A comparative study of the syllable and sound system of standard Yoruba and Onko dialect

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Department of linguistics and languages, Adekunle Ajasin university, Akungba-Akoko Nigeria


This paper, presents the phonology of standard Yoruba and Onko dialect with the main objective of finding the area of convergence and divergence in the distribution of their phonemic segments as well as the syllable structure. In essence, the study examines the syllable and sound system in the two speech forms with a view of finding the similarities and differences between them. The research methodology adopted for this study is the comparative study. The theoretical framework adopted is the taxonomic phonemics. The thrust of this theory is speech sound identification and the function accorded the segments. This approach makes for what individual languages attest in terms of sound. In doing this, so many theoretical tools are used to determine status of segments. The sound so identified, according to the theory impact immensely on acquisition, speech error and foreign accent. The data for the study is collected from the native speakers of the language and the dialect under consideration. The research instrument used is the Ibadan four hundred wordlist of basic items. We discovered that there are some sounds in standard Yoruba which are not attested in Onko dialect. Also, the phonological constraints imposed on their distribution account for the difference in the accent of the speakers. The study concluded that the area of convergence between standard Yoruba and Onko dialect is more than the area of divergence, which further established the language-dialect relationship. The study therefore recommended a similar linguistic research on other dialects of the language.




convergence, divergence, sound system, syllable, Onko dialect,, standard Yoruba