The verb 'be' in Kikamba: issues in identifying the form
Kioko, Angelina N.
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triedfor three years to find the verb 'have'in Ewe ... " Those were the words uttered with a m' of frustration and delight of a missionary on furlough several years ago. (Welmers 1972. 208) This quotation echoes the challenges presented to a researcher in Bantu linguistics b) surface structure (spoken) form of a typical Bantu language. A major part of the problem is attrib to the many morphophonological processes operating on the basic forms thus obscuring the a forms of particular morphemes and/or lexical items. Given the spoken form of Kikamba, for e one can isolate four forms of the verb 'be'; e, nii' and -ith(i) w- as the sentences below show