Lenition Processes in Ut-ma’in (Fakkanci): A Case Study of Deletion and Weakining of Glottal Sound /ʔ/


    This paper aims to describe the phonological processes of glottal /ʔ/ deletion in Ut-ma’in, a northwest Kainji language, under the Niger-Congo phylum. The paper employs an ethnographic method for data collection and adopts a distinctive features theory postulated by Chomsky and Halle (1968) in analyzing the glottal deletion in the language. The paper identifies, describes, and analyses glottal /ʔ/ deletion in the language, and the rules governing the process. The paper claims that the glottal stop /ʔ/ is deleted when it occurs at a word-final position; at syllable-final position, followed by another syllable and at a morpheme boundary in the language in a rapid speech. This claim is backed with several instances of words, compound words and verbal phrases. The paper discovers that the phonological process of deletion is very common in the language, and it plays a vital role in making speech easy. It also discovers that such a process results in a change of syllable structure another process of vowel lengthening and a change of noun class in the language.

    Keywords: Ut-ma’in, phonology, deletion, glottal, Kainji, Niger-Congo, rules

     DOI: www.doi.org/10.36349/tjllc.2024.v03i01.005

    author/Almustapha Wali Sambo

    journal/Tasambo JLLC | 15 February 2024 |  Article 05