A Phonological Analysis of Igbo Pet names


  • Esther K. Idika Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages,
  • Godwin C. S. Iwuchukwu Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies


Igbo formal name, pet name, phonological analysis


Igbo names embody a rich mine of information on the people's reflection, therefore often sentential. A pet name is a name we receive in addition to our formal names and it is usually given to us by the people close to us; Pet names may be derived through the truncation of a person’s formal name; it may be an ironic pet name, profession pet name or personal feature pet name. This paper examines Igbo formal names with a view to phonologically analyse pet names which are derived from them, and does not delve into pet names which are not related to persons’ formal or proper names. The study deploys primary research method (using informants of Igbo nativity whose age ranges are from 28-80 years), secondary research method and introspection, given the language competence of the researchers, to achieve its purpose. The findings show that metathesis (an unpopular phonological process) as well as vowel deletion and assimilation are phonological processes which are evident in pet naming. It was also observed that in pet name transformations, light syllables are favoured more than heavy syllables; this conforms to the syllable structure of the language. 

Author Biographies

Esther K. Idika, Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages,

University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria.

Godwin C. S. Iwuchukwu, Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies

University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.



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How to Cite

K. Idika, E. ., & C. S. Iwuchukwu, G. . (2018). A Phonological Analysis of Igbo Pet names. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 21(1), 151–159. Retrieved from https://jolan.com.ng/index.php/home/article/view/150