The grammar of compound nouns in Chitonga
Musale, maureen Mweene Chiyonga
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This study investigated the assumption that compound noun words embed a grammar of a language with special reference to Tonga. The descriptive study was carried out to examine whether the assumption which is thought to be universal is applicable to Tonga, a Bantu language (M64) mainly spoken in the southern part of Zambia. The research applied purposive sampling and snowball sampling to identify and also collect data from fifteen informants. These composed two custodians of the language and thirteen teachers of the language in secondary schools in Southern Province. Radio programs, church and reading materials in Tonga also contributed to the data collected. The collected data was then subjected to phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantics theories for analysis. Syntactic analysis was carried out based on Transformational Generative Grammar. In addition, Government Binding theories were used to analyse grammatical structures and functions of words in a compound noun. The observations done through morphophonological, syntactical and semantics analysis proved that compound noun words do embed a grammar of a language. The analysis was achieved through the four linguistic levels of, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. The proposition that compound nouns embed the grammar of a language was therefore proved true not only to Tonga as has been proved in other languages.