A CONSTRAINT BASED STUDY OF THE TIV LEARNERS OF ENGLISH PHONOTACTICS
The study presents explanation on the likely pronunciation errors evident to Tiv learners of English phonotactics. The researchers adopted a descriptive method and optimality theoretical framework to note the possible constraints the Tiv learners of English as L2 encountered. Tiv speakers of the English realize phonotactics of English words differently. They violate the phonotactic rules of the language in realizing consonant clusters, assimilation and vowel harmony. The study observes that the Tiv learners experienced difficulties in realising English syllabic pattern with consonant clusters; they find it difficult pronouncing it without the insertion of a vowel sound, hence, transferring this feature from their language to the L2. Tiv also has onset restriction for syllables i.e. most syllables have onset. In other words, no vowel can begin a syllable except at word initial stage.
Key Words: Â Phonotactics, Optimality theory, Tiv, English.