ERIC Number: ED116469
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Nominal Possession in Swahili: Its Role in Communication.
Hawkinson, Annie K.
This paper defines the grammatical role of a particle in Swahili in terms of the semantic information which it contributes to all utterances in which it occurs. The particle -A occurs in the syntactic configuration Noun 1 -A Noun 2 and has been traditionally described as reflecting relations of possession and attribution between the two nouns in construct. By identifying the meaning-carrying function of this particle in communication, it becomes possible to understand how speakers are able to employ a single linguistic form to convey a wide variety of messages. In explaining these possibilities, context is crucial. A premise of the paper is that the differences observed in the various contexts of -A enable speakers to communicate different messages with the single form. "Context" in this usage may be linguistic or non-linguistic. According to differences in context, the meaning of -A is manipulated to express what initially appears to be totally different relationships between the two nouns linked by -A. However, it is shown that the form has essentially one communicative value, meaning, and that the different messages result from inferences on the part of speakers and hearers alike about the precise nature of the message conveyed by -A in a given context. (Author/CLK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at African Linguistics Meeting (5th, April 1975) and at the California Linguistics Association Meeting (May 1975); Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document