A socio-linguistic description of and its points of contact with kishambala

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University of Dar es Salaam
A Field work: The field work was done in two trips of three months each, April to June, 1972, and September to November, 1973. The first ono and a half months were a familiarization period, when I visited people, talked to thon informally, and Explained the purpose of my study. In this way I managed to get friends who invited me to their homes and introduced me to other friends. During this time, I was able to collect the oral history and observe the social relationships in the community. I also made a beginning at Learning the language, and got introduction to both Kimaa and Kimbughu. I avoided using the tape-recorder or carrying my writing pad around, as that would have put off my informants. During the following one and a half months of the first trip, I started using the tape recorder by taping any conversation, net necessarily in Kimaa, and thon playing it back to the informants. This type of fi feed-back t' proved to be very helpful in familiarising thorn with- the machine and they later freely talked in Kinaa while the tape recorder uses running. It was always important to play bock the tape, so as to prove to thorn that the machine 't took only these words or things Which they said and intended to be heard. After the initial suspicion of the purpose of my trip was over, and my informants got used to the tape recorder, it was easy far mo to use my writing pad to record words and sentences Which I then road aloud, studied at home, and repeated to my t teacher’s t the next day. The second trip was more interesting because I know just where to and wham to contact. This time, I was fortunate the got an informant on Kimaa who knew how to road and urito. This young man was very patient and understanding, and ho did nut only help me to improve my knowledge of Kimaa, he also helped me to transcribe a lot of the material which I had collected earlier. Learning Kimaa was by no means easy. I had no problem with Kimbughu because of my knowledge of Kishambala; although I could not speak it, it was easy to understand. Kirnaa took much longer to learn and I never managed to have more than a working knowledge of the language. That is, I was able to understand much of what was being said, but I never mastered the pronunciation to the point of conversing freely. On the other hand, after the first once and a half month, I at least knew where to mark the morpheme boundaries, which proved very important in writing down sentences spoken in informal conversations. The material collected on Kimaa is of two main types (i) Much of it was tape recorded in informal gatherings. After the first one and a half months, my informants ignored my presence and talked in Kimaa whenever I was around without being reminded to do so. In this way I was able to keep the tape recorder running while at the same time listening to the "switches” in their speech, from Kimaa to Kimbughu to kighambala. (i i) The root of the material was written down. I wrote down words and sentences in Kishambale and thon asked for the equivalents in Kimaa and Kimbughu. The material on the history of the Wamaa and their relationship with the Washambala was mostly done orally. Some of it was tape recorded. But most of the time I relied cn taking down notes, and asking a question here and another there from different people, among both the Jamaa and the Washambala. B. The Chief Informants: It is obvious that in research work of the nature described above, informants play a very major role. So it is just appropriate that I should devote a While section to my chief informants and helpers, and the role each, individually or in groups, played.
Available in print form, Eat Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library,(THS EAF PL8474.B4)
Maa language, Haya manners and customs, Haya, Buildings, Dar es Salaam
Besha, M. R. (1974) A socio-linguistic description of and its points of contact with kishambala. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.