Data Gathering and Techniques

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This chapter discusses the theoretical framework that guides the researcher in the discussion of findings for this particular thesis, which is the pre-occupation of the proceeding chapters (Chapter Four and Five). To this, Brown (2004:13) says that linguistics data can only be analysed logically and orderly by employing a guiding theoretical framework. This means that theoretical framework informs decisions during interrogation of data and above that, it provides with a notation, which guides data presentation. In addition, John (2000:06) says: data can be analysed and presented using theories, so as to account for  certain language behaviour, using particular notations depending on the  nature of the research, since not every theory applies to particular research questions. Sometimes this is determined by what the researcher wants to  achieve. Following these assertions, the theoretical framework designed for this study is a blend, which involves arguments taken from Clements and Keyser (1983), Chomsky and Halle (1968) and Kiparsky (1982).It is important at this point to discuss the term “theory”, for there is no one agreed definition of the term (theory) in the field of linguistics. According to Hadebe (2002:17); a theory in general can be defined or described as a “body” of fundamental principles underlying a science or the application of scientific ideas that guide processes during data interrogation, allowing repetition in exactly the same way, yielding similar results.This implies that principles explaining the fundamentals of a phenomenon can be regarded as tenets of a theory or theories themselves. In analyzing the findings of this study, Phonological and Morphological Nativisation of English Loans in Tonga, the current research blends together tenets from Generative Phonology namely Distinctive Feature, CV Phonology and Lexical Morphology and Phonology. The framework accounts for consonant and vowel associations in syllabic structures and ‘well-formed’ conditions for words. These constitute a model framework, which describes how speech is processed to yield discrete representations in terms of sequence of segments, each described by a set (bundle) of binary features in a syllable and morpheme.


This distinctive feature argument owes its inception and development to Chomsky and Halle (1968). The major concerns of this idea are the phonological features underlying surface phonetic forms which are called distinctive features. According to Katamba (1989:34), distinctive features are phonological ingredients beyond a phoneme. Each language has a unique inventory of phonetic features, from which different combinations are selected so as to construct a phoneme system.All speech communities the world over, are endowed with similar articulatory and auditory capabilities such that they are expected to produce and utilize speech sounds built up from a pre-determined set of binary features, according to their biological endowment. This is the basis of all the distinctive features.This theoretical framework adopts Bloomfield’s (1933), claim that the phoneme is not the most basic phonological unit but rather can be decomposed into phonetic features (atomic). This is because phonological behavior of sounds in any language is largely dependant upon the phonetic features of which they are made. These are mostly distinctive articulator gestures. This implies that phonological segments or phones have internal structures, hence bundles of ordered phonetic properties called features which are very distinct, as shown by the following example:The example above, shows that /d/ and /k/ have [-nasal] and [+ consonantal] features, whilst vowel /a:/ satisfies [-nasal] and [-cons]. These are feature values attached to each of the phonemes /d/, /a:/ and /k/ of the word /da:k/ ‘dock’. The same structure exists for any sound in any language. Composite consonants (complex consonants) may have contradicting features as follows: In the above example, [m] has [+nasal], whilst [b] has [-nasal]. However, assimilation [m   b] makes [b] assume a nasal feature .It also follows that any sound that is pre-nasalised (ng, mp, nk etc), pre-dentalised (pf, bv etc), assimilates a [+ nasal] and [+ dental] feature matrix, respectively. Chomsky and Halle (1968) provide distinctive features for each of the phonetic features on the International Phonetic Alphabet. The general observation is that all phonetic features are articulator-based. These features are helpful in describing and distinguishing consonants and vowels that exist in different languages. Phonological processes such as assimilation and dissimilation can best be understood by employing knowledge of distinctive features. Distinctive features can be defined as sets of phonetic characteristics that when variously grouped together distinguish one sound from another, for instance, the bundle of distinctive features for the phoneme [m] includes [+cons] and [+ nas] while those of [p] are [+ cons] and [-nas]. In other words, distinctive features refer to the phonological pattering of phonetic properties of sounds. These features help to differentiate phones and phonological processes such as vowel coalescence, vowel harmony, elision, epenthesis, metathesis and many others that require knowledge of distinctive features (John 1984: 48). For the native speakers of a language, phonological features are mentally constructed and then assigned to correct representations, for example, Tonga has only one realization of the vowel [i] which is simply [+ high], [+front], whilst English vowels are elastic. The distinctions are made possible by attaching different features such as height and rounding. According to Chomsky and Halle (1968), phonemes that exist in a language are unique to it. What makes phonemes of different languages differ are underlying distinctive features, mentally constructed by the speakers of the language in question. The speakers are responsible for assigning correct phonetic representations to utterances in ways that reflect the native speakers’ internalized grammar. The concept of distinctive features helps the speakers to use consonants and vowels correctly as required by their phonetic inventory. In general terms, sounds that are similar display similar features making it possible for class categories (of features). However, if these classes are penetrated further, beyond common binary features, scrutinizing, differences are bound to be established, thereby making each of the features distinct.

