DIALECTAL VARIATION: A CRITICAL STUDY OF UMUNZE IGBO
Dialects are the different varieties of a particular language. Umunze dialect is a subdivision of the Igbo standard form. Now, the youth and children of Umunze no longer speak the dialect like the older generation; therefore, the dialect is endangered. This study is a modest contribution to preserve the dialect as well as to give insight to Umunze language researchers to do more. The aim of this study is to compare Umunze dialect and the Standard Igbo in order to ascertain the areas of differences and similarities between the two.Also, the dialects are explored based on the vocabulary, grammar and phonology in order to see the areas of converges and differences between both so as to achieve mutual intelligibility between speakers. The researcher is a native speaker thus an intuitive knowledge of the dialect by the researcher is used to collect data and validated by other native speakers. The Wave and the Accommodation Theories are the theoretical basis in which this study hinged on. The findings are Umunze dialect has really changed over time; some words are no longer in use. The back vowel sound /ụ/ is used in Umunze dialect to replace front vowel sounds /ọ/, /a/ and ……../i/ in Standard Igbo. Also, the velar sound /gh/ in Umunze replaces the labio-dental voiced sound /f/ in Standard Igbo. Both dialects have so many other words in common but when two speakers come together, they use the Standard form for mutual intelligibility. Therefore, both dialects are the same language.
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