Accounting for Post-Verbal Affixes on the Kĩmwĩmbĩ Verb

AnnHidah Kĩnyua, Peter Mũriũngi


Bantu languages are known to cluster affixes on the verb root, some before the root and others after the verb root. Each of these affixes carries some meaning that contributes to the final meaning of the verb. This raises the question as to whether there are any principles that guide these combinations, and whether these affixes occur in any particular order. This paper is an account of all the suffixes that may occur on the Kĩmwĩmbĩ verb, as well as the order in which they occur, starting with the plugs that are idiomatic with the root and on outwards to the affix that occurs farthest from the root.  The semantic import of these morphemes has also been dwelt upon as most of them are valency-changing.  The paper also presents the variations in their occurrences, the associated phonological and syntactic processes as well as the constraints surrounding their occurrences. The population for the study was all Kĩmwĩmbĩ verbs containing post- verbal affixes and data for the study was obtained from respondents from Tharaka-Nithi sub-county, Kenya, who are competent speakers of Kĩmwĩmbĩ and who were purposively sampled. The instrument of data collection was a structure generation exercise based on Kĩmwĩmbĩ verbs. Data was also gathered using introspective reports. Researcher-generated structures were also instrumental in informing the analysis. This being a qualitative and descriptive study, data was analyzed in terms of words, phrases and sentences and rules were developed and discussed to account for the affix manifestation on the verbs. The data has been presented in the light of the Principles and Parameters theory. The results demonstrate that suffix occurrence on the agglutinated verb is orderly relative to the first affix to occur after the root. This study contributes new data for the continuing analysis of Kĩmwĩmbĩ, a language that is yet to be fully analyzed. It also contributes to the linguistic theory by advancing knowledge on the morphology of Bantu verbs and the typology of African languages.

Keywords: Agglutinated, Morphemes, Reading, Argument

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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