Analysis of Lexical Borrowing as a Euphemistic Strategy for Sex-Related Topics in Selected Kipsigis Songs
Bartilol J, Jackqleline
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The study dealt with Kipsigis songs incorporating borrowed linguistic items from English and Kiswahili as the donor languages and using them metaphorically to euphemize sex-related topics. The objectives of this study include identifying and describing borrowed words used in euphemizing sensitive topics; accounting for their extended meanings based on Relevance Theory; establishing Kipsigis speaker’s attitudes towards borrowed words and accounting for these borrowed words as a politeness strategy using Politeness Theory (PT). The current study was triggered by little literature on the use of borrowed words as sex euphemisms by Kenyan indigenous languages such as Kipsigis. RT was chosen because of the concepts of context, relevance-theoretic comprehension procedure and ad hoc concept of broadening which helped in explaining meaning extension of borrowed words used figuratively to mask sex-related topics. PT was used in the current study due to the aspect of Face Saving Act (FSA) that dealt with sex euphemisms as a politeness strategy. Qualitative-descriptive design and quantitative design were used in data analysis. Purposive sampling was used to select the eight Kipsigis sex-related songs and the 20 Kipsigis native speakers aged 25-35 from Siongiroi ward so as provide the required data for analysis. Interviewing through questionnaire and non participant observation were used as tools for collecting data. The 8 songs were downloaded from the internet through Google search and saved in memory cards and flash discs then transcribed and translated to English for analysis. A total of 28 English and Kiswahili loanwords used in reference to sex-related topics were identified, categorized to sex categories and their morphological and phonological structures was given. In addition the study found out that ad hoc concept, lexical broadening and context in RT play a key role in the interpretation of extended meanings of loanwords used metaphorically as sex-related euphemisms. It was observed that Kipsigis respondents have a positive attitude towards the use of loanwords from English and Kiswahili in euphemising sensitive topics. Also the findings of the study revealed that the artists in the selected Kipsigis songs resorted to lexical borrowing as a politeness strategy serving a euphemistic function and this was fully accounted for by PT. Finally, a general summary of the study’s findings, conclusion and recommendations for further research was given.