Comparative tense and aspect in the Mara Bantu languages: towards a linguistic history

Authors:
Date:
2013
Degree:
M.A., Trinity Western University
Extent:
308 pages
Abstract:
Through the elicitation of 91 Swahili sentences and the collection of one oral text, this research compares the TAM systems of several Mara Bantu languages (Tanzania/Kenya) with the aim of finding any shared “individual-identifying” innovations (Nichols 1996) that can either affirm Mara as a coherent genetic linguistic sub-group (Schoenbrun 1990) or point toward a different historical scenario. A secondary goal is to provide a preliminary linguistic description of the TAM systems of five Mara languages: Ikizu (JE402, [ikz]), Ikoma (JE45, [ntk]), Kabwa (JE405, [cwa]), Simbiti (JE431, [ssc]), and Zanaki (JE44, [zak]). The research concludes that there is sufficient “individual-identifying” evidence from TAM systems to validate both a North Mara and a South Mara sub­group (Schoenbrun 1990). There is not, on the other hand, a sufficient base of shared “individual-identifying” innovations to propose a unique proto-Mara TAM system uniting North Mara and South Mara at a post-proto-Great Lakes phase of development.
Publication Status:
Preprint
Table of Contents:
Abstract ...ii Acknowledgements ...iv List of Figures ...vi List of Tables ...vii Abbreviations ...viii Table of Contents ...x 1. Introduction ...1; 1.1 Section Overview ...3; 1.2 Preview of Research and Results ...3; 1.3 Bantu Language Classification and Historical-Comparative Linguistics...7; 1.3.1 Historical Overview ...7 1.3.2 Clarification of Historical-Comparative Linguistics ...12; 1.4 The Bantu Languages and Study of Tense/Aspect ...15; 1.4.1 Nurse’s Conceptual Framework ...16; 1.4.2 The Structure of the Bantu Verb ...19 1.4.3 Historical Implications of Nurse’s TA Study ...25; 1.5 Language Situation in the Mara Region of Tanzania ...25; 1.5.1 Guthrie’s Classification ...26; 1.5.2 Genetic Affiliation ...30; 1.5.3 Previous Literature on the Mara Languages...34; 1.5.4 Brief Description of Individual TAM Systems in the Core Mara Languages...36; 1.5.5 The Influence of Swahili in Tanzania ...39; 1.5.6 Research Questions ...39; 1.6 Overview of Research ...40; 2 Philosophy and Methodology ...41; 2.1 Philosophical Underpinnings and Establishing Individual-Identifying Innovations...41; 2.2 Data Collection Procedures ...48 2.3 Advantages and Limitations of the Methodology...51; 3 Tense ...55; 3.1 Past Tenses ...56; 3.1.1 Remote Past (P4) ...60; 3.1.2 Hesternal Past (P3) ...65; 3.1.3 Hodiernal Past (P2) and Immediate Past (P1) ...67; 3.2 Relative Tenses: The Narrative and Related Forms ...72; 3.2.1 Usage of the -(V)ka- Formative ...73; 3.2.2 Other Formatives Used in Narrative Discourse ...75; 3.3 Non-Past Tenses ...77; 3.3.1 Remote Future (F4) and Crastinal Future (F3) ...79; 3.3.2 Hodiernal Future (F2) ...82; 3.3.3 Immediate Future (F1) ...85; 3.3.4 Present Tense as the Vast Present (Timeless) ...88; 3.4 Section Summary and Conclusions ...95; 4 Aspect ...96; 4.1 Anterior/Perfect ...97; 4.2 Progressive/Continuous ...99; 4.3 Habitual ...104; 4.4 Persistive ...105; 4.5 A Category Involving Tense and Aspect: The Inceptive ...109; 4.6 Combinations of Tense and Aspect ...112; 4.7 Section Summary and Conclusion ...117; 5 Other categories: Modality, Focus, Negation, and Relative Clauses ...118; 5.1 Subjunctive Mood ...119; 5.2 Conditional ...120; 5.3 Hypothetical...123; 5.4 Potential ...126; 5.5 Focus ...127; 5.6 Negation ...131; 5.7 Relative clauses...136; 5.8 Section Summary and Conclusion ...142; 6 Implications for Sub-grouping and Reconstruction ...144; 6.1 The Evidence for Proto-Mara from TAM Marking ...145; 6.1.1 Past Tense ...146; 6.1.2 Non-Past Tenses and the Progressive ...152; 6.1.3 Comparing Other Categories ...154; 6.2 Sub-grouping the Mara Languages ...157; 6.3 Directions for Future Research ...162; 7 Conclusion ...164
Country:
Tanzania
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Aspect
Bantu
Comparative
Mara
TAM
Tanzania
Tense
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
55388