Introduction to the Morphology of Setswana
Caspar J.H. Krüger
North-West University, South Africa
This contribution is an attempt to describe the morphology of Setswana, an African language spoken in the north-western regions of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and in Botswana. Setswana includes approximately seven closely related dialects and it is roughly estimated that the language is spoken by about three million speakers.
Setswana is an agglutinating language in which the system of noun classes is a distinctive feature. These noun classes dominate the morphological structure of the language by means of agreement morphemes which are derived from the prefixes of the different noun classes.
The official orthography employs a disjuntive system of word division.
The following aspects regarding Setswana are discussed:
a. The problem of word division and word identification as expressed by the conjunctive, the semi-conjunctive and the disjunctive systems of word division used in the south-eastern zone.
b. Various approaches to the notion of the morpheme and it’s relation to the word in the above systems.
c. A proposal for a suitable word-class system that can systematically and consistantly be employed in both morphology and syntax.
d. The morphological structure (paradigmatic and syntagmatic) of the various word classes.
e. A few introductory observations with regard to the principles of word group formation.
Prof. Krüger is a professor emeritus of African Languages at the North-West University of the Republic of South Africa. After his retirement he was appointed in a temporary capacity at the Mamelodi campus of Vista University in Tshwane for four years.
ISBN 9783895868764 (Hardbound). LINCOM Studies in African Linguistics 69. 330pp. 2006.