Nasalisation as a Phonological Process in Tiv

Terfa Aor Ph.D


Tiv phonology has major and minor phonological processes and nasalisation belongs to the former. This study explores the nature of the Tiv nasalisation process. It describes Tiv nasals; discusses syllabic nasal consonants; examines the nature of nasalised vowels and differentiates between oral and nasal sounds. This study used Generative Phonology model which was popularised by Chomsky and Halle’s (1968). The Sound Pattern of English. This model formulates theories that help in the analysis of Tiv nasals and points out that vowels that precede nasal consonants are nasalised. The author used participant-observation instrument for data collection. Both primary and documentary sources are used in this study. It has been observed that Tiv phonology has pre-nasalised consonants. It has been discovered that Tiv language has five nasal consonants: /m/, /n/, /?/, /?/ and /?/. It has also been noted that /m/, /n/, /?/ and /?/ appear at the word-initial, medial and final positions of Tiv words. It has also been known that nasals have phonological, morphological and syntactic functions. It has been recommended that learners should pronounce n in nd, ng, nj, nk, and nz as /?d/, /?g/, /??/, /?k/ and /?z/ and should note that /m/ and /?/ are not the same: /m/ is a bilabial nasal whereas /?/ is labio-dental sound. Researchers should carry out acoustic description of nasals and describe articulatory processes of producing nasals.

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