Mayrene Bentley & Andrew Kulemeka
Northeastern State University; University of Dar es Salaam
Chichewa is an eastern Bantu language spoken in Malawi, primarily in the Kasungu, Dowa, and Lilongwe districts. It is also known as Nyanja because of its ethnic and linguistic ties with the Nyanja people. Typical of Bantu languages, Chichewa is tonal with a CV syllable structure, five vowels, and approximately forty consonant sounds. It has an extensive noun class system distinguished by noun prefixes with an accompanying concord system. Its verbal system marks tense and aspect by infixes, tone, and auxiliaries. The passive, stative, causative, reciprocal, and applicative are verbal suffixes. Wh-questions are clefts and relative clauses are marked either by relative pronouns or tones. In recent years, Chichewa has been a rich source of study syntactically for its use of locatives, morphologically for its ideophones, and phonologically for its prosody and phrase structure.
ISBN 9783895869204. Languages of the World/Materials 345. 60pp. 2001.