The marking of tense and aspect in leki: the case of forms and remoteness distinctions

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study aims at identifying tense and aspect forms of Leki, an insular language in Ukerewe district, examining the functions and morph-syntactic distribution of tense and aspect (T/A) markers, and finding out the degree of remoteness distinctions inherent in the T/A system of the language based on cognitive theory. The study employed an integrative model in which two theories (cognitive and functional theories) were brought together. This study is descriptive in nature, employing interviews (structured and unstructured), focus group discussion and introspection. The obtained data were analysed by descriptive methods used in linguistics (i.e the use of morphological parsing). The findings reveal that tense and aspect are verb inflectional categories marked either at the T-position or at the FV-position or at both. Specifically, tense is basically marked at the T-position common in simple constructions while aspect is marked by compound markers (in compound constructions). The findings reveal also a close interaction between the T/A forms and other elements such as temporal adverbials, subject markers, negative markers and tone. Lastly, there is a multiplicity of T/A forms in the language, a structure which reflects speakers’ conception of time in the material universe. Conclusively, language structure reflects speakers’ view of time in the material universe. Finally, this study recommends that there is a compelling need to study the roles of subject markers in expressing tense and aspect in the language.
: Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF PL8295.4.M37)
Jita language, Tense, Aspect
Masatu, M. (2015).The marking of tense and aspect in leki: the case of forms and remoteness distinctions, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.