Ideophones in Kambaata

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This dissertation describes the phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects of ideophones in Kambaata, one of the Highlan East Cushitic languages (HEC) from the Afro-Aasiatic phylum spoken in SNNPR, especially in Kambaata Tembaaro Zone. It is a qualitative descriptive research. Elicitation, observation, introspection and written corpus are used to collect data from various sources. The phonology of ideopohnes is a bit different from the phonology of the language. Ideophones have CV, CVV, CVC and CVVC syllable structure. Many monosyllabic and disyllabic ideophones with long vowels are suggestive of sound symbolism. Some obstruents do not combine with sonorants due to phonotactic constraints. Ideophones display little morphology in many languages, but in Kambaata they are subject to some productive morphological operations: derivation, reduplication, triplication and compounding. Generally, ideophones are morphologically invariable and cannot be segmented into smaller parts. To some extent, the syntax of ideopohnes is different from the syntax of the language. They obligatorily co-occur with auxiliary verbs and this enables them to be integrated into the syntax of the language. Ideophones carry the core lexical meaning, while auxiliary verbs convey the grammatical functions. They appear in all types of sentences. They are sub-part of verbs and follow the syntactic patterns of verbs in the language. As semantics regards, ideophones demonstrate sense relations like antonymy, synonymy, homonymy and polysemy. They display a wide array of semantic fields in the language. The perceptual domain subsumes vision, touch, taste, smell and hearing. Another semantic aspect of ideophones is sound symbolism, the sound-meaning relation. Onomatopoeic ideophones include sounds made by humans, animals, objects and liquids. Synaesthia is used to indicate shape and size (largeness and smalleness of liquid and objects). However, conventional sound symbolism is used in limited environment and denotes the most common type of association between sound and meaning. Furthermore, pragmatic and discourse functions of ideophones has been attested in proverbs, storytelling, riddles, traditional games, traditional songs and poetry.



Elicitation, observation, introspection and written corpus are used to collect data from various sources.