Article

Properties of the adjective category in Runyambo

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 40, issue 1, 2020 , pages: 120–129
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2019.1672335
Author(s): Lea MpobelaDepartment of Languages and Linguistics, Tanzania, Amani LusekeloDepartment of Languages and Literature, Tanzania

Abstract

The identification of adjectives in many languages seems to be a point of concern to many linguists. It has been established by some scholars that adjectives form a closed word category in many languages of the world, while in others they are said to form an open word category. The aim of this article is to determine the nature of adjectives in Runyambo, using the prototype theory. Any item deviating from the prototypical features of a category tends to be morphologically or syntactically marked. The items discussed in this article therefore range from core adjectives to adjectives derived from other word categories. Runyambo falls in a group of languages with a closed class of adjectives forming only 13 items. Among these 13 items, there are only six core adjectives, two adjectives derived from nouns, two from verbs and three flexible adjectives.

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