The tonal system of Igbo

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The large number of dialects has hindered the development of a standardized spoken and written Igbo. Standard literary Igbo, based on the Owerri and Umuahia dialects, in use since , is not universally accepted by speakers of other dialects. Standard Igbo aims to include words from other Igbo dialects as well as loanwords from other languages. The sound inventory of Standard Igbo consists of eight vowels, thirty consonants, and two tones, depending somewhat on the analysis.

There are no consonant clusters and no syllable-final consonants. Vowels Igbo features vowel harmon y with two sets of vowels distinguished by pharyngeal cavity size. This adds a breathy quality to the vowel. Vowels within a word harmonize with respect to the [ATR] feature, which means that all vowels in a word are produced with the root of the tongue either advanced or retracted. Consonants The consonant system of Igbo is characterized by two notable features:. Every syllable in Igbo has a tone. There are two tones: high and low. High tone is marked with an acute accent, e.

These are not normally represented in the orthography.

An interesting feature of Igbo phonology is tonal downstep. For example, two adjacent high-tone syllables will normally be produced with the same pitch. However, if a low-tone syllable occurs between two high tones, then the second high tone will be produced with a lower pitch than the first one, e.

The structure of words in Igbo is relatively simple which means that grammatical categories are not overtly marked by prefixes, infixes or suffixes.

1. Introduction

Nouns Igbo nouns are morphologically simple and are not marked for gender, number, or case. Verbs Igbo verbs are inflected for the following categories by adding prefixes and suffixes to verb roots. The principal source of word formation in Igbo is compounding, e. Igbo also uses reduplication. The language has borrowed many words from English as well as from other African languages, e. The first book in Igbo, Isoama-Ibo , a primer, was produced in by Samuel Ajayi Crowther , an ex-slave, teacher and linguist.

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The Tonal System of Igbo - Mary Morris Clark - Google книги

Today, Igbo is written in an expanded version of the Latin alphabet. However, the wide variety of spoken dialects has made agreement about a standard orthography for the language very difficult. The current orthography which has been in use since is given below. He was born in s in the Igbo village of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria. He began writing stories as a university student and gained worldwide attention in the late s for his novel Things Fall Apart.

Although Achebe wrote in English, he relied heavily on the Igbo oral tradition. Toggle navigation. Sound system. Labialized velar. Language Difficulty. How difficult is it to learn Igbo? There is no data on the difficulty of Igbo for speakers of English. Languages A-Z. Select Language.


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