AFRREV LALIGENS: An International Journal of Language, Literature and Gender Studies

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Tonal Patterns of English Syllable Structure Borrowed into Yoruba

GA Ojo


This paper investigates the patterns of tone inherent in foreign lexical items when they are borrowed into the Yoruba language with a particular focus on the highest ranked tonal patterns. The Yoruba language which is a tonal language is one of the three foremost indigenous languages in Nigeria; therefore, its early contact with English was not a coincidence. The data for the study are elicited from news items on local media houses, supermarkets and street hawkers. These data sources were chosen because they are believed to possess current information on the foreign societies. Analysis of data reveals that HLL tonal pattern with 26.81% is highly ranked among other tonal patterns of borrowed words. The implication of this is that, words with High-Low-Low tonal pattern are the most common foreign words found in Yoruba. This tonal pattern is the most frequent in the process of borrowing because it corresponds to most of the English words present in Yoruba.

AJOL African Journals Online