A Morpho-Semantic Study of Kipsigis Place Names
Kibet, Kirui Robert
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This study focused on the morpho-semantics of place names in the Kipsigis dialect. The study had three objectives, which were: to describe the morphological processes involved in the formation of names in Kipsigis, to establish the extent to which Kipsigis toponyms were formed through systematic processes and lastly to analyze different meanings evident in Kipsigis toponyms. The study used a descriptive research design. The data was in the form of place names. Fifty six toponyms were sampled purposively from a roll of administrative units in sub-county commissioner‟s office in Bomet Sub-County. Based on Generative Morphology, the morphological structures of the sampled names were described and the percentage of frequency of occurrence of each process was captured in pie-charts. Twelve respondents were interviewed for meanings. A semi-structured interview was used to obtain the meanings of the names. The data was analyzed in terms of the meanings evident. The findings were that the names exhibit certain morphological processes, both, systematic and idiosyncratic. Systematic word formation processes were prominent. The examples the systematic word formation processes were: affixation, compounding and conversion while under idiosyncratic processes we had avoidance of word formation. The study also found out that all Kipsigis toponyms bear denotative meanings. In addition, some carry connotative meanings. The study made pertinent recommendations, one of which is that when naming places or institutions, those responsible should consider the semantic implication of such names. The study also suggested areas for further studies.