A Semantic Analysis of Ekegusii Kinship Terminologies
The goal of this research was to do a semantic analysis of kinship terms of Ekegusii language with special interest on terms that are used by the community for different relationships. Kinship terminologies denote relationships between groups and individuals, which are mainly based on genealogical relationships. They include the biological relationship between children and parents, and between marital partners or spouses and between siblings. Although, Kinship terminologies are universally similar all languages do not employ the same terms. Each community has a unique way of kinship terms and systems of these relationships depending on its culture. The study was a semantic analysis of Ekegusii kinship terms with a view of determining the cultural background meaning of the kinship terms. This research was specifically concerned with the semantic meanings of Ekegusii kinship terms using Fillmore's Frame semantics theory. The study focused on the Abagusii people and particularly the Maate (also referred to as Ekemaate) dialect where the data for this study was collected. The Maate dialect is spoken in one of the five Sub-Counties in Kisii County. Primary data was collected through the use of oral interviews done in Gucha South Sub-County. The respondents were elderly men and women aged between sixty and seventy years. Some secondary data was collected from a book, Chingencho chie'ekegusii written by Joseph Mandi (2011). It was established that Abagusii people have a wide range kinship system which covers the whole of father's clan. Patrilineal kin is more emphasized than matrilineal kin. Their system is classificatory where a number of kinship terms are used to refer to several kin relations. The kinship terms are analyzable in frames with some belonging to more than one frame. Particular kinship terms also have attitude and function frames which add meaning in regard to the cultural believes of the community.
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