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Title: Vowel Harmony in the Rogoro Dialect of Ekegusii
Authors: Ongarora, David, Ogoti
Keywords: Vowel Harmony -- Rogoro Dialect -- Ekegusii
Issue Date: Nov-1996
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: This study aims at investigating and establishing the nature of vowel harmony in some polysyllabic words of the Rogoro dialect of Ekegusii from the perspective of Autosegmental phonology. Autosegmental phonology is a recent phonological theory that emphasizes the idea that some prosodic features perform phonemic function and, therefore, are not integral parts of individual segments but autonomous elements in their own right, technically called autosegments. The main objectives of the study are: to determine whether there are harmonizing features in some words and to establish whether the harmonizing feature is an autosegment. The study finds out that vowel harmony is a rule-governed phonological process in which [:high], [iround] [zback] are harmonizing features because they span a sequence of units larger than the discrete segments. The process is progressive and regressive and it also causes morphemes to be realized in two phonemic forms. This is because the feature in the first syllable of the word stem controls the feature that the vowels in affixes should have. It is also found out that the feature [thigh] is a harmonizing feature as well as an autosegment because it is lexically contrastive in some lexis. As such, it is not an integral part of the segmental structure because it requires its own tier which shows how it is to be co—articulated with the elements on the segmental structure. In cases of the existence of multiple harmonizing features, the minimal pair test is used to identify the one that is phonemic. Finally, it is recommended that a similar study be conducted in the other dialect of Ekegusii, Maate, and the scope widened so as to investigate whether the rest of the word classes lend themselves to the harmony patterns exhibited in the nouns and verbs of the Rogoro dialect.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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