A re-examination of the 9th vowel phoneme in Igbo


  • Ambrose Adikarnkwu Monye


Enuani, vowels, Igbo


In this study the author provides some linguistic evidence to support his argument that I~!is an autonomous vowel phoneme in the Enuani dialect. First, he uses some minimal pairs to show instances where it contrasts with both lei and la/. In addition, he compares the Enuani vowel harmony set with the eastern Igbo set, pointing out that whereas the fonner has 9 vowel phonemes with the vowel phoneme I~I inclusive, the latter has 8 without it. Finally, he uses unitary words to show instances where I~/, lei, and lal either co-occur or do not co-occur in the Enuani dialect. With the above points he conclusively argues that I~!is a vowel phoneme in the Enuani dialect.