Tense, aspect and modality systems in Kihavu: a minimalist perspective
This study focused on the nature of tense, aspect and modality systems in Kihavu within a Minimalist Program framework. Specifically, it sought to find out what affixes, lexical categories and prosodic features are used to mark tense, aspect and modality systems in the language. Using morphemic breakdowns and tree diagrams, the study ahalyzed the meanings and functions of verbal- affixes, lexical categories, tonal distinctions and the relations among them. The data used in the study comprised sentences which came from the following three sources: introspection, translation and interview. In order to capture the different tones used in Kihavu, part of the data was collected orally and tape-recorded. The analysis of the data showed that there are three possible ways in which tense, aspect and modality in Kihavu are realized: through morphological inflections, through supra-segmental features and through lexical categories such as auxiliaries and temporal adverbs. A Minimalist Program framework was thus adequate for this study for it provided an overview of the building blocks underlying the Kihavu verbal expression. In terms of organization, chapter one gives a historical background to the language of study, states the problem, and presents the objectives, the assumptions, the rationale of the study, and its scope and limitations. The second chapter reviews the relevant literature and describes the theoretical framework. Chapter three describes the methodology of the study. Chapter four and five respectively offer an analysis of the Kihavu temporal and aspectual systems. Chapter six is a morphological analysis of Kihavu modal expressions. The seventh (and final) chapter is a conclusion to the whole study.