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Title:The Englishization of Tanzanian Kiswahili: A study in language contact and convergence
Author(s):Kishe, Anne Jestina
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bokamba, Eyamba G.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:The main focus of the study is to examine the Englishization of Tanzanian Kiswahili resulting from the contact between Kiswahili and English. A cusory examination of the research on bilingualism and multilingualism indicates that the vast majority of studies on language variation and change in African languages have generally been undertaken from the point of view of Africanization of European languages (e.g., Spencer 1971, Sey 1973, Angogo et al. 1980, Bokamba 1982, Chishimba 1984, Kamwangamalu 1989, Kapanga 1990, Schmeid 1990) among others. Practically no study up to date has examined the reverse phenomenon, the influence of European languages on African lingua francas. The absence of such studies leaves the erroneous impression that European languages have had no significant impact, for almost a century. The Europeanization of African languages is a very productive process as it will be attested in this study.
This study shows that the Englishization of Kiswahili is a natural development given the historical contact between the two languages. It further shows how this contact situation has resulted in important linguistic changes in the phonology, morphology, lexicon and syntax of Kiswahili. It is shown that the enevitable attempt by language planners to expand the lexicon through English borrowings not only results in the modernization, but eventually leads to the Englishization not only of the lexicon but also of the phonology, morphology, intonation and orthographic patterns. Syntactically, the Englishization of Kiswahili originates from the transfer of elements through code mixing and borrowings. This results in the establishment of new registers and styles of discourse, leading to variation and change in the language.
The study also discusses the different attitudes which the Tanzanians have towards Englishization. It will be realized that, although the depth and range of Englishization is being restricted by the expansion in the use of Kiswahili, English is still considered an important linguistic tool by both the government (state) and individual groups of people (i.e., speech fellowship) who use it for interpersonal communication and for various functions, such as ascertaining authority. This discussion of the Englishization of Kiswahili is particularly interesting and motivating because of the insights it offers in the study of language contact situations.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Kishe, Anne Jestina
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543630
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543630

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