Taiwan Journal of Linguistics

A Diamond Open Access Journal (free to authors and readers)
ISSN: 1729-4649 (print); 1994-2559 (online)

KISWAHILI LANGUAGE DESCRIPTION AND TRANSLATIONAL GRAMMARS

Amidu, Assibi A
There is a close relationship between grammatical description and language typology. I illustrate this relationship by looking at the impact of translational descriptions on our knowledge of noun phrase syntax and word morphology in Kiswahili. For example, one Bantu tradition describes locative nouns as prepositional nouns or adverbs and their phrases as PPs. The descriptions arise because the nouns translate as prepositions or adverbs or prepositional phrases in l.o.ds. Another tradition takes the view that Kiswahili locative nouns are not really nouns but forms of nouns. I conclude that language description ought to reflect not only the teacher's knowledge of the mechanics of linguistic science but also the typology of the l.u.d.