Aspects Of Gurene Phonology


The thesis provides a detailed description of aspects of the phonology of Gurene, a Gur language under the language family of Niger-Congo and a dialect of Farefari spoken in the Upper East Region of Ghana. The aspects of Gurene phonology discussed in this thesis are the phonemic system, the syllable, tone, harmony and other phonotactic processes. The analyses were pursued within linear and non-linear phonology frameworks. Within the Linear Phonology approach, the Distinctive Features Theory was used to describe the sound system of Gurene. While within the Non-Linear Phonology framework, the Moraic Theory was used to account for the syllable structure and the Autosegmental phonology was employed to analyse tonal and segmental processes at the different points of the Gurene syllable and word. The findings show that Gurene has twentyfive consonants consisting of twenty-one simple consonants, four complex consonants, which include a pre-nasal labial velar sound. Gurenε also has sixteen distinct vowels and one derived vowel, which is the schwa. These vowels comprise nine oral vowels and seven nasal vowels. All the nine oral vowels can be nasalized. Isolated vowel syllables have also been observed in Gurene. The CV and CVC are the basic or core syllable types, while the mora is the tone-bearing unit in Gurene. It has also been established that Gurene has three light and three heavy syllable types. It is observed that harmony is widespread in Gurene. Thus, the types of harmony that occur in Gurene include vowel harmony, vowel-consonant harmony, and nasal harmony. It has also been established that there are three level tones (low, mid and high) and two contour tones (falling and rising) in Gurene. The verb has a default low tone while the tone of the noun varies depending on the context in which it occurs (a simple word, compound or phrase). Tonal processes in Gurene include downdrift, downstep, tone shift, tone preservation and tone spreading or assimilation. Data for this research come from two sources: primary data and secondary data. The primary data consist of recordings of utterances of native speakers of the language. The secondary source of data includes the Gurene-v English dictionary and other Gurene literature. In addition, the researcher’s intuition as a native speaker of the language and insights from key native speaker linguists of the language has been very useful. 

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Adongo, H (2021). Aspects Of Gurene Phonology. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Adongo, Healen "Aspects Of Gurene Phonology" Afribary. Afribary, 07 Apr. 2021, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.


Adongo, Healen . "Aspects Of Gurene Phonology". Afribary, Afribary, 07 Apr. 2021. Web. 20 Jul. 2024. < >.


Adongo, Healen . "Aspects Of Gurene Phonology" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 20, 2024.