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Elaboration of Segmental Phonemes of Dagbani Dialects
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Volume 7, 2020
Issue 1 (March)
Pages: 1-13   |   Vol. 7, No. 1, March 2020   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 40   Since Feb. 23, 2020 Views: 857   Since Feb. 23, 2020
Abdul-Razak Inusah, Department of Languages, Tamale College of Education, Tamale, Ghana.
The paper discusses elaboration of segmental phonemes of Dagbani dialects, a Gur language spoken in the Northern part of Ghana. It examines the phonemes of Tomosili, Nayahili and Nanunli dialects within the framework of the phoneme concept developed by Bloomfield. The focus in this paper is to establish the phoneme inventories of Dagbani and to identify the phoneme system in the language by using the minimal pair test to test for the possible phonemes in Dagbani dialects. Based on the data available for the paper, it describes the phonological phonemes and the distribution of consonants and vowels across the three dialects. It hypothesizes that Dagbani has thirty-two (32) consonants and (14) vowels considering the three dialects. The alternation of the vowels /a~ɔ/, /a~o/ and /i~u/ show dialectal variation between the dialects; the consonants /z/, /ʔ/ and /ɲ/ also correspond to [ʤ, h] and [n] to show dialectal variation in Dagbani dialects. It suggests that all the vowels in Dagbani do not occur in word final position across the dialects in CVCV words; but [+ATR] vowels occur in CV words while [-ATR] vowels occur in CVC words.
Dagbani, Dialect, Consonant, Phoneme, Vowel
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