The Relationship between Lexical Attrition and Change in the Socio-Cultural, Economic and Political Contexts of the Speakers of the Kipsigis Language in Kenya

Chepkemoi Nancy


This study adopted the Redundancy Reduction Principle (Seliger, 1991) to explain why lexical attrition has been witnessed in the Kipsigis language. The paper relates lexical attrition to change in the socio-cultural, economic and political contexts of the speakers of the Kipsigis language. Data collection was done by use of scheduled interviews and document analysis. The data was then put in a questionnaire and given to 162 respondents to test their knowledge on the words. The sample size of 162 respondents was a representation of those who speak the Kipsigis language in the three Kipsigis districts of Kericho, Bureti and Bomet. The data was then analysed and reported using descriptive statistics. The results showed that the nouns, verbs and adjectives have become obsolete due to lack of socio cultural, economic and political contexts. The study concludes that the Kipsigis language has experienced lexical attrition due to linguistic and cultural contact with English and Swahili cultures which are scientifically and technologically advanced. This study will provide a database for the study of language attrition in other African languages.

Keywords: Lexical attrition, Culture, Political, Economic, Technology, Kipsigis

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