Edo Language - Phonology

Phonology

Edo has a rather average consonant inventory for an Edoid language. It maintains only a single phonemic nasal, /m/, but has 13 oral consonants, /ɺ, l, ʋ, j, w/ and the 8 stops, which have nasal allophones such as before nasal vowels. There are seven vowels, /i e ɛ a ɔ o u/, all of which may be long or nasal, and three tones. Syllable structure is simple, being maximally CVV, where VV is either a long vowel or /i, u/ plus a different oral or nasal vowel.

Labial Labiodental Alveolar Palatal Velar Labio-velar Glottal
Nasal m
Plosive p b
t d
k ɡ
k͡p ɡ͡b
Fricative f v s z x ɣ h
Close approximant ɹ̝̊ ɹ̝
Open approximant ʋ
l ɹ
j
w

The three rhotics have been described as voiced and voiceless trills plus a lax English-type approximant. However, Ladefoged found all three to be approximants, with the voiced–voiceless pair being raised (without being fricatives) and perhaps at a slightly different place of articulation compared to the third, but not trills.

The Edo alphabet has separate letters for the nasalized allophones of /ʋ/ and /l/, mw and n:

A B D E F G Gb Gh H I K Kh Kp L M Mw N O P R Rh Rr S T U V Vb W Y Z
/a/ /b/ /d/ /e/ /ɛ/ /f/ /ɡ/ /ɡb/ /ɣ/ /h/ /i/ /k/ /x/ /kp/ /l/ /m/ /ʋ/ /l/ /o/ /ɔ/ /p/ /ɹ/ /ɹ̝̊/ /ɹ̝/ /s/ /t/ /u/ /v/ /ʋ/ /w/ /j/ /z/

Long vowels are written by doubling the letter. Nasal vowels may be written with a final -n or with an initial nasal consonant. Tone may be written with acute accent, grave accent, and unmarked, or with a final -h (-nh with a nasal vowel).

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