Dholuo Cleft Sentences: A Systemic Functional Grammar Approach.
Ochieng’, Abidha George
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This study analysed the cleft constructions in Dholuo using the Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) approach as propounded by Halliday and Matthiessen (2004). The study was guided by three objectives namely: to identify Dholuo cleft sentences and to describe their structure as exchange, to determine the semantic functions of Dholuo cleft constructions and to establish the extent to which the speakers of Dholuo use the different kinds of cleft sentences. Language in SFG is viewed as a network of related systems from which a speaker makes choices as governed by the social and linguistic contexts. The literature reviewed in this study revealed that many a scholarship in Dholuo grammar has been on major syntactic structures and Dholuo constituent order phenomena. It has also revealed that quite a number of world languages use cleft sentences for various purposes, the difference being the extent and context of use. Within SFG, which provided the theoretical framework for the present study, language is also viewed as socially embedded and as consisting of systems of grammatical categories, which are in constant interactions, and from which a speaker has to choose in order to communicate appropriately in varying linguistic contexts. It fits language within social and linguistic contexts of use, thus prioritizing the three key functions of language- ideational, interpersonal and textual. Chapter three discusses the research methodology. The data for the study was collected from among native Dholuo speakers in Rarieda sub county, Siaya County and who had a minimum of secondary school education. Questions on carefully selected extracts fromtheDholuo newspaper ‘OlithJaganga’ were administered to the respondents who were expected to give written responses to the questions within a specified time limit. A few of the sentences generated were coded, identified and described in terms of their structure and semantic function.In cases where the extracts did not yield the required data, the researcher relied on his intuitive knowledge of the language. The research design adopted here is the qualitative research design and particularly the descriptive one largely because the written data collected required coding and description. Purposive sampling was used to deliberately target and isolate the data-rich sample useful for the study. This study found out that SFG can be used to analyse and describe Dholuo cleft sentences. It finally recommends that the other kinds of meaning of the clause be applied in the analysis of cleft sentences and also a study on the possibility of achieving emphasis and contrast other than by use of cleft constructions conducted.