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Resyllabification of Loan Words in Kalenjin Phonology

(r. )osol *andagor
&Salim-Sawe& *.

'. ,ecturer& (epartment o- *iswahili and "ther .-rican ,anguages& )oi /ni0ersit1
P." 2o3 45##-4#'##& 6ldoret& *en1a
2. ,ecturer& (epartment o- Social Sciences& /ni0ersit1 o- *a7ianga&
P." 2o3 2#4#-2#2##& *ericho& *en1a
+ 6-mail o- the corresponding author8

;he description o- s1lla7le structure in the indi0idual languages is important in reali<ing s1lla7ic mar9edness
which moti0ates re-s1lla7i-ication in the recipient language. ;he paper threre-ore is an anal1sis o- re-
s1lla7i-ication o- *ipsigis and ;ugen loan words 7orrowed -rom *iswahili langauge. ;he paper also gi0es an
o0er0iew o- the s1lla7le structure in *ipsigis and ;ugen as the recepient languages and *iswahili as the source
language. (ata anal1sis was guided 71 consonant 0owel (=.%) phonological -ramewor9. ;he stud1 -ound out
that res1lla7i-ication is a morphophonological process during word -ormation in an1 gi0en language.
Keywords: Re-s1lla7i-ication& S1lla7les& ,oan words& ;ugen& *ipsigis

1. Introduction
. s1lla7le is a minimal pronouncea7le phonological unit (*enstowic<& '554). It can 7e utili<ed as a linguistic
unit -or stud1ing distri7utional restrictions in a language. ;his paper anal1ses how words 7orrowed 71 *ipsigis
and ;ugen& nilo-saharan languages -orming part o- *alen>in dialects (Sam7u& 2##$ and *ip9orir& '5$5)& are re-
s1lla7i-ied in order to match with the recipient language patterns. ;his happens when the s1lla7le structure o- the
source language di--er -rom that o- the recipient language. .s a result o- this process& a num7er o- 7orrowed
words di--er in s1lla7le structures with their original -orms.
Re-s1lla7i-ication is prompted 71 the re?uirement to unmar9 the mar9ed associations o- the donor language
-orms ("duma& 2##!& *enstowic<& '554). %owel epenthesis is -re?uentl1 used in the unmar9ing process.
S1lla7le structures are restructured as the words are adapted in the recipient language. ;he structures are re-
s1lla7i-ied 71 addition o- either epenthetic consonants or 0owels. @unctionall1& re-s1lla7i-ication is shown in this
paper as a process meant to introduce phonological con-ormation in the 7orrowed le3ical -orms.

2. !once"tual #ra$ewor%
;his paper is 7ased on the markedness principle in anal1<ing and e3plaining re-s1lla7i-ication o- 7orrowed
words in the phonological structure o- the recipient language (Aoldsmith& '555& .swani& 2##'). "ur stud1
re0eals processes such as 0owel epenthesis and consonant epenthesis that are as result o- the re-s1lla7i-ication
;he =% phonological theor1 was adopted in anal1<ing re-s1lla7i-ication in *alen>in and ;ugen languages. ;he
theor1 is a three-tiered model which is use-ul in segmental and supra-segmental anal1sis o- units such as sound
segments& s1lla7les and tiers. Be comparati0el1 anal1<ed the s1lla7le structures o- the two languages in0ol0ed in
this stud1 so as to illustrate the re-s1lla7i-ication processes prompted 71 the need -or phonological con0ention
with the recipient language structures (.swani& 2##'C *enstowic<& '554).
;he 7asic data used in this paper are -orms collected -rom a *ipsigis-6nglish-Swahili (ictionar1 (;owett& '55)
and ;ugen-Swahili (ictionar1 (Det to 7e pu7lished& 71 )osol *andagor and *utol *iprono 71 end o- 2#'4).
;his stud1 limits its scope to the description o- *ipsigis and (or) ;ugen s1lla7les whose -orms were 7orrowed
-rom *iswahili.

