Comparative Study of the Motion Domain in Tanzanian Bantu Languages
Schaefer and Gaines (1997: 217-218) requested for both intensive and extensive investigation of motion domain in the different language phyla in Africa. This article presents the expression of motion events in the Bantu languages of the Niger-Congo phylum. In the tripartite clustering of the world languages (Slobin 2004), looking at path and manner, the Bantu languages Tswana and Shona demonstrate verb-framedness (Schaefer & Gaines 1997). The findings in this study point to the fact that the proposed verb-framedness is fully attested in the Bantu languages Kiswahili, Kinyakyusa, Kimashami and Kinyambo. But the detailed analysis of dictionary as well as elicited data points towards the fact that the co-event (manner) and direction of motion are the most salient features of typical Bantu motion events. This picture seems to deviate from Talmy’s (2007) proposal that path should be taken as a core-schema in the analysis of motion events.