A MORPHOLOGICAL TYPOLOGY OF EKEGUSII IN A STRUCTURAL FRAMEWORK.
, Nairobi: University of Nairobi Abstract
Based on the structuralism theory which posits that language is structural and that each language must be described in terms of its own structure, this study attempts to typologize Ekegusii using morphology as its parameter. The study assigns Ekegusii language a morphological structure type mechanically by analyzing the nominal and the verbal forms. Thus, rather than provide a discreet typology where Ekegusii corresponds to one type of the four-fold morphological classification of languages: synthetic, fusional, analytic, or polysynthetic, the study ranks Ekegusii along the morphological typology continuum by determining its synthetic and fusional degree. The index of synthesis measures the number of morphemes per word and fusional measures the extent to which the morphemes are readily segmentable. The study demonstrates that both the nominal and verbal forms have several morphemes per a word. The morphemes are clearly segmentable, substitutable and unfused. They can be divided into prefixes, roots and suffixes and have a reasonably invariant phonetic shape. The study thus establishes that Ekegusii is polysystematic morphologically. It does not fall exclusively into one structure type. While it has a very high level of synthesis, it also has a low index of fusion.