusheini, 2010. Dagbani tongue-root harmony: a formal account with ultrasound investigation. PhD Dissertation, University of British Columbia.

Hudu, Fusheini, 2005. Number marking in Dagbani. Msc. thesis, University of Alberta.

Itô, Junko, and Armin Mester, 1993. Licensed segments and safe paths. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 38: 197-213.

Itô, Junko, Armin Mester, and Jaye Padgett, 1995. Licensing and underspecification in Optimality Theory. Linguistic Inquiry 26: 571-613.

Kim, Eun-Sook, 2003. Theoretical issues in Nuu-cha-nulth phonology and morphology. PhD Dissertation, University of British Columbia.

Kim, Eun-Sook, and Douglas Pulleyblank, 2009. Glottalization and lenition in Nuchanulth. Linguistic Inquiry 40: 567-617.

Kirchner, Robert, 1993. Turkish vowel harmony and disharmony: an Optimality Theoretic account. Presented at Rutgers Optimality Workshop I.

Ladefoged, Peter, 1968. A phonetic study of West African languages: An auditory instrumental survey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition.

Leben, William, 1973. Suprasegmental phonology. PhD Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Letterman, Rebecca Susan, 1997. The effects of word-internal prosody in Sinhala: A constraint-based analysis. PhD Dissertation, Cornell University.

Malécot, A., 1960. Vowel nasality as a distinctive feature in American English. Language 26: 222 – 229.

Malécot, A., 1956. Acoustic cues for nasal consonants: an experimental study involving tape-splicing technique. Language 32: 274-284.

McCarthy, John J., 2009. Harmony in Harmonic Serialism. University of Massachusetts Amherst.

McCarthy, John J., 2004. Headed spans and autosegmental spreading. University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

McCarthy, John J., 1988. Feature geometry and dependency: a review. Phonetica 43: 84-108.

McCarthy, John J., and Alan Prince, 1995. Faithfulness and reduplicative identity. In University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics, ed. Jill Beckman, Laura Walsh Dickey, and Suzanne Urbanczyk, volume 8: 294-384. Amherst: University of Massachusetts.

McCarthy, John J., and Alan Prince, 1990. Prosodic morphology and templatic morphology. In Perspectives in Arabic linguistics II, ed. Mushira Eid and John J.

McCarthy, volume 72 of Current issues in linguistic theory: 1-54. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Miehe, Gudrun, 2012. Dagbani. In Noun class systems in Gur languages Vol. II , ed. Gudrun Miehe, Brigitte Reineke, and Kerstin Winkelmann: 330-349. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.

Miehe, Gudrun, Brigitte Reineke, and Kerstin Winkelmann, ed., 2012. Noun class systems in Gur languages Vol. II . Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.

Miehe, Gudrun, and Kerstin Winkelmann, ed., 2007. Noun class systems in Gur languages. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.

Myers, Scott, 1997. OCP effects in Optimality Theory. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 15: 847-892.

Naden, Tony, 1988. The Gur Languages. In The languages of Ghana, ed. Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu: 12-49. London: Kegan Paul.

Ohala, John J, 1975. Phonetic explanations for nasal sound patterns. In Nasalfest: Papers from Symposium on Nasals and Nasalisation, ed. John J. Ohala C. A.

Feguson, L. M. Hyman: 289-316. Stanford: Stanford University.

Olawsky, Knut J., 2002. What is a word in Dagbani? In Word: a cross-linguistic typology, ed. Robert Malcolm Ward Dixon and Alexandra Y Aikhenvald: 205-226. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Olawsky, Knut J., 1999. Aspects of Dagbani grammar: with special emphasis on phonology and morphology. LINCOM Europa.

Padgett, Jaye, 2002. Feature classes in phonology. Language 78: 81-110.

Padgett, Jaye, 1995. Partial class behaviour and nasal place assimilation. In Proceedings of the 1995 Southern Workshop on Optimality Theory, ed. Keiichiro Suzuki and Dirk Elzinga: 145-183. Tuscon, Arizona.

Padgett, Jaye, 1994. Stricture and nasal place assimilation. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 12: 465-513.

Prince, Alan, and P. Smolensky, 1993/2004. Optimality Theory: constraint interaction in generative grammar. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

Pulleyblank, Douglas, 1997. Optimality Theory and features. In Optimality Theory an overview, ed. Diana Archangeli and D. Terence Langendoen: 59-101. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.

Pulleyblank, Douglas, 1996. Neutral vowels in Optimality Theory: a comparison of Yoruba and Wolof. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 41: 295-347.

Sacia, C. F., and C. J. Beck, 1926. The power of fundamental speech sounds. Bell System Technical Journal 5: 393-403.

Smith, Jennifer L., 2001. Lexical category and phonological contrast. In PETL 6: Proceedings of the Workshop on the Lexicon in Phonetics and Phonology, ed. Robert Kirchner and Joe Pater: 61-72.

Troubetzkoy, Nikolai Sergeevich, 1939. Grundzüge der Phonologie. Sprachwissenschaft. Ein Reader 2.

Walker, Rachel, 1998. Nasalization, neutral segments, and opacity effects. PhD Dissertation, University of California Santa Cruz.

Wilson, Colin, 2003. Analyzing unbounded spreading with constraints: marks, targets, and derivations. Los Angeles: University of California Los Angeles.

Wilson, W. A. A., 1972. An introductory course on Dagbani. Ghana Institute of Linguistic, Literacy and Bible Translation.

Zoll, Cheryl, 2004. Positional asymmetries and licensing. In Optimality Theory in phonology, a reader, ed. John J. McCarthy: 365-378. Oxford: Blackwell.

Zoll, Cheryl, 1997. Conflicting directionality. Phonology 14: 263-286.

Downloads

Published

2014-07-01

How to Cite

Hudu, F. (2014). What is the Phonological Word in Dagbani? A Positional Faithfulness Account. Ghana Journal of Linguistics, 3(1), 1-44. https://doi.org/10.4314/gjl.v3i1.23