By Joseph Dele Atoyebi
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Additional info for A reference grammar of Oko: A West Benue-Congo language of North-Central Nigeria
1 Oral vowels: /i u e ] ^ o a/ Each of the oral vowels has a nasalized allophonic variant. 2 Nasalized vowels: /n o uo eo ]o ^o oo ao/ The oral vowels can occur in any position of a word, while the nasalized vowels occur in the environment before a syllable-final N. There is no case of a nasalized vowels occurring in word-initial position. Instances of nasalized vowels in Òko are only oral vowels becoming nasalized before a syllable-final N (cf. 2). A syllable-final N is defined as a syllable with an N coda.
Wó] \ (d) [ma@]? rC@]K \ (b) head kill sit bone dog front ? pa@nófu] ‘skull’ ? úwó] [Wwa@n ‘kill a dog’ ? rC@]K [ma@n ‘sit in front’ On the other hand, where the onset consonant is non-bilabial, the surface form of the syllable-final N is always [m] after the nasalized [ã]. Interestingly, the bilabial constraint is so strong to the extent that consonant sounds that have labial coloring such as labio-dental /f/ and labial-velar /kp, gb/, are treated the same way as other consonants which have no labial feature; for instance, /t d k g r/, as seen in the list in (40al).
Similarly, the formation of the ? b>KrCK ‘7’ involves the combination of ùpi ‘five’ and ebòrè ‘two’. numeral úf>@m There is a spirantization process where /p/ becomes fricativized by becoming /f/, and an insertion of -m- (see also chapter 12). 3 Glide formation A glide is a sound produced as a vowel but with the distributional properties of a consonant. Glides are also referred to as 'semi-vowels'. In the production of the glides /j/ and /w/ the vocal tract is slightly narrower than for the vowels /i/ and /u/ respectively.