Palatalization Practices in Ghanaian English

Kingsley Cyril Mintah


This paper adds to the literature on the phonology of Ghanaian English. The paper focuses on describing theassimilation process of palatalization which is a feature in the coarticulation of speech sounds in a language variety.The assumption that non-native varieties of English are distinct and unique at all levels of language analysis is usedas approach in observing the occurrence of palatalization processes in the data which consisted of informal speech infocus group discussion, and formal reading of word lists and a passage. The study shows that generallyplace-changing palatalization processes like velar softening, spirantization and coronal palatalizations are establishedfeatures in Ghanaian English though coronal palatalization of the voiced alveolar stop [d] to the voicedpalato-alveolar affricate [ʤ] does not occur. Also, yod-insertion palatalization is greatly influenced by the length ofthe following high vowel. Yod-insertion palatalization frequently occurs with the labials [f], [m], and [b] and thealveolars [t] and [d]. Nevertheless, the labial [p], the alveolars [l], [s] and [n] and the velar stops [k] and [g] arehardly palatalized in Ghanaian English. Significantly, palatalization is a local assimilation feature which tends to beregressive in direction. Word boundary palatalization frequently occurs among fricatives.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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