Vowel Elision in Ikhin, an Edoid Language in South-south Nigeria


  • Opoola Bolanle T. Federal University
  • Olaide Oladimeji Federal University




vowel elision, Ikhin language, boundary, morpheme structure, vowel quality


In this paper, attention is on the basic factors that come into force in determining whether or not vowel will elide and which of the V1 and V2 in a sequence should disappear in any environment. This paper also examines the phonological, morphological and syntactic reasons behind vowel elision as a syllable structure process in Ikhin language. As in the case of related African languages that have been previously described by various scholars, this paper presents how vowel elision works in Ikhin and the problems arising from its analysis. In this study, the focus is on the explanation and analysis of factors such as boundary, morpheme structure and vowel quality which actually determine whether or not elision should take place in Ikhin. Apart from factors such as vowel quality and boundary, one other factor with respect to elision or glide formation is the syllable structure of the verbs and nouns in Ikhin. Ikhin nouns are either disyllabic i.e. V(C)V or trisyllabic, etc. It is argued that the operation of vowel elision is blocked in disyllabic nouns as /i/, /o/ and /u/ form glides when either of them occurs as V1 whereas vowel elision rather than glide formation takes place in trisyllabic nouns. The study concludes based on data not previously discussed in the language that elision is driven by syllable-based and syntactic-based analyses and that a major strategy of discouraging vowel cluster in Ikhin is vowel elision because the syllable structure of the language prohibits cluster of vowels within word or across word boundary.

Author Biographies

Opoola Bolanle T., Federal University

Department of Linguistics and Languages

Olaide Oladimeji, Federal University

Department of Linguistics and Languages


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