Metrical Shift and Substitution as a Phonological Processes in Hausa Written Poems


    The paper is concerned with linguistic analysis of the poetic meters used in composing some of the Hausa written poems. Phonological processes were the focus in the analysis, viz. Metrical Shift and Substitution. Basically the Khalilian system of feet and meter will be maintained as a background of study and analysis; hence the poem is composed via the Khalilian system. However, the approach to use in the analysis will involve the theory of Metrical phonology formulated by Libermann and Prince (1975/77). The paper also presents a model for the study, as laid down by the theory, in addition to different phonological processes that are found to exist in the system. It also points out some metrical features of Hausa written poems that are not applicable to Khalilian model, such as the use of two single mora / v v / in place of double mora /– /, use of two or more closed syllables in the same position (foot) / – – – / or / – – – – /etc. The study found that, some moraic (single or double) in the metrical foot tend to change shape and position within or between the foot/feet, although maintaining the number of mora per foot/hemistich, which results in having the Metrical Shift or Substitution within the foot/feet or hemistich. This indicates that, different phonological processes can be accommodated in the analysis via the application of linguistic approach to the study of written poems.

    Keywords: Written poems, Phonological process, Metrical Shift, Substitution


    author/Sabi’u Inuwa Fagge (Ph.D.)

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 15 June 2023 |  P. 94-105