The Morphology of the Sesotho Form /bo-/: An Exploratory Study

Francina L. Moloi, Madira L. Thetso


This paper explores the phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic behaviour of the Sesotho form /bo-/. The form /bo-/ is bound and has been classified as a class 2a prefix. The paper examines the recently observed use of the morpheme beyond its traditional function as a class 2a prefix. Using a morpheme-based approach, it demonstrates that /bo-/ is now superimposed on nouns of other classes as well as on words that belong to other grammatical categories. This phenomenon is hitherto unrecorded. The paper proposes that the form /bo-/ is prefixal and syntactically inactive when affixed to nouns and can have several meanings when attached to adverbs and qualificatives.


Keywords: morpheme, morpheme-based approach, nouns, adverb, qualificatives

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