The grammar of compund nouns in Bemba.
Chulu, Chupa Reuben
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This study is informed by the observations and revelations that Bemba compound nouns do alter the meaning of words. At the centre of generating meanings of compound nouns in Bemba is a critical analysis into the grammar of Bemba compound nouns with regard to their morphology, syntax and semantics. The study lends itself to the contention by Kula (2009) that the combined nominal roots show properties of compounds with respect to the head controlling agreement and with respect to prosodic requirements on the head to end in a high tone. As a Bantu language (M42) mainly spoken in the Northern part of Zambia, Bemba compound nouns present an interesting area of Bantu linguistics in the manner the compounds behave with regard to their grammar. The study aimed to establish the grammatical properties in Bemba Compound Nouns. The unified theories of argument structure, Government and Binding as well as Transformational Generative Grammar were used in exploiting the grammatical properties of compound nouns. In principle, the Transformational Generative Grammar was used in the process of analysis to fully grasp the meaning behind the words selected within the corpus of this study. The study used qualitative approach to collect data and analysis. It was conducted within the spheres of the morphology, syntax and semantics of the Bemba compound nouns. The study revealed that nouns can combine with verbs, adjectives, nouns and so forth and can form complex compound nouns in form of grammatical phrases and clauses. The study also revealed that when two parts of speech such as; a noun and a verb, an adjective, an adverb and so forth are combined to form a compound; the meaning of individual words is obscured. The study concluded that compound nouns can be studied from different perspectives. The study therefore recommends that future research on Bemba compound nouns focus on the phonology or the aspect of their sociolinguistics.
The University of Zambia
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