Preliminaries to Kiong Orthography
Keywords:Kiong, orthography, moribund language, phonemic principle, Delta Cross.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A growing number of the world's languages are dying every year, especially in the underdeveloped countries, together with their rich, irreplaceable human attributes. Kiong is one of them , unfortunately. This paper attempts to document the rudiments of Kiong sounds with a view to proposing an orthography in future. Kiong is a Delta Cross Group language in the Niger-Congo Family. It is spoken by a handful of the aged, disappearing population mainly in Akamkpa and Odukpani Local Government Areas in Cross River State. Through the elicitation method, data for this on-going research were elicited from native speakers in Okoyong and Calabar by using the modified Morris Swadesh 100 wordlist and existing Kiong literature. The phonemic principle was adopted in the analysis of the corpus. The result of a sketch of the Kiong phonological pattern from the research bears some similarities with those of its principal geographical neighbours: Efik, Ejagham and Ibibio. More fieldwork and rigorous analysis are essential to elicit the salient phonological features that would enhance a definitive practical orthography for the language. Every effort is, therefore, a welcome development to reverse the moribund status of the Kiong language, culture.
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