Functions and Distribution of "n" in Yorùbá Orthography
Learners of Yorùbá Language either as a child or an adult L2 may likely encounter some difficulties in classifying the sounds corresponding to the letter n in the transcription or writing system. Indeed, as it is well known, in Yorùbá, this letter which legitimately is a basic consonant phoneme or sometimes an allophone of l may sometimes correspond to a Syllabic-N, or sometimes to a nasal vowel. This paper presents three data sets on the distribution of the consonant and the functions it performs in each case, dwelling on the areas of problems for Yorùbá child learning the language or a non-native speaker of Yorùbá learning it as L2. Having established that there are three types of n: (a) n as a consonant; n as a syllabic nasal; and n as a marker of nasal feature on a nasal vowel; the paper provides a number of clues on how to identify which particular n appears wherever it is found.