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Demonstrative Determiners in Runyankore-Rukiga
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This study examines Runyankore-Rukiga demonstrative determiners. Runyankore-Rukiga is a language spoken in the west and south western parts of Uganda. The main focus of my study is on the semantic representation of demonstrative determiners in relation to distance (distance between the referent and the deictic center), visibility (whether the referent is visible or invisible) and location of speaker vs. addressee. I investigate the possible number of demonstrative forms that exist in Runyankore-Rukiga. My research is carried out using Wilkins (1999) questionnaire on demonstratives ‘this’ and ‘that’ in comparative perspective. In this questionnaire he presents 25 scenes which can be used to test out the demonstrative system in a language. I have added four more scenes to capture distinctions that are not captured by the 25 scenes. A general background about Runyankore-Rukiga and its structure is presented in chapter 2. Here, I look briefly at the formation of words and, tone, whereas more attentionis given to the noun class system and the demonstrative determiners. In chapter 3, the semantic meaning of demonstratives across languages is looked at. In this chapter my main focus is on how Diessel (1999) describes the semantic meaning of demonstratives. I then connect his analysis with Runyankore-Rukiga demonstratives to see if the semantic features he mentions are relevant also in Runyankore-Rukiga. In addition to this, I present the various account on semantic meaning of demonstratives basing on what other authors say. I give a detailed description of the scenes in Wilkins (1999) questionnaire and explain how I carried out my interviews with my informants. Data from each informant is presented and this involves all the additional constraints involved in the interview guide. Last is the summary and discussion of the results. Here I relate my findings to what other authors have written about Runyankore-Rukiga demonstratives then conclude with chapter 7where I present the research questions and briefly show how they were answered in the thesis.