Linguistic Borrowing and Language Vitality in Lubukusu
Furaha, Marissa Muandike
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This study is an analysis of cultural lexical borrowing of nominals in Lubukusu from English, their morphological assimilation into the language and the resultant vitality of Lubukusu. Its objectives were: to identify the cultural lexical nominals that Lubukusu has borrowed from English; to examine how the cultural lexical nominals borrowed from English have been adapted into the morphological system of Lubukusu and to establish the vitality of Lubukusu as a result of these borrowings. Two theories guided this study: the Borrowing Transfer Theory as propounded by Terrence Odlin (1989) which demonstrates that when languages come into contact, transfer or diffusion of material from one language to another takes place, and The Ethnolinguistic Vitality Theory as advanced by Giles et al (1977), which highlights three indicators of a language's vitality: demography, status and institutional support. This theory aids this study in establishing the vitality of Lubukusu as a result of borrowing cultural lexical nominals from English. Primary data was collected by use of semi structured interviews with twenty four Lubukusu-English bilinguals who are native speakers of Lubukusu- these were tape recorded; and tape recording of radio broadcasts in Lubukusu from local FM radio stations. Secondary data was collected from written literature in Lubukusu namely the Bukusu bible and the Bukusu-English dictionary. Recorded data was transcribed and then analyzed together with the written data using the stated theories. A total of 157 cultural lexical borrowed nominals were identified and classified into nine semantic fields. Their morphological assimilation into Lubukusu and the resultant vitality of the language were also examined. Frequencies of occurrence of these borrowed nominals were compiled in regard to semantic fields, data source, gender and age of respondents using SPSS version 17. The results were presented in tables and figures. The findings of the study revealed that Lubukusu has borrowed cultural lexical nominals in different semantic fields and these are assimilated into the Lubukusu morphological system hence increasing its expressive power.