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Maw, Joan (1968) Sentences in Swahili: A study of their internal relationships. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is a description of the structure of the units Sentence, Clause and Group in Swahili, and of their interrelationships. It is derivative in that the theory and method used are those of Professor M.A.K. Halliday. It is original in that the application is to a language of which previous descriptions deal mainly with word-morphology and only incidentally with a few relationships between words or higher units. So far as I know this is the first attempt to deal systematically with the language from the point of view of units larger than Word, and the first to do so at all syntactically rather than morphologically. One of the results of attempting an overall description has been that many areas have been exposed where there is uncertainty as to possibilities. Such areas require further investigation, but at least their outlines have been mapped by this work. Some of these new areas have been explored; namely the element R (Referent) in clause structure, one which seems necessary for the description of Swahili and the existence of which has previously been unsuspected; the problem of sequence of clauses, of groups and of words, which has previously scarcely been touched on; and work on intonation patterns and their interrelation with the sequence of grammatical units, which is quite new so far as I am aware. A number of small points have also arisen which contradict the generally accepted views of existing grammars, e.g. the tonic need not be on the penultimate syllable; the tenses -nge- and -ngali- can exist in related clauses; the -ki- tense need not be followed by the -ta-; the -nge- tense can be used alone. Finally, the reason for the emergence of some other small new points, such as the frequency of 'adverbial' forms in qualifying groups, may be because, so far as I am aware, this is the first work to be based entirely on spontaneous spoken material.

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

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