Phonological Processes in Ikwere

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  • Title: Phonological Processes in Ikwere
  • Author(s): Roseline Ihuoma C. Alerechi
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies
  • Keywords: Phonological Process, Assimilation, Vowel Harmony, Consonant Harmony, Ikwere, O̩muanwa
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-7882 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8617 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Alerechi, Roseline Ihuoma C.. 2018. "Phonological Processes in Ikwere." The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies 15 (4): 1-20. doi:10.18848/2327-7882/CGP/v15i04/1-20.
  • Extent: 20 pages


This article identifies and analyzes the phonological processes in Ikwere. Ikwere is an Igboid language of the West Benue-Congo family, spoken in four local government areas of Rivers State of Nigeria (i.e., E̩mohua, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor, and part of Port Harcourt). This article uses an eclectic approach in the analysis of the data drawn from O̩muanwa, the dialect of the author. It observes the phonological processes of assimilation (nasal assimilation, vowel assimilation, and consonant assimilation), vowel elision, and glide formation in Ikwere. The work points out that vowel assimilation is a precondition to vowel elision and that vowel elision, in turn, affects the syllable structure of the language. It is pertinent to note that vowel harmony, which is principally determined by the size or shape of the pharynx, is very predominant in the language and that affix vowels are usually affected by the value or feature of the vowel of the root. While some of the assimilatory processes are anticipatory, others are perseverative in terms of direction. This study, in addition, records that partial assimilation occurs more in the language than a complete or total one. This research further observes that when a vowel or consonant combines with another in a successive syllable, the harmony works across segments within the boundary.