FINAL-NASAL DELETION IN AKAN (ASANTE TWI) REDUPLICATION

Kwasi Adomako

Abstract


In this paper, I examine the phenomenon of reduplicant-nasal deletion observed in some reduplicative prefixes of Akan (a Niger-Congo, Kwa language). In the Akan phonology, nasals are among non-vowel sonorants that are permitted syllable or word-finally (Dolphyne 1988, Abakah 2005). However, it is observed that these nasals, particularly [m], are sometimes deleted in some reduplicants final position. In this paper, I show that verb bases of CVN or CVVN structures are of two different morphemic structures in the underlying representation; monomorphemic verb base and bimorphemic verb base. The latter structure, on which this paper focuses, has the composition: morpheme1 + morpheme2. It is observed that while the former preserve their ‘final’ nasals in the reduplicants, the latter lose them in their reduplicants.  We analyse this phonological phenomenon as resulting from the language’s desire to satisfy a high-ranking template satisfaction constraint (after McCarthy and Prince 1994a) within the Optimality Theory framework.

Keywords: Nasal deletion, Akan, reduplication, Optimality Theory, phonology.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/bjll.v1i0.594

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