A synchronic survey of Kiembu dialects
The study attempts to establish and describe the dialects of Kiembu by comparing their phonological, morphological and lexical features. In order to establish the extent of the variations in Kiembu, the research is set to establish the phonological, morphological and lexical features of Kiembu dialects, investigate the distribution patterns of the identified variables and establish the factors that cause the dialectal variation. The research is based on the variationist sociolinguistics theory founded by William Labov (1969) who based his work on the notion of variability. The theory was later introduced by Tagliamonte (2012) as Language Variation and Change (LVC) which has its foundational maxim based on labov‟s idea that variation is an inherent part of language. It was observed that the dialect features that have been discussed are not absolutely present in one dialect and absent in the other. To the contrary, the situation is fluid as the variables are found in either dialect. Our basis for identifying boundaries is based on what is considered a typical form of a word for a particular dialect region, as Kimbeti, Kiruguru and Kiveti are mutually intelligible.