An analysis of tense and aspect systems in Ikihehe: ‘A Case of Affirmative and Negative Constructions’

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
This study examines the morphosyntactic properties of the Tense and Aspect systems (henceforth T/A) in Ikihehe. Although some scholars have sketchily discussed it, to date there is no sizable, detailed, typological or truly in-depth study of T/A in Ikihehe. In this endeavour, the study documents the morphological forms which mark T/A appearing in verbs in affirmative and negative constructions. In achieving the study objectives, two temporal theories were applied in the analysis, namely, Reinchebach’s linear model, which was supplemented by Guillaumean cognitive model. The primary data for this study was collected from Iringa district in Tanzania. The study relied much on synchronic observation, whereby information was collected through questionnaires, interviews, tape recording, text analysis and focus group discussions. The findings revealed that there are twelve (12) T/A formatives in Ikihehe, of which eight (8) are tense formatives which tend to occur in pre-root position and four (4) are aspect formatives, which occur in post-root, except for perfective and persistive markers. The findings also established that T/A markers tend to co-occur with specified aspectual adverbials. It has been observed that T/A are marked morphologically, tonologicaly and by periphrastic expressions. The findings further established that there are two negation markers si- and -laa- located in slot 1 and 5 on the verbal template. Moreover, the -si- negative marker tends to change the perfective markers from -é/ilé/ité/igé to negative suffixes -í/ilí/ití/igí. Although the study cannot claim to have solved the puzzles pertaining to the T/A systems in Ikihehe, it has laid the foundation for further exploration.
Available in print form
Bantu languages, Ikihehe
Mpalanzi, L (2010) An analysis of tense and aspect systems in Ikihehe: ‘A Case of Affirmative and Negative Constructions’. Master Dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Availabe at