Metarepresentation In Kimeru Narratives
1.0. Introduction Here, an introduction of the project is done by indicating major research assumptions and procedures on which it is based. 1.1. Background to the Study Demonstratives play important roles in Eastern Bantu folk tales. Studies have revealed that demonstratives in Bantu narratives differ in terms of number, morphology (i.e. mode of formation), distribution and functions accordingly, with reference to specific languages. That is to say that those aspects are language specific. 1.1.1 Studies in Bantu narratives texts There is evidence of studies that have been carried out on narratives. For example Steve Nicolle (2014) has described the functions of demonstratives in some Eastern Bantu cultural languages depending on the analysis of narrative texts in their original states. They include some languages in Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Congo (DRC). These includes; Fuliiru, (Democratic Republic of Congo), Chidigo, (Kenya), Kwaya, Suba-simbiti, Kabwa, and Malila, (Tanzania ) and last but not the least, Makonde, a Bantu language spoken in Mozambique. According to him, demonstratives act as referential elements in narratives in these languages. Additionally apart from the identification of specific players in the story, these units can also feature throughout the entire text playing discourse level functions namely; activation status , agency function, text structuring function and thematic development function. Heimelmann also classified four (non-spatial deictic uses of demonstratives which he termed as; situational, discourse deictic, recognitional and tracking functions respectively. According to him, situational function as the name suggests relates the character to the situation in which the narrative is being related. A Makonde text which situates the story during the “ing’ondo-alilaitandi (that First World War) illustrates this. Here, the distal demonstrative “alila” situates the war (ing’ondo) in relation to the time of the story. 2 He also explains the discourse-deictic function to refer to the use of demonstratives to refer to propositions and events. Nicolle (2012) argues that the Digo class 8 referential demonstrative “hivyo” has that function. The recognitional use of demonstratives identifies a particular referent using knowledge shared and is not derived from situational clues or the proceeding discourse. This function is played by the Digo distal demonstrative, according to Nicolle (in press, 92). And lastly, in the tracking use, the demonstratives enables the narrator to track what is happening to (usually major) participants in a narrative. Diessel (1999) records that this is a special situation in the narrative which is anaphoric in nature in which demonstratives refer to entities which has been previously mentioned in the same discourse. Many of the eastern Bantu narrative texts are of this form. 1.1.2 Morphological analysis On the other hand, a morphological analysis of the demonstratives in Eastern Bantu narrative texts have been carried out in those languages. For example, there are those that comprise a dual nature such as the the proximal demonstrative. Its morphological structure is a combination of a vowel prefix and the root. In a language like Bena of Tanzania, the class two demonstrative 'uyu' has the prefix 'u' and the root 'yu'. Its class two has the vowel 'a' and the root 'va', Just to mention but few. In view of the evidence above, this study was therefore based on the premises that demonstratives feature variously in different narratives and that these differences are language specific.
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