&. 'yllable 'tructure in Kalenjin (Ki"sigis)*ugen+
;he data studied in this research illustrate that there are man1 le3ical -orms that are originall1 -rom either
*ipsigis or ;ugen dialects o- *alen>in language. ;his section e3plores the aspect o- s1lla7le structure in *alen>in
language. ;his stud1 esta7lished that there are two possi7le phonetic relations that can occur as a result o-
morphological 7orrowing -rom *iswahili to *ipsigis and ;ugen dialects. @irstl1& there can 7e unmar9ed
relations and& secondl1& mar9ed relations can 7e 7rought a7out.
/nmar9ed phonetic relations produce s1lla7le structures that are usual in *ipsigis and ;ugen su7-languages in
the sense that the1 are accepta7le in its phonological s1stem. ;he mar9ed associations are those that ha0e to 7e
re-s1lla7i-ied or recon-igured so as to -it into the recipient language. ;his section& -or that reason& gi0es an
o0er0iew o- the *ipsigis and ;ugen s1lla7le structure 7ecause its rules are responsi7le -or the re-s1lla7i-ication
process. It consists o- 7oth open and closed s1lla7le structures as shown 7elow8

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3.1 Open Syllable Structure
*alen>in language has open s1lla7le structures which are made up o- indi0idual 0owels or a com7ination o-
0owels and consonants. 60er1 open s1lla7le ma1 7e made up o- either a 0owel onl1 or is ending with a 0owel.
Be can illustrate the open *ipsigis and ;ugen s1lla7le structures in the e3amples 7elow8

@rom the a7o0e e3amples we can see that *ipsigis and ;ugen has an open s1lla7le structure which can 7e
represented as %& =E%%& E%% and %. /nli9e *iswahili& *ipsigis cannot use open structures in the last s1lla7les
o- de-inite nouns.
3.2 Closed Syllable Structure
In addition to the open s1lla7le structure& *ipsigis and ;ugen languages primaril1 ha0e a closed s1lla7le
structure. ;he closed s1lla7le structure ma1 consist o- a consonant ending with other constituent phonemes.
=losed s1lla7les alwa1s end with consonants (,ehiste& '552C *adurenge& 2###). *ipsigis and ;ugen languages
ha0e a -ew s1lla7le structures with consonant clusters containing a consonant -ollowed 71 an appro3imant or a
li?uid s1lla7le such as mw& pw& 9w& tw& rw& dw& p>& m> and 91. See the s1lla7le structure patterns o- *ipsigis and
;ugen words that were not 7orrowed -rom other languages in the -ollowing ta7le8

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,-a$"le .. *able 1: ,-a$"les of !losed 'yllables in Ki"sigis and *ugen
Ki"sigis /loss 'yllable 'tructure Re"resentation
Fa$waunG I am telling 1ouH %.=E%%.%= IaII$waIIunI
Fla%wetG J7a71H =%.=E%%= IlaII%wKtI
FotwogindetG Jsla0eH %.=E%.%=.==%= IoIItwoIIgiIIndKtI
FarwetG J9idH %.=E%%= IaIIrwKtI
Fcho%jinG JhastenH =%.==%= IKoII%jinI
FnwachG JshortH =E%%= InwaKI
F9aswanG Jlisten to meH =%.=E%%= I9oIIswanI
FputG Jdestro1H =%= IputI

In the a7o0e illustration& it is e0ident that *ipsigis and ;ugen ha0e a closed s1lla7le structure which can 7e
represented as %=& =E%%=& =%= and ==%=. /nli9e *iswahili& *ipsigis and ;ugen cannot use indi0idual
nasal sounds such as LmL and LnL to -orm independent s1lla7les. ;his is the reason wh1 re-s1lla7i-ication is
e--ected on 7orrowed words.

