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Parameters of Intersegmental Co-ordination in Igbo Speech Patterns: a Perceptual Analysis

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Parameters of Intersegmental Co-ordination in Igbo Speech Patterns: a Perceptual Analysis.

ABSTRACT

This thesis examines the parameters of intersegmental co-ordination in Igbo speech patterns using a perceptual analysis approach. The researcher selected Akpo and Adazj-Nnukwu dialects in the Inland West lgbo dialect cluster and Ezza and Amaezu dialects of the Northern Igbo dialect cluster as the representative dialects for the research.

This selection is primarily based on the fact that these dialects have had little or no linguistic investigation. From each of these four dialects, three respondents were chosen. Additional informal speech patterns were got from the speech activities involved during social functions. The researcher used a partially structured oral interview approach in the coIlection of data.

This was facilitated by the use of a high quality, sensitive, tape recorder to ensure the perceptual clarity of the linguistic data. For data analysis, the sets of data were written down orthographically and transcribed phonetically. The P;nglish translations for all the data were includcd.

From the research work, three basic parameters of intersegmental coordination were established in the Igbo formal and informal speech patterns examined. These are the articulatory parameter, the coarticulatory parameter, and the connected speech features parameter.

More specifically, the research revealed the lengthening of vowels and syllabic nasals in a number of environments in the Igbo speech patterns examined. Certain age long phonotactic constraints often reported for Igbo are not coniirmed in the examined speech patterns.

Moreover, it was discovered that whereas phonetic labialization and palatalization of segments and homorganicity of nasals are as a result of anticipatory co-articulation, ilasalization occurs as a result of perseverative co-articulation. The research also shows that some features of intersegmental co-ordination like aspiration, lenition, labialization, and assimilation have no effect on the tones of Igbo speech.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page – – – – – – – – – .. . 111

Approval Page – – – – – – – – iv

Dedication – – – – – – – – – v

Acknowledgements – – – – – – – v i

Abstract – – – – – – – – – .. . Vlll

Notes on Notations and Symbols Used – – – – ix

Table of Contents – – – – – – – – x

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION – – – – – 1

1.1 Background of the Study – – – – – – 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – 2

1.3 Purpose of the Study – – – – – – 3

1.4 Research Questions – – – – – – 3

1.5 Scope of the Study – – – – – – 4

1.6 Significance of the Study – – – – – 4

1.7 Research Methodology – – – – – – 7

1.7.1 Area of the Study – – – – – – – 7

1.7.2 Selection of Respondents – – – – – 8

1.7.3. Nature of Data and Data Collection Method – – 9

1.7.4 Method of Data Analysis – – – – – 9

1.8 Theoretical Framework of the Study – – – – 10

1.9 Limitations of the Study – – – – – – 12

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE KEVIEW – – – – 15

2.1 Theoretical Studies – – – – – – 15

2.2 Empirical Studies – – – – – – – 34

2.3 Summary – – – – – – – 83

CHAPTER 3 THE DIFFERENT PARAMETERS

OF SPEECH SOUNDS’ CO-ORDINATION IN IGBO

3.1 Articulatory Parameter of Intersegmental Co-ordination

in Igbo Speech Patterns – – – – – –

3.1.1 Aspiration – – – – – – – –

3.1.2 Lengthening of Sounds – – – – – –

3.1.3 Vowel Reduction – – – – – – –

3.1.4 Devoicing of Sounds – – – – – –

3.1.5 ‘Breathy-voiced’ Segments – – – – –

3.1.6 Weakening (Lenition) and Strengthening (Fortition) of Consonants – – – – – – –

CHAPTER 4 CO-ARTICULATORY PARAMETER

4.1 Anticipatory Co-articulation – – – –

4.1.1 Labialization – – – – – –

4.1.2 Palatalization – – – – – –

4.1.3 Homorganicity of Nasals – – – –

4.2 Perseverative Co-articulation – – – –

4.2.1 Nasalization – – – – – –

4.2.2 Voicing in Double Articulation – – – –

CHAPTER 5 CONNECTED SPEECH FEATURES

PARAMETER – – – – – – – 146

5.1 Neutralization of Phonotactic Constraints – – – 146

5.2 Liaison – – – – – – – – 148

5.3 Vowel and Consonant Assimilation – – – – 151

5.3.1 Complete Assimilation – – –

5.3.1.1 Progressive Assimilation – – –

5.3.1.2 Regressive Assimilation – – –

5.3.2 Partial Assimilation – – – –

5.3.3 Coalescent Assimilation – – –

5.4 Consonant and Vowel Elision – –

5.5 Effects of Intersegmental Co-ordination on

Tones in lgbo Speech Patterns – –

CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

REFERENCES 

INTRODUCTION

Speech is a continuum. (Schane, 1973; Gimson, 1980). Discrete linguistic units can be described for practical purposes of, among other things, accounting for the articulatory or acoustic features of a segment.

But the fact remains that the speech process involves the combination of these linguistic units in a way that they exhibit certain features that make speech an ever-changing continuum of phonetic and phonemic qualities, quantities, etc.

Thus speech sounds manifest the effects of intersegmental co-ordination. Intersegmental co-ordination, simply put, is the bringing together of the speech sounds of a language for the formation of meaningful utterances in normal flowing speech of the language.

This invariably causes the sound segments to change to something different from what they would ordinarily be were they pronounced in isolation.

It would really be a taxing but rewarding venture for a researcher to delve into the analysis of Igbo speech patterns with a view to elaborating on the features that manifest as a result of intersegmental co-ordination activities that occur in both formal and informal Igbo speech patterns.

REFERENCES

Abcrcrombie, D. (1 967). Elements of Generul Phonetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univcrsity Press.

Adcyemo, P.O.(1977). Principles of Ehcutior~ and Pructice of Education. Ado-Ekiti: Omolayo Standard Press.

Agara, S.D. (2001). ‘”l’he Morphology of lzzi Dialect and Standard lgbo: A Comparative Study”. 13.A. Project, Ihguistics Department, Nnamdi Azikiwc University, Awka.

Agbedo, C.IJ. (2001). Linguistic Vuriution und Change in fgbo: A Qmntittrtive Approuch. Ns~ikka:A CE Kespurccs Konsult

Aitchison, J. (1989). The Articulute Marrrrnul: An fntroduction to Psycholingzlistics. London: I-lutchinson.

Akmajian, A., 1t.A. Dcmers, A.K. Farmer and R.M. 1-larnish. (2001). Linguistics: An Introduction to Lunguqy and Corrrrnunicufion. NewDclhi: I’rentice 1 Iall of India Private Limited.

CSN Team.

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