Analysis of the interpretation of selected lexical items in Kenya constitution (2010) by Kipsigis speakers
Chepkwony, Alfred Kipkoech
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This study falls within the area of Analysis of Interpretation of Documents. The study is about analysis of Kipsigis speaker's interpretation of selected lexical items and phrases in the Kenya Constitution published in 2010. The main objectives of the study were to: i) identify and analyze lexical items and phrases in the constitution that were wrongly interpreted in Kipsigis. ii) describe the challenges faced in the interpretation of selected lexical items or phrases. iii) assess whether the variables of gender and age influence the interpretation of selected lexical items and phrases. The study focused mainly on the Chapter Eleven on 'Devolved Government'. The motivation of this study is hinged on the fact that ideally, interpretation from one language into another or other languages should be possible. Relevance Theory and Interpretive Theory give the various maxims interpreters or translators should obey while engaging in interpretation. Relevance theory explains aspects of inferences based on context and other elements while Interpretive Theory emphasizes on the notion of resemblance, that is, the meaning in one language is transferable to another language. The study employed qualitative research techniques in analyzing and describing the data. This study used a group of twenty respondents of class eight level of education purposely sampled in Kembu location of Bomet County, which was the area of study. This study group was sampled bearing in mind the social variables of gender and age. Another four specialized respondents were also interviewed in the process. The study also utilized a combination of tape - recording, use of questionnaires and interview schedules for data elicitation from the respondents and interviewees. The researcher presents a detailed analysis of the data collected based on the stated objectives of the study. This study has found out that some lexical items such as 'Devolution', 'Gender', 'Integrity' and 'Transition' among others in the constitution were wrongly interpreted in Kipsigis; language differences, ambiguity, word borrowing, lack of equivalents and nativisation were some of the challenges in interpretation of the lexical items in Kipsigis; that gender but not age had a significant influence in the interpretation of the selected lexical items. In addition to other recommendations, this study further proposes that analysis of interpretation of lexical items in the constitution into other languages can also be studied. In this study the 'Interpretation' was taken as synonymous with comprehension such that, correct interpretation meant that the studied population comprehended the elicited lexical items better.