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A socio-linguistics Analysis of Semantic Changes in Sukuma Loanwords from Kiswahili Language

Chipanda Simon


The purpose of this paper is to account for the semantic changes of Swahili loanwords in Kisukuma language. The reason behind this analysis is that the existing studies have touched this topic not deeply, hence offering curtailed explanations of the phenomenon. Cognitive Grammar and Assimilation theory were used as the basis of analysis in the study. The former assumes that lexemes are not stable, thus they can have both core and peripheral senses while the latter assumes that the two different elements tend to get assimilated into the related elements. The study used a case study design whereby Sukuma language was the case. Four Sukuma informants from Ngudu District in Mwanza Region, Tanzania were selected purposively as they speak Kisukuma fluently. Then, fifty Swahili lexemes loaned to Kisukuma were collected. Semi-structured interviews, observations, introspection and critical documentary analysis were used as instruments for data. The study revealed that the Swahili loanwords in Kisukuma have undergone semantic changes technically known as generalization, specialization and shifting. Based on the findings, the study provided certain conclusions and corresponding recommendations.

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eISSN: 2714-2132
print ISSN: 2714-2183