The linguistic history of Sisuumbwa, Kisukuma and Kinyamweezi in Bantu zone F

Masele, Balla F. Y. P. (2001) The linguistic history of Sisuumbwa, Kisukuma and Kinyamweezi in Bantu zone F. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This research describes the linguistic history of SiSúúmbwà (F23), KÌSùkúmà (F21) and KÌNyàmwéézi (F22) (henceforth SSN). Two areas are investigated, phonology and vocabulary. In phonology, the comparative method is used, focussing on five processes: Bantu Spirantization (BS); seven to five vowel system reduction (7 > 5); Dahl's Law (DL); glottalization; and voiceless nasal formation. Vocabulary is used to examine quantitative and qualitative evidence. Quantitative evidence uses lexicostatistics to determine lexical retention and sub-grouping. The comparative method is employed in analysing shared lexical innovation as a measure of qualitative evidence, and hence genetic relationship. -- In SSN, the varieties investigated are ten: SiSúúmbwà (F23): SìSilòòmbò (F23a), Si Yòòmbé (F23b), and KiLòòŋgò (F23c); KÌSùkúmà (F21): KÌmùnàSùkùmaà(F21a), GÌnàNtùzù) (F21b), JinàKÌÌyâ (F21c); and KÌNyàmwéézi (F22): KÌNyànyèèmbè (F22a), KÌDàkámà (F22b), SiGàlàgàànzà (F22d) and KÌKònòòŋgò (F22e). SSN is part of Guthrie's (1967- 1971) Bantu Zone F. The rest of Zone F languages are also discussed for comparison: KiTòòngwè/ KiBèèndè (FIO), KÌKÌÌmbƱ (F24), ÌCÌWƱƱŋgƱ (F25), KÌnÌLààmbà (F31), KÌRÌmi (F32), KiiRàŋgi (F33) and KèèMbùwè (F34). -- The contact models of language development after Thomason and Kaufman (1988) are used, while the family tree model illustrates the results of lexicostatistics. -- The analysis of the data and historical interpretation of the linguistic patterns suggest that Zone F is a result of linguistic convergence by geographical adjacency. Guthrie (1948:73) asserts that the zones are mainly geographical entities. But using linguistic criteria to group them implies that they are also linguistic and hence genetically valid (Guthrie 1948:23, 1967:46-47). For instance, BS is found in F10 and F23 only; DL in F21 and F22b only, and not in the rest of Zone F, including the core of KÌNyàmwéézi (F22a, F22d, F22e). Glottalization is found mainly in F23. In the rest, especially F21 and F22, borrowing is suggested, by evidence of double reflexes: Proto Bantu *p ➙ /p/ and /h/. Voiceless nasalization is also found in the DL languages only, F21 and F22b. Most of the lexical innovations are not unique to Zone F. They are areal, shared by other zones. Combined with the phonological facts, this suggests the death of linguistic Zone F.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1512
Item ID: 1512
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 461-474
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2001
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Africa, Eastern
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bantu languages--Africa, Eastern--History; Bantu languages--Africa, Eastern--Phonology, Comparative; Bantu languages--Africa, Eastern--Vocabulary;

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