The Phonology of Ega

Page Index

The content of this page was developed from the research of
Dafydd Gibbon, Bruce Connell, and Firmin Ahoua.

Harmony and tones

Ega has ATR vowel harmony, and three discrete level register tones (low, mid and high). There are no coda consonants in Ega, and onsets may be complex: i.e. syllables in Ega are one of V, CV or CCV. Tone in Ega is morphosyntactic, and marks tense on verbs:

  1. ta_H : I speak
  2. ta_M : I have spoken

However, these underlying tones may surface differently in the context of certain consonants. For example, high vowels in syllables with voiced onsets surface with a rising tone:

  1. / E_BgU_H /[EgU_R ]canary


The vowels are a, e, i, o, u, E, I, O, U, where the uppercase are the lax [-ATR] equivalents of their lowercase counterparts.

  front central back
high i I   u U
mid e E   o O
low   a  


Among the consonants are five implosives (bilabial, dental, palatal, velar, labio-velar)

  labial dental palatal velar labio-velar
plosive p b t d c ɟ k g k͡p g͡b
nasal m n ɲ ŋ (ŋʷ)
fricative f v s z   x ɣ  
continuant   l j   w
implosive   ɓ   ɗ   ʄ   ɠ   ɠ͡ɓ

Follow the path of the Ega data

  1. Get Started: Summary of the Ega conversion
  2. Build a Lexicon: Lexicons page (Classroom)
  3. Encode Characters: Unicode pages (Classroom)
  4. Create an IGT: IGT pages (Classroom)
  5. Convert Audio Data: Audio pages (Classroom)
  6. Convert Video Data: Video pages (Classroom)
  7. Utilize an Ontology: Ontology pages (Classroom)

User Contributed Notes
E-MELD School of Best Practices: Ega Phonology
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