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Morphological Properties of Place Names in Runyambo

This paper examines the morphological properties of place names in Runyambo, a Bantu language spoken in the north western part of Tanzania in Karagwe and Kyerwa districts of Kagera region. The structure of place names is as important as their meaning as far as the language is concerned. The paper is qualitative with descriptions of place names. Data was collected through unstructured interviews and focus group discussions. This paper employs the toponymic typology developed by Jan Tent and David Blair. It was found that Runyambo place names have varied morphology with some place names found in the locative noun classes 16 and 17. Most place names differ from nouns in not possessing augment, possessing a unique agreement which do not reflect the prefix on the names to the other categories occurring with it. Place names in Runyambo are also formed through reduplication, compounding with some of them being sentential. The prepositions nya (cl.9), rwa (cl.11), ca (cl.7) ‘of’ seem to form most of the nouns in addition to cl. 17 o-mu- and class 16 a-ha-. Place names in Runyambo are also found by attaching the noun class prefix. Some of the names are sentential. It is concluded that place names in Runyambo differ from nouns hence they form a unique category.

Place Names, Agreement, Morphology, Syntax, Noun Class

APA Style

Mpobela, L. (2024). Morphological Properties of Place Names in Runyambo. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 12(1), 16-26.

ACS Style

Mpobela, L. Morphological Properties of Place Names in Runyambo. Int. J. Lang. Linguist. 2024, 12(1), 16-26. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20241201.13

AMA Style

Mpobela L. Morphological Properties of Place Names in Runyambo. Int J Lang Linguist. 2024;12(1):16-26. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20241201.13

Copyright © 2024 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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