Tag Archives: Hausa

An Application of Optimality Theory (OT) on Syllable Structure within Reduplication in Hausa Spoken in Kano (Published)

This paper discusses the process of word formation with reference to the types and functions of reduplication in one of the dialects of Hausa which is spoken in Kano, Nigeria. The study investigated the interaction of syllable structures and syllable weight of Hausa, showing the phonological interactions that occur within the morphological process of reduplication using Optimality Theory (OT). The OT analysis demonstrates that syllable structure and weight are important in selecting the optimal reduplication candidate. Specifically, structures like CVCC are not permitted in the reduplicant because they are not permissible forms in Hausa syllable structures. Additionally, the analysis reveals that in total reduplication, the reduplicant is usually a disyllabic foot, whereas in partial reduplication, it is a monosyllabic foot. These findings may shed light on a new facet of OT and its role of interpreting reduplication in Hausa. Hence, this study offers a new window to phonologists who are interested in OT and to explore further issues of Hausa in light of OT.

Keywords: Hausa, Optimality Theory (OT), foot, reduplication, syllable structure, syllable weight


Traditional buildings across Nigeria’s geographical zones are known to have demonstrated a thorough response to the climate, local technology and socio-economic milieu in which they evolved. The origin of these different traditional building body associates with the natural materials availability to the local builders as well as religious belief, cultural and taboos. The advent of colonialism in Nigeria changed the traditional life and culture of Nigerian which creates a weak connection between traditional architecture and contemporary architecture in Nigeria. Most recent buildings designs across Hausa regions in Nigeria have been built with imported materials and the construction techniques tailored to satisfy the modernity self-ego and aspirations. Thus, traditional architecture ought not to be abandoned and forgotten, hence; experts’ awareness should be tailored to the understanding of its original essence. This paper through intensive literature review of documents, journals, books, periodical, seminar papers amongst others critically explore the key importance relating to the development of Hausa traditional architecture. In addition, paper identifies the “determinant” and “moderating” factors as main issues that contributed to the development of Hausa traditional architecture, in cognizance of local materials, method of construction, methods lay-out, social, cultural factors, and environmental factors amongst others. The enumerated factors dominate the colonial periods and the subsequent traditional forms development. Thus, the paper concludes that despite the impact of modernization in terms of styles, materials, and method of construction in recent times, the professionals, designers and the researchers should be cognizance of the social- cultural and religious beliefs of clients/users. It is recommended that, for functional architectural forms, efforts should be geared towards harmonizing the traditional and modern contemporary designs concepts

Keywords: Culture, Hausa, Traditional Architecture, determinant factors, moderating factors