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McNeill-Everduim, Francisca (2023) Chasu, Taveta and Mbugu: A comparison. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This doctoral thesis focuses on three Bantu languages: Chasu (G22, a.k.a. Asu, Pare, Chathu, Kipare), Mbugu (G221, or “Normal Mbugu”) and Taveta (G21, a.k.a. Kitaveta, Tubheta). Chasu has been linked strongly to Mbugu (e.g. Mous 2003) and to Taveta (e.g. Nurse & Hinnebusch 1993). However, the three languages have never been mentioned together in previous linguistic research. This thesis compares the morphology, syntax and lexicon of these three languages on the basis of collected field data and published literature. It is found that Mbugu differs more from Chasu and Taveta in its phonology and morphology, whereas Taveta differs more from both languages in its syntax. Mbugu shows more internal variation than the other two languages. Lexicostatistical analysis led to the following results: 77% shared vocabulary between Chasu on the one hand and both Mbugu and Taveta on the other; 67% shared vocabulary between Taveta and Mbugu. The findings of this thesis are tied to individual speaker attitudes, language contact and variation and are particularly relevant for dialectological, data-driven linguistic research. In concluding, it is argued that an even more in-depth, corpus-based interactive approach is the best way to further understand these languages and how they will evolve.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Lutz Marten
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2023 12:00
Funders: Leverhulme Trust

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