Investigating sociolinguistic aspects of place names in Ruhaya in north-western Tanzania

dc.contributor.authorBuberwa, Adventina
dc.descriptionAvailable in printen_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation reports on the design and findings of a qualitative study of the sociolinguistic factors behind the adoption of place names in the Ruhamba dialect of Ruhaya, a language spoken in north-western Tanzania. The study adopted Discourse Analysis approaches, drawing on Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) traditions (Dijk, 2001), with special emphasis on the Speech Act Theory (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969). The study was based on the assumption that naming relies on phenomena such as socio-economic authority, as well as social dominancy and status, otherwise called power relations. These would be reflected in what the name was derived from in the appropriate time and place (appropriate context). The study findings suggest that Ruhaya place names have meanings which tend to be derived from phenomena such as fauna, flora, crops raised, habitation information, natural terrain and activities carried out in the area to which the name is given. Ruhaya place names also tend to have meanings relating to parts of the human body such as hip, nape, tongue, bald, breasts and heart. It was also observed that Ruhaya place names tended to change overtime due to either change relating to the phenomenon from which the name was derived (i.e. the loss of quality, decrease in quantity or perishing), leadership shifts as well as shifts in human habitation. The change could also be occasioned by shifts relating to what the given community considered to be influential events from time to time. Overall, it is observed that place names were not arbitrary labels but were connected with particular social-cultural phenomena such as community heroes or persons who made notable contributions to the society or people who had achieved particular notoriety or events that had come to be considered unique.en_US
dc.identifier.citationBuberwa, A.(2010) Investigating sociolinguistic aspects of place names in Ruhaya in north-western Tanzania. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at
dc.publisherUniversity of Dar es Slaamen_US
dc.subjectRuhaya languageen_US
dc.subjectPlace namesen_US
dc.subjectSociolinguistic aspectsen_US
dc.titleInvestigating sociolinguistic aspects of place names in Ruhaya in north-western Tanzaniaen_US