An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities)




The Urhobo language displays a hiatus environment created via morphological or syntactic concatenation. However, the grammar of the language requires that such an environment be repaired. This is because it violates a constraint forbidding hiatuses in the language. Languages that do not tolerate hiatus may apply one or more repair strategies to ensure deviant structures conform to constraint requirements. This study seeks to examine the hiatus resolution strategy in Urhobo and its interaction with general processes in the language. It employs data elicited from two adult L1 speakers of the language, while the analysis of the data is couched within the theory of constraint and repair strategies (TCRS). The study noted that only vowel elision is employed as a repair strategy, but it is bled by glide formation, which is a general process in the language. Elision targets V1, but it is blocked by *ØLINCON, a constraint that requires the preservation of elements that encode greater linguistic content in a string. Hence, it seems, at least superficially, that vowel elision affects any of the vowels on either side of the word boundary in Urhobo. The interaction between glide formation and vowel elision is couched in a serial implementation, such that the general process of glide formation applies first, thereby bleeding vowel elision. Thus, [+High] vowels do not necessarily survive vowel elision, as argued in previous studies, rather, glide formation as a general process bleeds an environment in which vowel elision, which is a repair strategy, can apply since it occurs first. There are two points of interest in this study; viz., it is argued that general processes can apply before repairs in the TCRS model and that such application accounts for bleeding relations between processes.