Ethno-linguistic Analysis of Names and Naming in Northern Chasu

Erasmus Akiley Msuya


The current study was exploratory in design. It sought to find out the criteria of naming and the meanings of names of Chasu speaking speech community belonging to the north dialect (excluding the Gweno). It involved Suya, Sofe, Ngofi, Shana, Vungi, Mbagha, Ikamba, Kiramweni, Lacha, and Sangi clans. The study was guided by Riemer’s (2010:45) Referential Theory of Meaning. The study involved 62 adults as the respondents who were purposively sampled. Structured and unstructured interviews were used during data collection. This study employed an interpretative approach for analysis of qualitative data. The data obtained were carefully studied and categorised by considering features they shared. The collected data were analysed and explained qualitatively. The findings have shown that the Northern Chasu speech community has rich and diverse criteria for giving names such as (memorable) life experience, mannerisms, birth circumstances, seasons, physical appearance, and religious/cultural beliefs. However, some names have assumed arbitrariness since the original meaning have either been completely lost or does not reflect the bearer. Also, there has been nativisation of foreign names via such morphological processes like clipping, sound insertion, substitution and invention.  

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