Arabic-based Pidgins and Creoles
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
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Kinubi, as it is spoken today in Kenya and Uganda, is strongly influenced by Swahili, the two languages having been in contact with each other for more than one century. This influence does not occur in the lexicon alone, but also in the phonology and even the morphology and syntax of Kinubi. Though the analysis of the lexicon and the phonology appear to be rather easy, the possible influence of Swahili on Kinubi morphology and syntax may prove to be may be more problematic. However, this influence may be ‘measured’ through the comparison of Kinubi and Juba Arabic: many features shared by Kinubi and Swahili are not found in Juba Arabic, which tends to show that these expressions come from Swahili.This influence seems to be rather uniform, though Swahili does not occupy the same place in Uganda and Kenya. This fact may be explained by several factors, like the ‘Islamic’ culture of the Nubi, which makes Swahili a language of prestige, even in the community based in Uganda, as well as the permanence of the contact between Nubi communities across the border, including intermarriage and other social factors.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Juba Arabic; Kinubi; loanshift; loanword; morphology; phonology; Swahili; syntax
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