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Glide Epenthesis 

Glides are generally semi-vowels in terms of sonority, implying that they are more sonorant than obstruents, nasals and liquids but however, are less sonorant than vowels. They are dominated by a C-element and not a V-element. This therefore means that sonority strength does not allow them to function as nuclears in CV-tier but since they are dominated by a C-element, they function as Onsets or Codas in syllabic algorithm (John 1984:56). In languages that have +C+V syllable pattern, vowel sequencing can be realized as VV (-C+V-C+V), where each V element is a nuclears of a syllable. An example can be drawn from the Tonga word [muenzi] ‘visitor’, where [ue] is a VV vowel sequence. In other words, these are two syllables [–C+V-C+V] and not diphthongs, since Tonga does not allow diphthongization of vowels. This VV sequencing is permissible in Tonga, however, glides may be epenthesised to have +C+V+C+V sequencing. In Tonga, only glides may be epenthesised to function as onsets in VV vowel sequencing but can not function as codas, since Tonga does not have codas on its syllables.


According to Booji and Rubach (1984:1), the lexical morphology and phonology theory was developed by Kiparsky and Mohanan (1982). The theory was developed from Chomsky’s generative theory of 1970. In so doing, it is also generative in approach. Kaisee and Show (1985:1) claim that the theory is grounded on arguments propounded by Chomsky (1970) and the proceeding generative scholars. Aronoff (1976:13) says that the theory was developed to address the problem of the interaction between phonology and morphology. Their main argument is that morphological and phonological rules are interwoven.The lexicon theory is regarded as nothing but rather an appendix of generative phonology but it idiosyncrasies properties of lexical items and morphemes. In this regard, a lexicon is recognized as the main component of grammar, which contains properties of words and morphemes.


The theoretical framework is a blend of Distinctive Features, CV-Phonology and Lexicon Morphology and Phonology assumed to be in the domain of universal grammar or Generative Phonology. This is an area in which primary rules of a language are established by way of basic phonetic forms. In this regard, the framework has established that changes of some words from one language to the other or within a language are really the function of generative rules (distinctive features, syllable typology and the phonological processes) accompanying a lexicon. Substitution, epenthesis, assimilation, dissimilation, phonotatic constraints, prefixation and inflection depend on the pattern of the existing phonological features; the CV-pattern and the morpho-phonemic attributes of the language in context. This framework guides data analysis and annotation during discussion of the findings in  chapters four and five (Nativisation of Loan Words from the English environment into Tonga).  Thus the Distinctive Feature, CV-Phonology and Lexicon Phonology tenets form the framework, which guides the researcher in analysing, describing and accounting for the processes that underpin phonological and morphological motivisation of words from English into Tonga.

1.1 Background
1.2 Area if investigation
1.3 Objectives
1.4 Justification
1.5 Literature Review
1.6 Organization of the study
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Data Gathering and Techniques
2.3 Methods of Data Analysis
2.4 Methods of Data Presentation (Theoretical Framework)
2.5 Conclusion
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Distinctive Feature Paradigm
3.3 CV – Phonology Paradigm
3.4 Lexical Morphology and phonology paradigm
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The Tonga Phonology
4.3 The Consonant
4.4 Post – Velarisation
4.5 The Allophones of [w]
4.6 The syllable
4.7 Phonological Processes
4.8 Genetic Transformation of feature Values
4.9 Morphological Process
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Phonological Nativisation
5.3 Morphology Nativisation
5.4 Conclusion
6.1 Research Findings and conclusions
6.2 Recommendations

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