0. Kiswahili 'yllable 'tructure
*iswahili is a source language to man1 words in the *ipsigis and ;ugen languages. ;his section descri7es the
*iswahili s1lla7le structures which as it will 7e seenC greatl1 di--er -rom that o- *ipsigis and ;ugen. )ost o- the
*iswahili words with 2antu origin ha0e open s1lla7les.
4.1 Open Syllable Structure in Kiswahili
*iswahili s1lla7le structure is mainl1 open ()gullu& '555& .swani& '555). Bords that ha0e 2antu origin in
*iswahili nota7l1 ha0e open structures. "nl1 a -ew words that were 7orrowed -rom .ra7ic& 6nglish and other
languages displa1 closed s1lla7le structures. (ata points out to the conclusion that *iswahili has a =% s1lla7le
structure. . =E%% s1lla7le structure occurs in *iswahili when a =-element -ollows a li?uid or semi-0owel F>G or
FwG. ,oo9 at the -ollowing e3amples8
,-a$"le 1. *able 2: ,-a$"les of 2"en 'yllable 'tructures in Kiswahili
Kiswahili word 'yllable re"resentation 'yllable structure /loss
a) na InaI =% and
7) na-si InaIIfsiI ==% soul
c) 9isha I9iII KaI % then
d) wa IwaI E%% o-
e) m7wa ImIIbwaI =E%% dog

.ll the s1lla7les that are represented in 7old in ta7le 2 a7o0e& are open as the1 are ending with 0owels. ;he
s1lla7les which are merged to 7uild morphological units are structured as represented 7elow8

3or"hological 4nits: 3erged 'yllables

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;he a7o0e e3amples demonstrate a phonological realit1 that open s1lla7le structures in *iswahili ma1 0ar1 -rom
-orm to -orm 7ut the 7ase is that the1 constitute a single 0owel or must end with a 0owel.
4.2 Closed Syllable Structure in Kiswahili
Bords that were 7orrowed -rom other languages such as 6nglish and .ra7ic ha0e closed s1lla7le structures. ;he
-ollowing are e3amples o- closed s1lla7les whose -orms were 7orrowed -rom other languages to *iswahili8
,-a$"le 5. *able &: ,-a$"les of !losed 'yllable 'tructures in Kiswahili
Kiswahili Word 'ource Language 'yllable structure !losed 'yllable /loss
a+ la7da .ra7ic IlabIIdaI =%= perhaps
b+ sentensi 6nglish IsenIItenIIsiI =%= sentence
c+ 9onsonanti 6nglish I%onIIsonIIaIIntiI =%= consonant
;he -irst s1lla7les in the -ollowing *iswahili e3amples ha0e closed structures which consist o- single nasal
consonants as shown 7elow8
,-a$"le 1. 'ingle 6asal !onsonants
a) Nchi FInIKiIG =.=% (countr1)
7) )toto FmItoItoG =.=%.=% (child)
c) )p1a FImIp>aG =.=E %% (new)

.. Resyllabification of Loan Words in Ki"sigis and *ugen
Re-s1lla7i-ication is prompted 71 the re?uirement to remo0e the phonological associations to the donor language
-orms that are not accepta7le in the recipient language (,ehiste& '552). ;he chie- -unction o- re-s1lla7i-ication
lies in the unmar9ing o- a word -or ease in pronunciation and acceptance.
%owel epenthesis is one o- the unmar9ing strategies used in re-s1lla7i-ication in *ipsigis and ;ugen. . word
such as mkoba FImII9oII7aIIG which is 7orrowed -rom *iswahili is re-s1lla7i-ied so that e0en an open s1lla7le
structure can 7e translated into a closed s1lla7le in *ipsigis as the word is represented as mokubet
FImoII9uII7KtIG. ;his word is re-s1lla7i-ied with the addition o- the epenthetic FoG in the pre0iousl1 closed
s1lla7le translating it to an open s1lla7le FmoG in the recipient language. ;his process unmar9s the consonant
cluster which was in the *iswahili word m9o7a 71 inserting a 0owel so as to con-orm to *ipsigis s1lla7i-ication
rules which prohi7it most consonant clusters in the -irst s1lla7les o- the word.
.nother re-s1lla7i-ication process is the addition o- an epenthetic FtG a--i3ed to the end o- the last s1lla7le o-
e0er1 noun which is 7orrowed into *ipsigis. ;his morphophonological condition applies to 7oth animate and
inanimate nouns.
.s it can 7e seen& 7ecause o- di--erences in s1lla7ic rules in *ipsigis and *iswahili& where *iswahili s1lla7ic
orders appear in *ipsigis loanwords& the1 are considered as mar9ed. 63amples o- mar9ed s1lla7les are those
whose structures are constituted 71 a consonant alone or end with a 0owel in the last s1lla7le o- a 7orrowed noun.
;he re-s1lla7i-ication processes o- such mar9ed s1lla7le o- loanwords can 7e represented as shown in e3amples

