Comparative analysis of the phonology of Silozi and Sesotho

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Lynn, Celinah Leboela
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This study investigates sounds in the Silozi and Sesotho and seeks to establish that Silozi is still maintaining the Sotho sound patterns. The study also endeavours to demonstrate that Silozi is a version of Sesotho; but due to its geographical location and influences of the Luyana language (originally from Congo) and other Zambian languages, it differs slightly with the original Sesotho. The set-up of segmental and suprasegmental phonemes of both Silozi and Sesotho accordingly constitutes the main content of this work through consideration of the similarities and differences of the phonemes in their respective languages. Whilst not purporting to be exhaustive, the study provides suggestive analysis mainly based on historical facts since recent literature is limited especially in the Sesotho language. Although, wherever relevant, morphological and syntactical levels are taken into account, the research is basically dealing with phonological evidence. In the end the study seeks to determine whether Silozi is a language or a dialect of Sesotho to which it is very closely related historically. The report is arranged in five chapters. Chapter One introduces the subject beginning with a general background and proceeding to the research rationale, areas of interest and focus as well as the expected outcomes. The historical background is dealt with in this chapter. The chapter also outlines the research methodology. Chapter Two reviews relevant literature and discusses relevant historical and socio-linguistic backgrounds and the criticality and relevance of the sources to the research and its analysis. Additionally, this chapter considers the classification and the geographical distribution of the two languages. Finally, it gives a treatment of the status of the two languages in their respective countries, the Sesotho's derived languages and a restatement of the nature of the study. Chapter Three discusses the inputs of segmental and suprasegmental theories used in the phonological comparison of Silozi and Sesotho by presenting a discussion of the Southern Bantu vowels in general followed by the discussion of Silozi and Sesotho vowels. The classification of consonants and the click in Sesotho are also considered. This chapter also looks at the research outcomes and components and their connections as well as their impact on the study. Chapter Four presents the findings of the research and sorts the data collected from the research and highlights key issues noted by the researcher, shows where significant issues lie. Chapter Five summarises and draws conclusions of the study and re-indicates its purpose, reviews the research process and gives the critiques of the researcher. Furthermore, it states the possible use of the study to academics and others. This final chapter suggests recommendations based on the findings and analysis of the data. Among the recommendations are that on one hand the current siLozi grammar be maintained in the schools, so as not to confuse pupils and learners of the language and on the other hand, Sesotho (Lesotho orthography) could be changed into the conjunctive method of writing as used in South Africa. Finally it is the hope of the researcher that this study will contribute to the body of knowledge in the Bantu phonological studies and future scholarly endeavours by other researchers.
Zambia - languages , Zambia - Local Languages , Lesotho - Languages