Tag Archives: Kisa

The Locative Prefix in Kisa (Published)

The hallmark of nominal morphology in Bantu languages is based on the rich noun class system in which nouns in these languages are classified. Noun roots, in Bantu languages, are placed into noun classes according to the prefixes they take and their meanings. In Proto‑Bantu and most present day Bantu languages prefixes with a locative meaning have been analysed as noun class prefixes, and noun roots occurring with them placed into locative noun classes. Prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa, a Bantu language spoken in Western Kenya, have also been previously analysed as noun class prefixes leading to locative noun classes in this language. Synchronically, however, prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa should be analysed in a different way. Using a descriptive design and basing on data generated by the author as a native speaker of Kisa, this paper provides evidence from head class marking and agreement marking and shows that prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa attach to noun stems belonging to a specific noun class. This gives rise to locative constructions that function as locative heads. In this way, prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa are better analysed as locative prefixes and not as noun class prefixes. This implies that, synchronically, Kisa does not have locative noun classes.

Keywords: Bantu, Kisa, Morphology, locative., noun class, prefix

The Kisa Verb Phrase (Published)

The phrase is an important unit of analysis in the grammar of languages. Other than the syntactic level, the phrase is also studied at the phonological, morphological, semantic and pragmatic level. The literature on the phrase in English identifies different types of syntactic phrases thus, noun phrase, verb phrase, adjectival phrase, adverb phrase, prepositional phrase (Aitchison, 1992; Aronoff & Reese-Miller, 2006; Crystal, 2010; Fromkin & Hyams, 2010; Lyons, 1992; O’Grady, Archibalds, Aronoff, & Rees-Miller, 2005; Yule, 2006). However, the verb phrase is the most important and widely described phrase because the structure of and the meanings expressed in many languages revolves around the verb word (Crystal, 2010; Lyons, 1992; Yule, 2006). Studies on the Bantu verb have predominantly dealt with the verb word and its structure exploring the elements in a verb word (Downing, 1999; Hyman, 2007; Marlo, 2006). There have been no attempts in the literature at the analysis of the verb phrase in Bantu languages. Therefore, there is no study whatsoever in the Bantu literature dealing with the Verb phrase in Kisa, a Bantu language spoken in Western Kenya. Using a descriptive design and basing on data generated by the author as a native speaker of Kisa, this paper identifies and describes the syntactic structures that constitute verb phrases in Kisa. It delimits the elements that form a Kisa verb phrase and explains how they combine. The paper also explains the relationships that hold between these elements by alluding to syntactic evidence. The paper shows that a Kisa verb phrase has an obligatory element which is the head of the phrase and optional elements. Some optional elements are needed by the head for its meaning to be complete, while others are not. The elements that the head verb needs are closely linked to and in a dependency relationship with the head. Those optional elements that the head does not need to make sense are loosely linked to it and are not in a dependency relationship with the head

Keywords: Kisa, Verb, adjuncts, complements, dependents, phrase