Scourse Functions of Interjections in Kikamba
Muthoka, Faith Mumbua
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The purpose of this Discourse Analysis study was to explain the nature and function of Kĩkamba language interjections in discourse. Kĩkamba is a Bantu language and the Kĩmasaku dialect of the language was the focus of this research study. This survey study used three theories in explaining the nature and function of interjections in Kĩmasaku dialect of Kĩkamba language discourses. The Functional Theory of Interjection (Ameka, 1992), the Speech Acts Theory (Austin 1962) and Brinton‟s (1996) Taxonomy of Discourse Markers were the theories used. Data was collected and analysed using Qualitative research methods. The study used a combination of two research instruments namely; questionnaires and a content analysis guide. These two tools helped in the identification of interjections for analysis from a book- Kĩkamba Self-Instruction Manual and a questionnaire. Ten respondents sampled out throw social network participated in the filling of the questionnaires. There was also a key informant, purposively sampled to assist in the research. There were seven mini dialogues sampled from the book above, for analysis using the content analysis guide. One of the objectives was to describe the various structural forms of the interjections. Findings revealed that structurally, interjections are in the forms of sound, word, phrase, clausal and sentential structure levels. The second objective was to find out the role played by interjections in Kĩkamba language discourse and the contextual conditions defining their functions in the discourses. The findings revealed that interjections play important roles in discourse such as discourse marking and acting as speech acts. It was concluded that the role that an interjection played in discourse was determined by the context of the interjection use/ appearance. Finally, categories of discourse markers as well as the types of speech acts constituted by the interjections in Kĩkamba language discourses were compiled. Findings revealed a variety of discourse marker functions performed by the interjections such as; showing subjectivity by expressing a reaction to the preceding discourse/action and turn taking among others. Some interjections served as information carrying units and concluded to be speech acts. Assertive and directive SAs were some of the speech acts functions performed by the interjections. The results of this study demonstrated that interjections are key expressions that serve important functions in conversations by transmitting information and structuring discourse. Thus language users and speech writers ought to be enlightened on the importance of interjections in language use. Curriculum developers in the Language Subjects need to provide fleshy information concerning interjections just the same way other word classes have adequate details. This is because a lot of information details about the structural and functional aspects of this important word class across different languages.