SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Slavikova, Magdalena (1975) Relationships among six north-eastern Bantu languages. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (55MB)


Six north-eastern Bantu languages spoken in Kenya are the subject of this thesis. They are Dawida, Saghala, Giryama, Kikuyu, Mvita and Unguja, Saghala, Giryama and Mvita lack substantial primary documentation, Dawida lacks any, and Kikuyu and Unguja are adequately documented. A study of the kind of relationships these languages display with each other has not been undertaken before, and consequently their place in existing classifications has not been free from ambiguities. Chapter 1is a general introduction to the subject of the study, its aims and scope, and the procedures employed. The comparative approach adopted here is M. Guthrie's methodology as it is presented in his Comparative Bantu: an introduction to the comparative linguistic and -prehistory of the Bantu languages (4 volumes, The Gregg Press Ltd., Farnborough, Hants, 1967-1971 ). It is based on the examination of lexicons of particular languages and on relating items with a common meaning and regular sound- correspondence s. Results of such examination may or may not be interpreted diachronically. Since this study seeks to establish how close the relationships are between the six selected languages against their common Bantu background, the second chapter contains description of the processes by means of which Common Bantu cognates were identified in each language. It also contains notes on the tendencies, as far as they were found to exist, among sound- correspondences of items which are not perfect cognates of Common Bantu. Items which have been identified as perfect cognates of Common Bantu are then treated statistically (chapter 3) and several indices are obtained for degrees of closeness of relationships between each two pairs. The resulting degrees of closeness are then ordered hierarchically and, in conclusion (chapter 4), languages are grouped according to the degree of closeness of relationship between each other, and a tentative diachronic statement is made regarding their likely genealogy.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item