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,-a$"le 11. *able 0: Re7syllabification of Loan Words in Ki"sigis and *ugen
Kiswahili word 'yllable structure /loss Ki"sigis e8ui9alent 'yllable structure
'' )9o7a

2ag )o9u7et ImoII9uII7KtI
'2 )9ora

=onman )a9ora1at IImaII9oIIraII>atI
;he e3amples shown in the ta7le '' indicate words 7orrowed -rom *iswahili are re-s1lla7i-ied 71 0owel
insertion. 63istence o- consonant clusters in the -irst s1lla7les o- 7orrowed words in *ipsigis and ;ugen renders
them to 7e mar9ed. ;here-ore& the main -unction o- the process is to unmar9 mar9ed s1lla7le that was a result o-
the empt1 coda position in the -irst s1lla7les. Re-s1lla7i-ication o- the a7o0e 7orrowed words can 7e illustrated
as shown 7elow8

In summar1& illustrations shown in examples 12 and 13 indicate a pattern where a word with !.!:.!: s1lla7le
structure is re-s1lla7i-ied in the recipient language so as to appear as !:.!:.!:!. .nother 7orrowed le3ical
-orm which had !.!:.!: s1lla7le structure in the source language is re-s1lla7i-ied also so that its -inal s1lla7le
order appears as !:.!:.!:.;::!.
5.1 Re-Syllabification Rules
It is important to note that supra-segmental rules can result in the addition o- a whole new s1lla7le that was not
there in the source language. "ther rules onl1 changed the s1lla7le structures o- the 7orrowed -orms. In this
regard& the -ollowing re-s1lla7i-ication rules which appl1 to *ipsigis and ;ugen loan words can 7e identi-ied
-rom this stud18

,-a$"le 10. Re7'yllabification Rules

(i) M oN......
(ii) M aN......
(iii) M 1atL OOP
(i0) a eL=OO.=
(i0) o uL=OO.=
(i0) M tLOOOO. N

.s a result o- the a7o0e rules& 0owels and consonants are inserted into loanword structure during re-
s1lla7i-ication. ;his process can 7e termed as morphophonological since it in0ol0es s1lla7le changes that occur
as a word is introduced into another language. Re-s1lla7i-ication is mainl1 moti0ated 71 the need -or
phonological con-ormation and ease in pronunciation. ;here is no e0idence -rom this stud1 that re-s1lla7i-ication
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can 7e used to add semantic 0alue to the 7orrowed word other than the meaning it con0e1ed in the source
5.2 Re-Syllabification by owel !nsertion
"rdinaril1& *iswahili nouns are restructured in *ipsigis and ;ugen languages 71 insertion o- a 0owel a-ter the
class pre-i3 JmH. "-ten& the closed s1lla7le FmG is re-s1lla7i-ied thus losing its s1lla7ic pea9 to an epenthetic
0owel FuG or FaG in *ipsigis and ;ugen loanwords as shown in the ta7le 7elow8
,-a$"le 1.. *able .: :owel Insertion
Kiswahili Ki"sigis)*ugen ,nglish
F$shaharaG FmusharaG Jsalar1H
F$%ateG Fma9atiatG J7readH
F$%wa>uG Fmu9wa>itG J7allH
F$cheleG Fmuchele9G JriceH
;a7le 5 a7o0e indicate that loanwords are re-s1lla7i-ied 71 insertion o- 0owel FuG and FaG. ;he reason -or this
process is that se?uences o- consonants such as Jmsh-H& Jm9-H na Jmch-Q do not e3ist in the recipient language
s1lla7les. =onse?uentl1& when the1 are introduced -rom *iswahili into *ipsigis and ;ugen& the1 turn out to 7e
mar9ed. Re-s1lla7i-ication is meant to unmar9 the rele0ant s1lla7les through 0owel insertion.
5.3 Re-Syllabification by Consonant !nsertion
,oanwords -rom other languages into *ipsigis and ;ugen languages which ha0e open s1lla7les are modi-ied 71
inserting a consonant so as con-orm to *ipsigis and ;ugen morphophonological patterns that can e--ecti0e
con0e1 -orm. @or this reason& a -inal de-ault epenthetic consonant FtG is used to unmar9 the empt1 codas in
nominal -orms that are 7orrowed into *ipsigis as shown 7elow8
,-a$"le 11. *able 1: !onsonant Insertion
*iswahili *ipsigis 6nglish
F*itandaG F*itandetG J7edH
FmwalimuG Fmwalimu1otG JteacherH
Fmalai9aG Fmalai9a1atG JangelH
Fso9siG Fsi9is1otG Jsoc9sH
Hadithi FatindoniotG Jstor1H

