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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Knowledge of phonotactic constraints in Yoruba: a necessary tactic behaviour for linguistic competence in the language
Author:Babarinde, Olusanmi
Periodical:Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (ISSN 1753-5395)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Yoruba language
loan words
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/10228195.2014.973897
Abstract:This paper examines the phonotactics of Yoruba (spoken in Nigeria) with a view to identifying both the combinatory possibilities and un-allowed sound sequences in the language. The paper adopts a descriptive method for data analysis. In examining the combinatory possibilities of vocalic and consonantal sounds, the Ibadan wordlist of 400 basic items (compiled by Ayo Bamgbose) was used via oral interview and tape recording to identify the possible syllable structures of Yoruba. The paper examines the systematic pattern of vowel co-occurrence, the permissible VCV structure, deviation from partial vowel harmony, and how consonant clusters in the borrowed words are broken by the insertion of appropriate epenthetic vowels as determined by articulatory features. However, the paper observes some violations/exceptions to these constraints and elaborates on the reasons for such exceptions. The paper recommends that in teaching the syllable structure and phonotactics of Yoruba, efforts should be made to explain the derivation of these deviations noted in the borrowed words. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]