The total analysis of verbs in Mambwe language of Tanzania

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es salaam
The study was confined to tonal analysis of verbs in Mambwe Language of Tanzania. The objective were to investigate total structures in simple infinitive verbs and to examine the tonal behaviours in complex infinitive verbs and. It employed Auto segmental Phonology as theoretical framework in its extended version which is termed Melodic High Assignment due to its descriptive power in handling complex structures like monosyllabic infinitives and maintaining linguistic economy, and simplicity. This approach requires MH to be assigned onto the specific mora. Based on Mambwe infinitives, MH was assigned onto the first syllable of the stem in non-linear function. The study used descriptive design under qualitative approach through which elicitation, interviews. Documentary review, and read aloud tasks were used as data collection methods. In interview, a list of 25 simple and 25 complex infinitives was prepared in Swahili where Mambwe respondents were asked to provide their Mambwe equivalents which were then glossed in English. The findings indicate that in Mambwe simple infinitive verbs, the number of syllable in the stem determines tone pattern. Distinctively, MH is assigned onto the only syllable of the stem then hoped back to infinitive prefix due to non-finality rule that prohibits H from word final in monosyllabic infinitives meanwhile the increase in number of syllables resulted in H spreading rightward. When stems had six to eight syllables, MH of the first syllable of the stem was copied to the penultimate syllable yielding in MH copying rule. When the object maker was inserted, the tonal pattern changed, whereas the object making syllable received MH by H back copying rule from the first and the only syllable of the stem in monosyllabic complex infinitives. It was also showed that the Tone Bearing Units in Mambwe infinitives are both mora and syllable in that the more the syllable the more tone spreads and the pattern changed, and that long vowels are equal to two morae hence it bears two tones. It was further concluded that Mambwe is not purely tonal language but accentual tone in that accent triggers tone due to its tonal predictability nature. The study poses the challenge over the rigorous assertion that most Bantu languages are tonal in that being termed tonal does not imply purely tonal neither does it mean accentual. Therefore, to arrive at some reliable tonologica generalizations and conclusions, it was proposed that more tonological researches based on other word categories, advanced level of tonal analysis like phrase and sentences be carried out on never/less-studied languages like Mambwe. More importantly, that the language is spoken across the countries, it is recommended that comparative studied on the tone phenomena be carried out
Available in print form, East Africana Collection ,Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library,Class mark (THS EAF P223.T34E38)
Language and languages, Tone (phonetic), Mambwe (African People), Tanzania
Edward S. (2019) The total analysis of verbs in Mambwe language of Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam