SENSE RELATIONS AND LEXICAL PRAGMATIC PROCESSES IN LINGUISTIC SEMANTICS: A DESCRIPTION OF THE KIGIRYAMA SYSTEM OF MEANING
MUNYAYA, ELIZABETH JUMWA
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Language carries the culture of the people. Knowing the correct meaning of each word in every context enables one to be integrated successfully into that community something which contributes to harmony and understanding. Sense relations are concerned with meanings that words establish with each other in the vocabulary of a language. The meanings of words are frequently adjusted and fine-tuned in context, so that their contribution to the proposition expressed is different from their lexically encoded sense. This creates an occasion-specific sense, based on interaction among concepts, contextual information and pragmatic principles Wilson D and Carston R.(2006). Though Kigiryama is not a minor language, there is hardly any information on sense relations and their pragmatics in this language. In this regard, this study aims to provide evidence of sense relations in Kigiryama. It also aims to identify the lexical pragmatic processes affecting the interpretation of sense relations in Kigiryama. It assesses the pragmalinguistic versus the sociopragmatic dimensions of locutions as meaning bearing elements, and how sense relations may move between the purely linguistic and the socio-cultural underpinnings of any language. This research was guided by the Lexical Pragmatics Approach proposed by Wilson and Sperber (2003). Data was collected through interviews, questionnaires and archival sources. The study reveals several types of sense relations in Kigiryama: antonymy, homonymy, hyponymy, synonymy, polysemy and meronymy. The analysis shows that the lexical pragmatics theory can adequately handle the analysis of homonyms and polysemy using the processes of narrowing and broadening, but is inadequate in the analysis of synonyms based on borrowing and therefore a better approach that analyses synonyms may be an appropriate device. The results also show that context, is indispensable in understanding sense relations in Kigiryama.. The social-cultural underpinnings of Kigiryama utterances reveal that there is vi restriction in the use of certain words, particularly taboo words related to sex, excretion and private parts. The findings should be useful to university students and professionals in Linguistics especially those interested in Bantu languages and Linguistics and in turn add to the body of knowledge in linguistics in general, and Kigiryama in particular.