The Arusa verb system

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University of Dar es Salaam
In Maasai, there occurred linguistic changes over time, which resulted into development of dialects. The Arusa dialect has developed some distinct features in the verb system, which do not conform to all verb properties in terms of morphophonological and morphosyntactic aspects of the Maasai. The term ‘Maasai’ is used to refer to dialects spoken in Southern Kenya and part of Northern Tanzania, mainly Kisongo section. For that reason, a knowledge gap has developed hence justifying the need to investigate how Arusa verbs differ from popular Maasai verbs. To do this, a description of Arusa main and auxiliary verbs was undertaken. A qualitative research methodology was employed during data collection and analysis. Guided interviews, informal discussions and stories were recorded and analysed for discussion. The CV structure of main verbs has been illustrated, and forms and functions of auxiliary verbs were identified. In addition, a few more auxiliary verbs were added to the previously identified ones. Moreover, different shapes and conjugations of irregular verbs were discussed. It is found that the Arusa dialect varies morphosyntactically from other dialects, for example, in verb stems, morphemes, tone placement, and verb extensions. Further studies are called for in order to examine the syntactic implications of verb extensions for clause arguments and constraints on the number of arguments controlled by a verb in a sentence.
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arusa verb
Karani, M.(2013). The Arusa verb system. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (