LINGUIST List 14.1462

Wed May 21 2003

Diss: Pragmatics: Iraki: "Une lecture pragmatique..."

Editor for this issue: Naomi Fox <>


  1. firaki, Une lecture pragmatique des morphemes temporels du swahili

Message 1: Une lecture pragmatique des morphemes temporels du swahili

Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 05:14:07 +0000
From: firaki <>
Subject: Une lecture pragmatique des morphemes temporels du swahili

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Geneva
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Frederick Kangethe Iraki 

Dissertation Title: Une lecture pragmatique des morphemes temporels du

Linguistic Field: Pragmatics 
Subject Language: Swahili (code: SWA)

Dissertation Director 1: Jacques Moeschler 

Dissertation Abstract: 

The dissertation re-analyses temporal-aspectual morphemes of the
Swahili language within the framework of pragmatics. In other words,
it is argued that although these morphemes may encode a basic or
skeleton logical form, their full meaning is realized by incorporating
contextual information. The latter refers to the cognitive environment
of the listener, i.e. the information available to his mind as he
interprets the utterance.

In addition, it is further posited that the morphemes seem to be in
conflict in the description of eventualities (events and
states). Hence, a Conflict Model (CM) is proposed to elucidate the
usage of various tenses in describing an eventuality. For instance, it
is suggested that -na-, -li- and -me- may be in competition to decribe
a past event. Likewise, -na- and -ta- could be in conflict to describe
a future event. The choice of the morpheme depends, to a large extent,
on the effect that the speaker intends to produce in the mind of the
listener or reader. The same choice is also constrained by the
Principle of Optimality.

The CM captures this cognitive darwinism by integrating other
frameworks such as Mental representation Theory, Optimality Theory,
Multiple Intelligence Theory, Natural Selection, Genetics and
Memetics. Finally, a comparison between French tenses and swahili
temporal-aspectual morphemes reveals that, from a pragmatic
standpoint, the two languages present more points of convergence that
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue