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Expression and Literature

Common Tumbuka Ideophones and their Usage

by William Edward Songiso Mvalo

Tumbuka is the dominant language in the Northern Region of Malawi. It is, however, also spoken in large pockets of Kasungu District in the Central Region and also in the Eastern Province of Zambia, and in Lundazi District in particular. Tonga, spoken in Nkhatabay and Nkhotakota, is like a cousin to Tumbuka with a close resemblance in their phonetics. Like other Bantu languages, Tumbuka is very expressive, but can also be very economic in communication or use of words, and yet clearly delivering the desired message. This can be done through the use of idioms, proverbs, or ideophones. This collection is on commonly used Tumbuka ideophones, where an ideophone shall mean "a word describing a situation, or a state of affairs, or a set of actions - all in one word." It is the intention of this collection to provoke both interest in the use of ideophones as a form of expression in literature and to expound on the richness of Bantu languages.

ISBN 9789990802436 | 170 pages | 229 x 152mm | 2015 | Mzuni Press, Malawi | Paperback

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