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Title Page
Tone Marking Convention
List of Abbreviations
List of Phonetic and Notational Conventions
Table of Contents

1.0       Background to the Study
1.1       Statement of the Problem
1.2       Research Objectives
1.3       Research Questions
1.4       Significance of the Study
1.5       Scope and Limitation
1.6       Theoretical Framework

2.0       Introduction
2.1       Theoretical Studies
2.2       Empirical Studies
2.3       Summary

3.0       Introduction
3.1       Area of Study
3.2       Research Design
3.3       Sampling Technique
3.4       Selection of Respondents
3.5       Instrumentation
3.6       Administration of Instrument
3.7       Method of Data Collection
3.8       Method of Data Analysis

4.0       Introduction
4.1       Onko Dialect Nasalization: Data Presentation
4.1.1    Words with Prefixes
4.1.2   Disyllabic Phrases without Prefixes
4.1.3   Disyllabic Words with Prefixes
4.2       Data Analysis
4.2.1   Analysis of Words with Prefixes
4.2.2   Analysis of Phrases without Prefixes
4.2.3   Analysis of Disyllabic Words with Prefixes
4.2.4    Nasal Stability
4.2.5    Denasalization Under Deletion
4.2.6   Nasal Effacement in Onko
4.2.7    Nasalization of e/o
4.3       Autosegmental Account of Words with Multiple Nasalized Sounds

Summary of Findings and Conclusion
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C


This research work examines nasalization in Yoruba with particular reference to Onko dialect of the language. Nasalization in Onko is pervasive by virtue of nasal vocal quality to the extent that it has become an identification mark of any native speaker amidst speakers of other dialects of Yoruba. This is because nasality is realised on virtually all the segments in the dialect as may be noticed when one listens perceptively to a speaker during a speech event. There has neither been any rigorous research work of any kind on Onko generally nor has any indepth study done in this dialect using the non-linear approach. As such, autosegmental phonological framework was used in the analysis of nasalization in Onko. We used the Ibadan 400 List of Basic Words and unstructured oral interview method to elicit data from the native speakers of Onko. Random sampling method was used in the selection of respondents. Respondents were selected using based on their occupation. For data analysis, we adopted non-linear method of phonological analysis which is in consonance with the theories used in the research. From the analysis, the following findings were made: apart from the fact that nasalized vowels were found word initially as against their restriction to medial and final positions in standard Yoruba, vowels /e/ and /o/ earlier found incompatible with nasalization in the New Benue-Congo languages were among the five nasalized vowels in Onko. Similarly, denasalization often realized through deletion in standard Yoruba is non-existent in Onko. Besides, the direction of nasality spread which was interestingly bidirectional was accounted for by the location of the consonants which were susceptible to nasalization within a syllable as long as such consonants were not blocked by plosives or affricates. The domain of nasalization is the syllable. In addition, it is discovered that the nasalized vowels could be found word initially in the dialect as against what obtains in the standard variety of the Yoruba language. Through the bidirectional nasality spreading and a dual process of copying and spreading, we were able to account for how nasality could be derived from words having more than one nasalized sound. Suffice it to say here that the adoption of the autosegmental phonology enables us to give an objective analysis of nasality and nasalization in the Onko dialect of Yoruba. Judging from the data presented and the accompanying explicit analyses, the work indeed achieved its stated objectives by providing convincing answers to the research questions raised.



1.0 Background to the Study

The subject of language according to Crystal (1982) has justifiably constituted an object of fascination and a subject of serious enquiry among scholars and researchers for years because of its functional dynamics. What Crystal implies from the foregoing is that the complexity of language can not be captured by a single definition; otherwise, one can very easily fall into the trap of thinking that we know all about it. But there is much more than we think. Though all speakers of a certain language can talk to each other and understand one another, yet no two speakers speak exactly alike. Beyond these individual differences, the dialect of a group of people often shows some systematic differences from that used by other groups. Speaking to one another is so much part of normal life that they often seem unremarkable. Yet, as in any scientific field, the curious investigator finds rich complexity beneath the surface.

During speech event, the standard variety of the Yoruba language will invariably depict the Onko (Oke-Ogun) speaker’s version as deviating from the rule of the standard variety. Universality of language notwithstanding, generative linguists believe that some aspects of language are not universal. It is against this backdrop that this work seeks to bring to light some salient phonological attributes like nasality and nasalization process, and their manifestation in the speech pattern of Onko speakers of the Yoruba language.

A language is composed of its dialects. Oyelaran (1978) and Adetugbo (1967 and 1982) made an important contribution to the dialectology of Yoruba. They both used sociological and linguistic evidence to classify Yoruba dialects into three major linguistic....

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