Staff Research

Kitangulizi cha

MUUNDO VIAMBAJENGO WA SENTENSI ZA KISWAHILI

[Introduction to the Constituent Structure of Kiswahili Sentences]                                                      

E.Wesana-Chomi

Taasisi ya Taaluma za Lugha

Chuo Kikuu cha Kabale

[Institute of Language Studies Kabale University]

Published by

The Institute of Kiswahili Studies University of Dar es salaam

Dibaji [Preface]                                                                                                        

Ufundishaji wa taaluma ya sintaksia ya Kiswahili vyuoni inakabiliwa na changamoto za mapungufu ya aina mbili. Kwanza, kuna upungufu wa vitabu vya kiada na vya rejea vinavyoweza kukidhi mahitaji ya wanafunzi wa taaluma hii katika viwango mbali mbali. Pili, vitabu husika vilivyopo sasa vina kasoro za aina moja au nyingine. Athari ya mapungufu hayo ni kwamba katika maeneo mengi wahitimu wa somo hili hutoka vyuoni wakiwa na mapengo kadhaa katika ujuzi wao wa sintaksia ya msingi ya Kiswahili. Kwa mfano, wahitimu hao huwa na ujuzi wa kijuu juu tu wa lugha kienzo inayojumuisha dhana za msingi kama vile muundo viambajengo, kategoria za maneno, ngeli, kirai, kishazi, sentensi, kauli za vitenzi, ukanushi, njeo, hali za vitenzi na nyinginezo. Kuhusu muundo viambajengo, wahitimu wa somo la sintksia ya Kiswahili hutoka vyuoni wakiwa na ujuzi mdogo na wa wasiwasi kuhusu uchanganuzi wa sentensi, hasa njia za kuwasilishia miundo viambajengo ya tungo mbali mbali. Kuhusu dhana ya ngeli, wahitimu husika huwa na ujuzi mdogo mno kuhusu vigezo vya kubainishia ngeli za nomino licha ya kutokuwa na ujuzi wa kuwawezesha kuamua kigezo gani hufaa zaidi kuliko vingine. 

Changamoto ya kasoro katika vitabu vinanavyotumiwa kufundishia taaluma ya sintaksia vyuoni ni muhimu kiasi kwamba inadai ufafanuzi zaidi. Kwanza, sarufi nyingi za Kiswahili zilizotangulia hutoa maelezo yasio sahihi na ambayo yanapotosha. Kwa mfano, vifungu vya maneno kama vile chini ya, juu ya, ndani ya hutolewa kama mifano ya vihusishi au hata ya vielezi bila kuzingatia kama kweli vifungu husika ni  maneno (kwani, kihusishi au kielezi ni neno!) au kama  kweli vifungu hivyo ni viambajengo vya kisarufi. Vile vile, virai vihusishi kama vile, kwa sababu hutolewa kama mfano wa kiunganishi wakati kinachomanishwa labda ni kwamba kirai hicho hufanya kazi kama kiunganishi  na sio kwamba ni kiunganishi. Na isitoshe, vihusishi ni kategoria ya maneno iliyopuzwa na wanasarufi wengi wa Kiswahili. Kwa ujumla, kategoria hii haipewi nafasi yoyote katika ufafanuzi wa kategoria za maneno ya Kiswahili. Baya zaidi, wale wanaojaribu kuishughulikia kategoria hii, hutoa maelezo mapotofu. Kwa mfano, vihusishi kutokana na mzizi –a au na mzizi –enye kama vile wa, cha, ya,  mwenye, chenye, yenye hutolewa kama mifano ya vivumishi maarufu kwa jina vivumishi vya –a unganifu au vivumishi vya –enye unganifu!  Haya ni madai ambayo haina uhusiano na data husika! Ni madai yasio sahihi kwani, umbo wa       katika tungo wa shule au umbo yenye katika tungo yenye mizigo, kwa mfano, si vivumishi bali ni vihusishi.                                                               

Pili, kuna maeneo mengine ya sintaksia ya Kiswahili yaliyopuzwa kwa kiwango kikubwa katika sarufi za Kiswahili zilizotangulia. Kwa mfano, michakato ya uungaji, urejeshaji na ujalizaji haipewi nafasi inayostahili. Vile vile, tungo zijulikanazo kama ‘vishazi vielezi’ hutajwa tu kijuujuu kama ‘vishazi vitegemezi’ bila kueleza uhusiano wake wa kiujenzi na vishazi vingine kama vile vishazi rejeshi na vishazi nomino. Kwa ujumla, sarufi hizo huchukulia tu kwamba ‘vishazi vielezi’ ni mojawapo ya vishazi bebwa ambavyo hujumuisha vishazi nomino na vishazi rejeshi bila kueleza uhusiano wa kiujenzi kati ya vishazi vielezi na vishazi vingine.

Tatu, katika sarufi za Kiswahili zilizotangulia, kuna madai mengi ya kiuchanganuzi yenye utata mkubwa lakini huchukuliwa kama madai yasiyohitaji mjadala. Pamoja na madai hayo, ni haya teule yafuatayo:

1. kwamba maumbo kama vile ambaye, ambao, ambacho ni viwakilishi        

2. kwamba kwa kuwa tungo kuwa na ina maana ‘to have’ katika Kiingereza, basi,   tungo hiyo ni ‘neno’ linalochukuwa nafasi  ya kitenzi kimoja katika sentensi (Ashton 1944, Kapinga 1983).

3. kwamba viambishi patanishi katika kitenzi ni ‘viwakilishi’ (Gregersen 1967) au ‘viwakilishi viambata’ (Kapinga 1983).        

