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Morphonological Description of Relative Morphemes in Standard Kiswahili Language

Michael A. Mashauri


This paper intends to provide morphonological descriptive analysis of relative morpheme forms in Kiswahili language. Many books have just shown its forms and use without showing how these forms came to be realized as they are realized on the surface form. This paper shows some phonological processes that underlie these forms while citing some relating examples from other Bantu language, Kinyamwezi, to prove the description since Kiswahili is also one of the Bantu languages. The theoretical framework that has been used in this analysis is Generative Phonology as stipulated by Chomsky and Halle in their book called Sound Pattern of English (SPE) of 1968. I have considered that relative morpheme forms are the result of two different formatives, which are O- of reference (O-ref.) and the Subject Concord (Subj. C) of respective noun class. They are formed by phonological processes through some phonological rules from the underlying form to the surface form as they appear in Kiswahili language today. These forms have been discussed according to their specific noun classes. Data have been collected from various books and from the experience of the author since he is a Kiswahili speaker.

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eISSN: 0023-1886