Vowel deletion in Àbèsàbèsì: A case study of Èkìròmì
Keywords:Àbèsàbèsì, Èkiròmì, Benue-Congo, Vowel Deletion, Phonology
Àbèsàbèsì is an endangered Nigerian language spoken in nine settlements within the Akoko North East and Akoko North West Local Government Areas (LGA) of Ondo State by an estimated total of less than 7,000 speakers. In this language, as in many other Benue-Congo languages, it is a common case that two vowels meet across a word boundary. Among different phonological processes that are triggered by the occurrence of V1 # V2, this paper investigates the nature of vowel deletion. It presents Àbèsàbèsì data from the Èkìròmì dialect as spoken in Ìkáràm. Èkìròmì attests two types of V1 # V2 vowel deletion and certain environments where no vowel deletion takes place. This paper attempts to clarify the distributional properties of these two types of vowel deletion and to explain the cases where no deletion takes place. It shows that V1 # V2 vowel deletion, in most cases, affects the first of two consecutive vowels (V1) and proposes an explanation of the few cases, where the second vowel (V2) is affected.
Keywords: Àbèsàbèsì, Èkiròmì, Benue-Congo, Vowel Deletion, Phonology
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