Morphology and Semantics of Tonga anthroponyms:A case of Tonga given Names and Surnames

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Hang'ombe, Khama
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University of Zambia
Many ethnic groups of Africa, the Tonga people inclusive, predominantly prefer culture-bound and meaningful personal names. African, names define who one is, where one comes from, make reference to events surrounding one‘s birth and identify that which the namer(s) and bearer(s) hates or cherishes in their lives. The aim of the study was to present the morphology and meaning of Tonga anthroponyms. A Unified Theory of Names which argues that names have denotative and connotative meaning was used. The study used qualitative approach to data collection and analysis. It was conducted among the Tonga people in four villages of Mbabala area in Southern province in Zambia. Using purposive sampling, the researcher carried out semi-structured interviews. Collected names were then grouped according to their semantic categories. The morphology of the anthroponyms was analysed using hyphens. Tonga noun class system and derivation were used in the analysis. The study revealed that fathers give given names to their children at one week of age while nicknames are either self-impossed or given by other community members. Through anthroponyms namers express what they approve and disapprove and endearment. It was also found out that these anthroponyms are derivatives hence can be analysed morphologically. Furthermore, it was found out that Tonga anthroponyms have both denotative and connotative meaning. This is because they are taken from existing stock of Tonga vocabulary. Some of the Tonga anthroponyms have positive meaning while others have negative meaning. The study concluded that anthroponyms derived from verbs are made up of complex or compound nominal stems. On the other hand, Tonga anthroponyms derived from nouns are made up of simplex noun stems. It was also concluded by the study that Tonga anthroponyms are meaningful and are used to minimise conflict, teach, advise, inform and to show endearment. Anthroponyms can be studied from different perspectives. The study recommends that future research on Tonga anthroponyms focus on the syntax or their phonology.
Thesis(MA)-University of Zambia,2015
Zambian literature--History and criticism. , Names, Personal, in literature , Names, Personal--Tonga.