1. bookVolume 19 (2019): Issue 1 (June 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-7877
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Toponyms and Identity in Hanang’ District: Their Origin and Meaning

Published Online: 26 Nov 2019
Volume & Issue: Volume 19 (2019) - Issue 1 (June 2019)
Page range: 106 - 116
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-7877
First Published
15 Jun 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

This article is centred on place identity in Hanang’ District. Informed by the literature about place identity, the study describes the origin and the sociolinguistic meaning of place names following the analysis of 110 names that were collected from different places around Hanang’ District. Snowball sampling was appropriately used to obtain 15 informants for face-to-face interviews. Our analysis revealed that many place names in Hanang’ are predominantly from Datooga language and a few from Kiswahili, Nyaturu, Iraqw, Alagwa and Maasai. The qualitative analysis of the names revealed that the names have informative content deriving from landscape features, plants, people, animals and names of birds, events, activities, and the behaviour of some objects in the place. Sometimes, post-modification is done for descriptive specification. This is to say that marked geographical features and events in a particular place characterise the place in Hanang’. Therefore, place names in Hanang’ serve to describe the people’s history, beliefs, or label important features. There is a trend of shift in a number of place names in Hanang’ as a result of contact with the Bantu speakers. This has, consequently, contributed to the replacement of some indigenous sounds by the Kiswahili sounds that contributed to the loss and/or hybridization of names in terms of spelling and pronunciation.

Keywords

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