Lexical Count as a Basis to Determining Dialectal Relations between Obulom and Abua Languages


    This article is a sociolinguistic assessment of level of mutual intelligibility between Obulom and Abua languages spoken in Abuloma an outskirt town of Port Harcourt in Rivers State of Nigeria. The medium for this research is through cognate count. The data for the study was collected through personal interview from three speakers of Obulom and Abua languages each, residing in Abuloma using the Ibadan 400 Word list of basic items, though 200 items were randomly used in this study. Findings show that Obulom and Abua belong to the same language family 11% same items, 37% Identical items, and 52% different items. Swadesh’s principle for Mutual Intelligibility was used to measure the cognate relationship. Findings also reveal that there are evidences of vowel, consonant and tonal variations between Obulom and Abua. For instance, there was no evidence of down-stepped tone in Obulom as found in Abua. 27 items show that Obulom and Abua have structural similarities and evidence of sameness of root forms. These noticeable variation must have resulted from contact situation with some other languages in the locale and/or travels and migration.

    Keywords: Linguistic variation, Mutual intelligibility, Obulom, Abua, Cognate

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    author/Bamigbade, Oluwafemi Emmanuel & Jayeola Waheed Ayisa

    journal/Zamfara IJOH Vol. 1 Issue 3