Rounding Harmony in Mfantse: Evidence and Differences
Keywords:Mfants, labialization, rounding harmony, phonemic, assimilation, vowel, diacritic, subdialect
This paper investigated rounding harmony in two subdialects of Mfantse spoken in the Central Region of Ghana. Bɔrbɔr and Edwumako dialects are part of the Akan language and belongs to Kwa on the Niger-Congo branch of languages. Data was from the Mfantseman and Edwumako districts from 45 participants aged 20 years and above. The Autosegmental framework was used for data analysis. We looked first at the sounds and brought out the differences between Bɔrbɔr sounds and that of Edwumako. The study established that Mfantse is not the same in all its phonological presentations in all its subdialects. In terms of sound distribution, the central unadvanced vowel is strictly word final in Bɔrbɔr while it is both word initial and final in Edwumako. Some aspects of rounding harmony occur in both Bɔrbɔr and Edwumako while other aspects occur in Bɔrbɔr and partially in Edwumako. Other aspects are present in Edwumako only.
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