Analysis of morphophonemic patterns of Gujii dialect: an insight from optimality theory, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics in the determination of peculiarities of the dialect
The Gujii dialect which is one of southern dialects of Afaan Oromoo is highly characterized by assimilation patterns. This assimilation is dictated by some linguistic and non-linguistic factors and it has impact on the communication held between Gujii dialect speakers and school text version speakers. Therefore, this paper presents the analysis of Gujii morphophonemic patterns in comparison to school version of Afaan Oromoo using some insights from Optimality Theory, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. Besides, it explores psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic constraints that possibly caused peculiar morphophonemic assimilations in Gujii dialect. From the analysis, it is found out that assimilation pattern in Gujii dialect is highly observed in inflection morphemes of verbs as well as of some nouns and adverbs. Similarly, patterns such as using ‘hudhaa’/ stop velar sound / at the end of plural compound nouns, negative markers/ using [hin-] as a prefix together with [–u]as a suffix/, and some greeting phrases are other peculiar patterns observed in Gujii dialect. The peculiarity of these morphophonemic patterns is determined by psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic factors. Moreover, this peculiarity is linguistically justifiable by Optimality Theory and they are made primarily for ease of communication. Because of these peculiarities, the Gujii dialect speakers face several problems when they are required to speak or read the school version of Afaan Oromoo.
Key Words: Gujii, morphophonemic patterns, dialect, assimilation, Afaan Oromoo