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Borrowing in Tanzanian Ngoni lexicon: Some semantic trends in a language contact situation.

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Gastor Mapunda
Tove Rosendal
Publicerad i Language Matters
Volym 46
Nummer/häfte 2
Sidor 180-194
ISSN 1022-8195
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för språk och litteraturer
Sidor 180-194
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1080/10228195.2015.10...
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/167749
Ämnesord Ngoni, Tanzania, borrowing, contact situation, hypernymy, semantic trends, Songea district, substitutive borrowing
Ämneskategorier Språk och litteratur, Tvåspråkighet, Språkstudier

Sammanfattning

The Tanzanian language Ngoni has interacted for long with Swahili, which is the more prestigious and dominant lingua franca in Tanzania. This language contact situation affects Ngoni, which frequently borrows terms from Swahili, both for concepts which are new to the Ngoni speakers, but also terms which replace existing Ngoni vocabulary. This paper investigates how borrowed words are integrated, based on a framework including semantic generalisation, specialisation and shift. The study is based on fieldwork conducted in the Songea District in the Ruvuma Region of Tanzania, in the three villages Peramiho, Kilagano and Mhepai. It was found that borrowing was most frequent in the semantic fields ‘modern world’, ‘food and drink’ and ‘clothing and grooming’. Additive borrowing was found to be more frequent than substitutive. Only semantic widening of borrowed terms was attested. However, combined with a tendency of replacement of old Ngoni terms with both Swahili and Ngoni hypernyms, it indicates that speakers’ competence of the language is waning. This loss of competence may additionally be linked to a more general attrition of Ngoni culture and traditions, which may affect language maintenance.

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