Articulatory Analysis of Palatalization in Anaang

Mfon Brownson Ekpe


This paper examines the Articulatory features of palatalisation in the phonology of Anaang language. Anaang is a developing language spoken by the Anaang people in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. Genetically, Anaang is a Lower Cross Language of the Benue-Congo sub-family of the Niger-Congo Language Phylum. The objectives of the study are to investigate the articulatory features of Anaang and how palatalisation is formed in the language. The population is made of sixteen informants, two from each of the eight local government areas in Anaang speaking areas. Collection of data is based on interviews, participant observation and personal interaction with the informants. In achieving this, fifty items were used from SIL Comparative African Wordlists. Interviews were both formally and informally recorded in a digital midget.  Formally, the recordings were done on the knowledge of the informants who were asked to pronounce words in Anaang. Informally, data were recorded unknowingly to the informants in social gatherings. Articulatory Model by Browman & Goldstein (1990) is adopted as the theoretical frame for the analysis. The theory recognizes gestures as abstract, discreet and dynamically defined units which are invariant, but overlap in time due to their internal spatio-temporal organisation. The findings of the investigation show that palatalisation in Anaang is formed when a non-palatal consonant is followed be a high front vowel [i]. For palatalisation to occur there must be a target which is usually a non palatal consonant and a trigger which must be a high front vowel.  Palatalisation in Anaang involves partial assimilation as there is no total shift in place feature, but an overlap in internal spatio-temporal organisation. Though articulatory examination is not so accurate and empirical it prised open further research into acoustic investigation which is more scientific and reliable.



Articulatory, Phonology, Coarticulation, Palatalisation, Anaang language

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