Rule 2
.n epenthetic consonant FtG is inserted word--inall1 in nominal loanwords in *ipsigis and ;ugen languages.

1. !onclusion
;his paper concludes that re-s1lla7i-ication is meant to 7rea9 or remo0e mar9ed or -oreign s1lla7le patterns in
word 7orrowing. Re-s1lla7i-ication is there-ore an assimilati0e linguistic procedure which ma1 introduce new
andLor delete some phonological elements o- the source language in the 7orrowed words. ;his process is thus not
purel1 phonological& rather it is morphophonological in its 0er1 nature. It ensures that s1lla7le structures that
ma1 pose pronunciation challenges and do not con-orm to the canonical s1lla7le structure rules o- recipient
language are customi<ed.

.swani& 2. (2##'). Uswahilishaji wa Maneno Mkopo yenye Asili ya Kiingereza katika Kiswahili ani!u. 6gerton
/ni0ersit1. /npu7lished Phd ;hesis.
RRRRRRRRR ('555). "onolojia ya ilabi ya Kiswahili ani!u na ya Kimarama# uchunguzi $inganishi. )oi
/ni0ersit1. /npu7lished )phil. ;hesis.
Aoldsmith& S. ('555). A %andbook o! &honological 'heory( "3-ord. 2asil 2lac9well Pu7lishers.
*adurenge& 2. (2###). Mabadiliko ya Ki!onolojia katika Msamiati Unaosharabiwa kutoka Kiswahili hadi
Kimaragoli. )oi /ni0ersit18 /npu7lished )phil. ;hesis.
*ip9orir& 2 ('5$5). Kenya)s &eople# &eople o! the *i!t +alley, Kalenjins. 60ans 2rothers ,td.& Nairo7i
*enstowic<& ). ('554). &honology in -enerati.e -rammar( )assachusets. 2lac9well Pu7lishers.
)gullu& R. ('555). Mtalaa wa /simu# "onetiki, "onolojia na Mo!olojia ya Kiswahili. Nairo7i. ,onghorn
,ehiste& I. ('552). S1lla7les and Stress in Phonetics in B. 2right (6d.) /nternational 0ncyclopedia o! $ingistics(
%ol 4. ('#-'#$). New Dor9. "3-ord /ni0ersit1 Press.
"duma& R. (2##!). &honological Adaptation o! $oanwords in Ateso. )oi /ni0ersit1. /npu7lished )phil. ;hesis.
;owett& ;. ('55). Kipsigis1wahili10nglish 2ictionary( Nairo7i. Somo *en1atta @oundation.
Sam7u& *. (2##$)8 'he Kalenjin &eople)s 0gypt 3rigin $egend. Nairo7i. ,onghorn Pu7lishers.