Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 9(1), pp. 22 - 26
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2021.090103
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Vowel Epenthesis in Toda Songs

Aliaa Aloufi *
Community College, Taibah University, Medina, Saudi Arabia


This study looks at a minor but interesting phonological phenomenon that is vowel epenthesis in Toda songs, a Dravidian language spoken in South India. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the extent to which vowel epenthesis is used to satisfy the poetic meter preferences in songs and verses that are sensitive to the number of syllables per line in the light of Optimality Theory (OT). This study was largely based on songs collected by Emeneau [1] and recently recognised by Fabb [2]. It offers an analysis of vowel epenthesis using the ranked and violable constraints of OT [3]. The conclusion of the paper is that vowel epenthesis is triggered by a non-rhythmic size meter that constrains the length of the line of the poetic form in Toda to be strictly three syllables [4]. Within OT, violation and the strict domination of OT constraints are capable of accounting for the vowel epenthesis in Toda songs. Theoretical insights from OT enrich our understanding not only of Toda phonology but also of its metric rules. More generally, OT is shown in this study to be a framework which manages to give meaningful clarification of complex and specific literary-linguistic interaction patterns found in a given language.

Toda, Vowel Epenthesis, Optimality Theory

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Aliaa Aloufi , "Vowel Epenthesis in Toda Songs," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 22 - 26, 2021. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2021.090103.

(b). APA Format:
Aliaa Aloufi (2021). Vowel Epenthesis in Toda Songs. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 9(1), 22 - 26. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2021.090103.