Elision in Dagbani

Fusheini Abdul-Rahman

Abstract


This paper gives an account of elision in Dagbani, a Gur language spoken in the Northern Region of Ghana. The analysis is done using autosegmental phonology as an analytical tool. I show that elision is a prominent syllable structure process in Dagbani. I further demonstrate that there are several morphological phenomena that motivate elision: identified to be compounding involving noun-noun, noun-adjective and a few verb-verb compounds. The other environment in which elision is found to be productive in the language is in plural formation. The paper shows that the segments that are affected by this elision process may include a vowel, a nasal consonant or an entire syllable. The paper demonstrates that elision in Dagbani which occurs at word boundaries is always leftward elision and never to the right; and that the intervening segments to the right are consonants and not vowels as it has always been for most languages. I observe that whereas elision is entirely a morpho-phonological phenomenon since its occurrence is motivated by both phonological and morphological considerations. I argue that elision in Dagbani is motivated by both phonological and morphological factors. The paper concludes based on these evidences that there is an interface between the phonology and morphology of Dagbani when accounting for elision in the language.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v5i1.3307

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