Consonant Deletion in the Speech of English-Platoid Bilinguals


  • Unubi . Department of English and Literary Studies, Kogi State University, PMB 1008 Anyigba, Nigeria
  • Sunday Abraham Department of English and Literary Studies, Kogi State University, PMB 1008 Anyigba, Nigeria



Platoid, consonant deletion, bilingual.


This paper, which examines consonant deletion in the speech of English-Platoid bilinguals, is in the domain of articulatory phonetics. When English words end in two or three consonants, speakers of English who are native speakers of Platoid languages usually delete consonants word finally during articulation. This has been of deep interest to the researcher, and therefore decides to investigate the phenomenon that leads to this incidence as a way of proffering a linguistic explanation to it. To do this, a total of twenty-two sentences containing words that end in two or three consonants were used as data elicitation technique from some English-Platoid bilinguals. These words were noted by the researcher during informal daily conversations at different occasions. The words whose consonants got deleted at the word final position were transcribed phonetically for purposes of clarity. The second part of the data constitutes the elicitation of six words of common nouns each from ten indigenous Platoid languages. Since the focus is on consonant deletion, few consonant systems of these languages were also presented. This is so done with a view to discovering whether there is evidence of consonant cluster in those languages or not, especially at word final position in order for the researcher to pin down the factor responsible for the deletion. From there, the study concludes that there is no evidence of consonant cluster at word-final positions in Platoid languages, and where it does, it only exists as digraph orthographically, as in: shīk-bīsh ‘sin’, kàt-ɗang ‘if’ (Mwaghavul); kámbo̟ng ‘cocoyam’ (Ron); ìsho̟sh ‘honey bee’, nànámàng ‘girls’ (Afizere); ìkpáng ‘plate’, ǹding ‘water’ (Tarok), etc.


(1) Adomako, K. 2008. Vowel epenthesis and consonant deletion in loanwords: A study of Akan. MA Thesis. University of Tromsø. [Online] Available: 5/8/2018.

(2) Alabi, T. 2017. A brief history of Plateau State. Information Nigeria Newspaper of 4th March, 2017. [Online] Available: 3/7/2018.

(3) Amenorvi, C.R. 2011. A comparative study of cohesion in English and Ewe: A case study of some written texts. M.A Dissertation. University of Cape Coast. [Online] Available: 4/7/2018.

(4) Blench, R. 2008. Prospecting Proto- Plateau. Kay Williamson

Educational Foundation. Cambridge, United Kingdom.

(5) Crystal, D. 1991. A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

(6) Davidson, L. 2004. Schwa elision in fast speech: Segmental deletion

or gestural overlap? New York University, Department of Linguistics. [Online] Available: 4/72018.

(7) Franson, C. 2011. What is bilingualism? [Online] Available: 5/8/2018.

(8) Gerlach, S.R. 2010. The acquisition of consonant feature sequences: Harmony, metathesis and deletion patterns in phonological development. PhD Dissertation. University of Minnesota. [Online] Available: 4/7/2018.

(9) Jones, D. 2003. English pronouncing dictionary. Roach, Hartman & Setter (eds). Cambridge University Press.

(10) Liddicoat, A. 1991. Bilingualism: An introduction. Educational Resources Information Centre (ERIC).

(11) Love, N. (1986). The linguistic thought of J. R. Firth. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics. 15, 31 – 60. [Online] Available: file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/116505-323575-1-SM.pdf. 4/7/2018.

(12) Ogbulogo, C. 2013. Language engineering and the destiny of man in Africa. Covenant University 3rd Inaugural Lecture, Covenant University.

(13) Ovu, B.F. 2013. Consonant deletion in English: Phonotactic explications and implications for teaching spelling in an ESL situation. Journal of School of Languages. Ebonyi State College of Education, South-Eastern Nigeria. 1, 79 – 87.

(14) Rashidi, N. and Shokrollahi, M. 2010. Elision of /h/ and /?/ in the Shirazi dialect of Persian (SHDP): An optimality theory based analysis. Shiraz University, Iran. [Online] Available: file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/36_1_07_RASHIDI_04.pdf. 5/8/2018.

(15) Rippon, H. 2017. Minimal pairs’ consonant deletion. 2nd (ed.). Black Sheep Press.

(16) Williamson, K. The pedigree of nation: Historical linguistics in Nigeria. 5th Inaugural Lecture, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt.




How to Cite

., U., & Abraham, S. (2019). Consonant Deletion in the Speech of English-Platoid Bilinguals. European Journal of Applied Sciences, 7(1), 19.