Jagdish Joshi, Obadia .Y. Mbilinyi
Kinga is one of the endangered languages in Tanzania. This study is on Kinga noun classes. It is important as it adds knowledge to the studies on Bantu languages. The qualitative approach was used in the study and data were collected by an unstructured interview. From the observation by the researcher, Kinga has 19 noun classes. Most of the classes have no immanent nouns completely belonging to a particular class, different nouns like animals, objects and geographical features can fit to different classes. Class one and two are the only classes that have defined nouns belonging to them; they are nouns referring to human beings. In some classes the nouns lack the prefix, the augment is used instead. There are wonderful semantic features in Kinga noun prefixes. Prefixes can communicate lot of information. The prefixes can communicate behavioral aspects of an individual.
Kinga is endangered by Kiswahili. Kiswahili lexicon has penetrated Kinga language. Many Kiswahili words are used in Kinga. The contacts between the two languages endanger Kinga. An account of Kinga language is very minimal. With exception of the book by Schaderberg (1973) about Kinga being a restricted tone system, Kinga language can only be read in the religious books including the New Testament in Kinga written by SIL international. The researcher recommends documenting Kinga and other vernacular languages in Tanzania. It is vital for the future linguistic history. Syntactical, morphological, phonological, semantic and other aspects of language should be documented. Swahili may have a treasure from which lexicon may be added to Swahili instead of taking words from Arabic. Swahili is a Bantu language.
Augment, Bantu, Agreement, Kinga Language, Endangered language, Noun class, Prefix, semantics.
VOL.15, ISSUE No.1, March 2023