Noun Class System in Ikhin, an Edoid Language
Keywords:noun class system, Ikhin, Edoid language, concord prefixes, morphological alternation
This paper examines the noun class system in Ikhin, an Edoid language in South-South, Nigeria. Unlike other related Edoid languages examined and investigated by various scholars, nothing has been said on the noun class system in Ikhin. The paper establishes noun prefixes and concord prefixes in modifiers such as demonstrative and possessive pronouns. Although inherited, this paper confirms that majority of the nouns are inflected for number by means of prefix vowel alternation. The study also confirms that the language maintains most of the noun class distinctions in Edoid languages. The paper examines morphological alternations and their implications for phonology. It is argued that vestiges of vowel harmony appear in the patterning of vowels in nouns and in the way vowels alternate in prefixes. Vestigial evidence of concord which is normally the hallmark of a noun class system in Edoid languages was discovered in modifiers such as demonstrative and possessive pronouns.
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