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A Comparative Account of Possession Expression in Tugen and Kiswahili
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 7, Issue 2, March 2019, Pages: 55-62
Received: Jan. 21, 2019; Accepted: Mar. 13, 2019; Published: Apr. 10, 2019
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Prisca Jerono, Department of Kiswahili, Faculty of Arts, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
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Ownership, kinship and whole/part relationships are possessive expressions in natural languages. Possession is distinguished between alienable and inalienable possession, depending on the semantic relationship between the possessor and possessum. Alienable possession is a contextually dependent semantic relationship, where the elements in the relationship do not show any semantic dependency, whereas inalienable possession is a permanent semantic relationship between the possessor and the possessum for example as used in the expression of body parts. Besides possession, languages also exploit possessive expressions to express non possessive relationships, for example, emotive states. This paper attempts to compare how possession is expressed in Tugen, a Southern Nilotic language of the Kalenjin macro language and Kiswahili, a Bantu language. It also seeks to show how alienable and inalienable possession is distinguished in the languages, if at all, as well as how possessive expressions are used to express other non possessive relationships in both languages. It also seeks to find out the role of definiteness in the semantic expression of possession. This paper shows that in spite of the differences in the two languages the expression of possession is somewhat similar. Tugen is a VSO language while Kiswahili is an SVO language. Tugen is a native language spoken in Baringo county of Kenya, while Kiswahili is an official and national language in Kenya.
Alienable and Inalienable Possession, Nominal Possession, Verbal Possession, Definiteness, Possessor Chains
To cite this article
Prisca Jerono, A Comparative Account of Possession Expression in Tugen and Kiswahili, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 7, No. 2, 2019, pp. 55-62. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20190702.11
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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