A synto-semantic study of locative expressions in ki-bena

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University of Dar es Salaam
This is a descriptive study which investigates the way the concept of location is expressed in Ki-Bena, a Bantu language spoken in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. The study is based on the assumption that locatives are part of argument structure (Rugemalira, 2004). It is also guided by location and existential concepts as they have been used by Payne (1997) and Turuka (1974). These concepts have helped the researcher to account for locative expressions as argument structure, as adjunct and as existentiality markers in Ki-Bena. Data for this study were mostly collected through questionnaires and structured interviews. The sample, which was purposively selected, constituted 58 informants who were fluent in Ki-Bena. Through questionnaires and interviews, informants contributed various data on locatives i.e. primary and secondary locative nouns, locative verbs, etc.The research has revealed that Ki-Bena preserves two of the three proto-Bantu locative nouns, which are apa-ono /apono/ and uku-ono /ukono/. This contrasts with some other Bantu languages which have lost the three proto Bantu primary locative nouns, while some have changed their forms. However, the concept of location in Ki-Bena is expressed in almost the same way as in many other Bantu languages.In the case of marking and the formation of secondary locative nouns, Ki-Bena forms secondary locative nouns by prefixing pa-, ku- and mu- to ordinary nouns. This runs counter to Kiswahili (Turuka, 1974) and Kichaga (Salzmann, 2004:45) whose secondary locative nouns are formed through the process of suffixation. Furthermore, unlike in many Bantu languages, in Ki-Bena, it is difficult to refer to location using place name without attaching the locative prefixes pa- or ku- and in few cases locative prefix mu- is used. Also, Ki-Bena does not allow the prefixation of locative prefixes pa-, ku- and mu- to animate nouns. Instead, the locative prefixes function as associative elements that are not tucked directly to animate nouns.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF PL8025.T34M453)
Locative, Synto-semantic
Mgecha, P (2010) A synto-semantic study of locative expressions in ki-bena, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.