A lexico – pragmatic analysis of Kipsigis marriage dowry Negotiations
Cheroigin, Naomi Chelangat
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ABSTRACT The study sought to find out the lexical items used during Kipsigis marriage negotiations and their meaning. The need for this study arose due to the fact that during marriage negotiations, some lexical items are used in a unique way yet the same items are in daily usage but have a different meaning. The objectives of this study were: to identify the lexical items that are used to create and maintain interpersonal relationship during marriage negotiation process and encode gender, to identify the lexical items which are in everyday usage but acquire specific usage in marriage negotiation, and finally to find out what these lexical choices reveal about the Kipsigis perception of institution of marriage. The findings of this research study has provided useful information on the use of lexical items which are encountered in daily usage and are also used during Kipsigis marriage negotiations. The research study was based on Lexico-Pragmatic Theory. The study was carried out in Siongiroi Division of Bomet County and it employed descriptive design. A descriptive design describes the state of affairs as it exists. The study population comprised of all the marriage negotiations in the area of study but since it was impossible to study all of them; two marriage negotiations were sampled because the terminologies used in the negotiations were similar. Marriage negotiations is a cultural activity, so dowry negotiations were expected to have many similarities. Purposive sampling was used to get the sample size which in this case was two marriage negotiations. Data collection was done using observation, audio- recording and interview. The data was then analysed by categorizing the lexical items used to maintain interpersonal relationship in negotiations, and identifying the words that encode the gender relations. This informed the discussion on what the lexical items used reveal about the Kipsigis perception of marriage. The findings revealed that there are various lexical items that are used during marriage negotiations which are also found in everyday use but their meanings vary according to the context of use. The findings also showed that those who share the same background information will interpret the message by either broadening or narrowing the lexical items, whereas those who do not are likely to misinterpret them.