Kimeru Word - Formation Processes: An Onomasiological Approach
This research project focuses on the Kimeru word - formation processes within an onomasiological theoretical framework. It endeavours t o : identify the word - formation processes in Kimeru Language; investigate to what extent the individual word - formation rules or processes in Kimeru can be productive; find out whether there are productive syntactically - based word - formation proce sses in Kimeru; and account for the research data using an onomasiological theory of word - formation. To these ends, an appropriate methodol ogy was adopted: P urposive sampling was used to select a representative sample of ten informants, while carefully dra wing two informants from each of the five village s covering our area of research. The se le cted informants were then used to a ssist in the generation of data and in counter - checking the data given by each other to ensure correctness and authenticity , as wel l as in the pronunciation of both the words and the affixes in the data during participant observation sessions. The rest of the data was generated t hrough the introspective method. The collected data was then written down, transcribed, classified, tabulat ed and analysed morphologically. In the process, intuitions were also made, on the basis of native - speaker knowledge, about the structure of Kimeru words as well as about the correctness of the new word coinages. Thereafter, an attempt was made to explain the data from an onomasiological theoretical angle. After the analysis of the r esearch data, it was found out that four different kinds of onomasiological str uctures are employed by Kimeru speakers to generate new naming units, and that the specific onomas iological structure (onomasiological type ) employed in each case depends on the conceptual - semantic field to which the NU to be coined will belong as well as the pre - requisite conceptual analysis of the “object” to be named. Those On omasiological Types (OT s) form the bases for the more specific Word - Formation Rules (WFRs) that ope rate within specific conceptual - semantic fields in the process of coining new NUs in the res pective fields as the need arises . T he Onomasiological Types (OTs) identified were OT I, OT II, OT III an d OT IV, and they were found to complement each other in clusters that proved to b e 100% productive and regular within their respective fields of operation. Furthermore, the findings point to the presence of some syntactically - based word - f ormation processes in Kimeru, which appear to be productive though yielding irregular structures.