A comparative study of Kindendeule, Kingoni and Kimatengo

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University of Dar es Salaam
The languages spoken in Ruvuma region, Kingoni, Kindendeule, Kimatengo, Kimanda, Kimpoto and Kinindi, have often been misconstrued as dialects of Kingoni. In seems this assumption has been taken as the basis when considering and studying them. The tendency has been to take the facts about one language to represent the rest and thus blur the basic differences among the languages and their genetic relations. This study uses lexicostatistics and phonological innovations to classify not only Kindendeule, Kingoni and Kimatengo, but also Kipangwa, Kibena, Kingindo and Kiyao. The overwhelming evidence in this study classifies the languages into three groups: the first group, the Southern Highlands includes Kibena, Kipangwa and Kingoni; the second group, Upper Ruvuma includes Kindendeule, Kimatengo and Kingindo; and the third group, Lower Ruvuma has Kiyao (no other languages related to Kiyao were studed). The findings are correlated to the history of the speakers in order to trace the origin of Kingoni which, apparently, is not Southern African as the name suggests. This study suggests that the Kingoni of Tanzania may have originated as a dialect of Kipangwa which was influenced by the Nguni invaders from southern Africa. The indigenous people of southern Tanzania may have looked upon this dialect (which the 'true Ngoni' called 'Kisutu') as a more prestigeous language than their languages. In this way it was adopted and in time supplemented the 'true Kingoni' or 'Old Kingoni'. Historical and social forces brought it to prominence with the status it enjoys to date. The study is organized into six chapters. The first chapter introduces the problem and the setting as well as the research proedure. The review of earlier classifications forms the second chapter. After this, the methodological framework for the study is presented in the third chapter. In chapter Four, the data is analysed and a discussion regarding the classification based on the evidence from the analysis follows. Chapter Five examines the place of Kingoni in the area of study. Finally, chaptet Six contains conclusions and recommendations for further research.
Available in print form
Ndendeule language, Ngoni language, Matengo languge, Lexiocology
Ngonyani, D. S (1989) A comparative study of Kindendeule, Kingoni and Kimatengo, masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Availanle at (