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postgraduate thesis: A description of the phonology and morphology of Sokoto Fula

TitleA description of the phonology and morphology of Sokoto Fula
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2019
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Alkali, A. A.. (2019). A description of the phonology and morphology of Sokoto Fula. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractAbstract of thesis entitled “A Description of the Phonology and Morphology of Sokoto Fula” Submitted by Abubakar Atiku Alkali for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Hong Kong in January 2019 This thesis, which studies the phonology and morphology of the understudied Sokoto dialect of Fula, provides an insight into the patterns of syllabification and consonant gradation found in the Fula noun and verb systems with a view to better understanding the Fula nominal and verbal paradigms. An examination of the consonant phonemes brings forth two issues which have overarching implications for the phonology and morphology of Sokoto Fula. It reveals co-occurrence restrictions and several constraints against sound segments which either occur in some dialects of Fula but not in Sokoto, or do not occur in Fula at all. Such co-occurrence restrictions it is argued, predispose the complexity of Fula data. It was discovered that the alternations that otherwise make Fula to be highly complex result from adherence to the Syllable Contact Law. Sokoto Fula in particular, is found to be considerably syllable contact-compliant; making the dialect to resort to strategies like coda weakening, contact anaptyxis, regressive assimilation, compensatory lengthening, etc. to repair illicit clusters. The few aberrant ones are equally analysable through approaches like the Inverse Place Condition and Relational Hierarchies. The description of consonant gradation – a morphophonological process – in which an examination of the modifications evident in Fula word-initial consonants is undertaken, is better understood in terms of the constraints on sound segments. Generalisations about consonant gradation in Fula by past studies describe it as following a continuant – stop – nasal pattern. However, the non-occurrence of prenasalised stops in Sokoto Fula limits the dialect’s gradation to the stop – continuant pattern only. This is because cognates of nasal mutation appear with the stop grade in the dialect. Furthermore, these constraints explicate the unexplained uniform status of [t] as well as the long-standing controversy over the occurrence/non-occurrence of two /w/ sounds in Fula. It is discovered that although /w/ shares a gradation correspondence with both [b] and [ɡ], a single /w/ is adequate in both labial and velar mutation relationships with these sounds. Corresponding to the foregoing is the gradation correspondence established between /j/ with both [ʤ] and [ɡ], which like that of /w/, a single /j/ is equally adequate to handle. The study discovers that the Syllable Contact Law is fundamental for Sokoto Fula syllabification even though a few syllables violate it. Consonant gradation is shown to be triggered by the distinction between singulars and plurals in both nominals and verbs; exceptions being the stems occurring with uniform and ambivalent initial segments which are not subject to gradation.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectFula language - Sokoto - Nigeria - Dialects
Dept/ProgramLinguistics
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/268425

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorArchangeli, DB-
dc.contributor.advisorYakpo, K-
dc.contributor.authorAlkali, Abubakar Atiku-
dc.date.accessioned2019-03-21T01:40:22Z-
dc.date.available2019-03-21T01:40:22Z-
dc.date.issued2019-
dc.identifier.citationAlkali, A. A.. (2019). A description of the phonology and morphology of Sokoto Fula. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/268425-
dc.description.abstractAbstract of thesis entitled “A Description of the Phonology and Morphology of Sokoto Fula” Submitted by Abubakar Atiku Alkali for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Hong Kong in January 2019 This thesis, which studies the phonology and morphology of the understudied Sokoto dialect of Fula, provides an insight into the patterns of syllabification and consonant gradation found in the Fula noun and verb systems with a view to better understanding the Fula nominal and verbal paradigms. An examination of the consonant phonemes brings forth two issues which have overarching implications for the phonology and morphology of Sokoto Fula. It reveals co-occurrence restrictions and several constraints against sound segments which either occur in some dialects of Fula but not in Sokoto, or do not occur in Fula at all. Such co-occurrence restrictions it is argued, predispose the complexity of Fula data. It was discovered that the alternations that otherwise make Fula to be highly complex result from adherence to the Syllable Contact Law. Sokoto Fula in particular, is found to be considerably syllable contact-compliant; making the dialect to resort to strategies like coda weakening, contact anaptyxis, regressive assimilation, compensatory lengthening, etc. to repair illicit clusters. The few aberrant ones are equally analysable through approaches like the Inverse Place Condition and Relational Hierarchies. The description of consonant gradation – a morphophonological process – in which an examination of the modifications evident in Fula word-initial consonants is undertaken, is better understood in terms of the constraints on sound segments. Generalisations about consonant gradation in Fula by past studies describe it as following a continuant – stop – nasal pattern. However, the non-occurrence of prenasalised stops in Sokoto Fula limits the dialect’s gradation to the stop – continuant pattern only. This is because cognates of nasal mutation appear with the stop grade in the dialect. Furthermore, these constraints explicate the unexplained uniform status of [t] as well as the long-standing controversy over the occurrence/non-occurrence of two /w/ sounds in Fula. It is discovered that although /w/ shares a gradation correspondence with both [b] and [ɡ], a single /w/ is adequate in both labial and velar mutation relationships with these sounds. Corresponding to the foregoing is the gradation correspondence established between /j/ with both [ʤ] and [ɡ], which like that of /w/, a single /j/ is equally adequate to handle. The study discovers that the Syllable Contact Law is fundamental for Sokoto Fula syllabification even though a few syllables violate it. Consonant gradation is shown to be triggered by the distinction between singulars and plurals in both nominals and verbs; exceptions being the stems occurring with uniform and ambivalent initial segments which are not subject to gradation. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshFula language - Sokoto - Nigeria - Dialects-
dc.titleA description of the phonology and morphology of Sokoto Fula-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLinguistics-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2019-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044091311403414-

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