The Tone System of Ikhin
by Open Science Repository Language and Linguistics
In Ikhin, a North Central Edoid language in the South-South zone of Nigeria, I establish that there are two tones and a downstep. The two tones, high (H) and low (L), are distinctive while the phenomenon ‘downstep’ is not phonemic. In this paper, my findings from an auditory investigation will be supported with some instrumental evidence. The analysis of Ikhin tone system as containing two tones and a downstep means that it is a terraced level tone system. (See examples below). Well known languages with the same type of tone system include Edo (Bini), Emai, both also North Central Edoid, Igbo (Igboid) and Akan (Akanoid). It, however, differs from Edo (Bini) in that downdrift (automatic downstep) affects only low tones while Edo (Bini) has downdrift that affects low (L) and high (H) and has a phenomenon of a disappearing low tone.Keywords:
tone system, Ikhin, Nigeria, language and linguistics.
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