4. kwamba kitenzi {WA}, maarufu kwa jina ‘kitenzi kuwa’, ni mojawapo ya  ‘vitenzi vishirikishi’, vingine vikiwa  pamoja na maumbo kama vile ni, li    ngali, ndi, bila kuzingatia kwamba hayo maumbo  yote pamoja na umbo wa lenyewe si vitenzi tofauti bali ni alomofu za kitenzi kimoja chenye umbo msingi, yaani {WA}                                                    

5. kwmba viambishi tenzi kama vile po- ki-, nge, nga-, hu-  ni alama za njeo   (Ashton 1944 na wafuasi wake) bila kueleza ni njeo gani inayoashiriwa na viambishi hivyo!

Masuala hayo yote pamoja na mengine ambayo hayakutajwa yanaakisi mapungufu anuai katika sarufi za Kiswahili zilizotangulia na ni ushahidi tosha kwamba taaluma ya sintaksia ya Kiswahili bado inakabiliwa na uhaba wa vitabu vyenye mising thabiti kwa wanafunzi wanaoanza kujifunza taaluma hii. Hivyo, kuna haja ya vitabu vyenye uwezo wa kukidhi mahitaji ya wanafunzi wa taaluma hii. Kwa kuzingatia masuala ambayo yalitajwa hapo juu pamoja na mambo mengine husika, kitabu hiki kinakusudia kufanikisha malengo mahsusi yafuatayo:  

(1) kuiandika upya sintaksia ya Kiswahili katika nyanja teule zenye mapungufu ya kiufafanuzi na ya kiuchanganuzi katika sarufi za Kiswahili za awali.

(2) kuimarisha ujuzi wa wanafunzi wa muundo viambajengo wa kisintaksia kwa kuwawasilishia lugha kienzo inayofaa pamoja na mada teule za sintaksia ya Kiswahili kwa njia nyepesi.           

(3) kutoa kitabu cha sintaksia ya Kiswahili kinachoweza kukidhi mahitaji ya wanafunzi wa taaluma hii katika vyuo vikuu.

(4) kuziba mapengo katika taaluma ya sintaksia ya Kiswahili kwa kushughulikia maeneo teule yaliyopuzwa katika sarufi zilizotangulia.                                                                              

Mpangilio wa kitabu

Kitabu hiki kina sura 20 katika sehemu nne. Sehemu ya kwanza ina sura moja ambayo inatoa maelezo ya jumla kuhusu yaliyomo kitabuni. Kwa muhtasari, sehemu hii huwasilisha mambo kadhaa ya awali ambayo yanakusudia kumsadia msomaji kuelewa kiurahisi taarifa muhimu zitakazowasilishwa katika sura zinazofuata. Kwanza, imewasilishwa lugha kienzo msingi ambayo inahusisha dhana za kisintaksia kama vile muundo viambajengo, aina za maneno, tungo za kisarufi, ngazi za kisarufi, tungo za kisintaksia, ngeli, upatanisho, hali, njeo, kauli za kitenzi na nyingine nyingi ambazo zitatumika kitabuni. Katika sehemu hii zimewasilishwa pia kauli chukulia za kinadharia ambazo hujumuisha viunzi nadharia vilivyotumika kama msingi wa kuteulia, kuwasilishia na kuelezea mada kitabuni humu. Nafasi na dhima ya kategoria za maneno katika taaluma ya sarufi ni baadhi ya mambo ambayo yamefafanuliwa katika kipengele cha kauli chukulia

Sehemu ya pili inajumuisha sura 8, yaani, sura ya 2 hadi 9 na inashughulikia kategoria za maneno ya Kiswahili. Hapa msisitizo umewekewa nomino na ngeli zake pamoja na vitenzi. Hapa pia kategoria ya vihusishi ambayo ilipuzwa sana katika sarufi za Kiswahili zilizotangulia imepewa nafasi inayostahili. Kwa muhtasari, Sehemu hii hufafanua na kujadili kwa kina kategoria za maneno ya Kiswahili. Hapa msisitizo umewekwa kwenye kategoria ya nomino na ngeli zake pamoja na ile ya vitenzi. Kategoria ya vihusishi ambayo imepuzwa sana katika sarufi za Kiswahili zilizotangulia imepewa nafasi inayostahili. Sehemu hii ina madhumuni mawili. Kwanza, sehemu hii inakusudia kuwawasilishia wanafunzi nguzo msingi za sintaksia ya Kiswahili, yaani kategoria saba za maneno. Pili, sehemu hii inakusudia kuwapatia wanafunzi lugha kienzo msingi ya kuwawezesha kuelewa, kufafanua na kujadili nyanja za msingi za sintaksia ya Kiswahili. Kategoria zote saba zimejadiliwa kiundani kwa utaratibu mpya. Kwa mfano, maelezo ya ngeli za nomino za Kiswahili yametolewa katika hatua nne. Kwanza, yamewasilishwa mapitio ya vigezo vilivyopo sasa vya kubainishia ngeli za nomino; pili vigezo hivyo vimehakikikiwa kwa kina na kugunduliwa kwamba vina mapungufu mengi makubwa. Tatu, kimewasilishwa na kutumiwa kigezo mbadala cha kubainishia ngeli za nomino za Kiswahili. Matokeo ya kutumia kigezo hicho ni mwainisho mbadala wa ngeli 11 zilizopenedkezwa.  Nne, ngeli 11 za nomino zilizopendekezwa zimefafanuliwa kiundani kwa kuzingatia sifa za kila ngeli ya nomino kutokana na kigezo mbadala. Kwa ujumla, utaratibu huu wa kuhakiki ufafanuzi wa sarufi zilizotangulia umefuatwa katika kueleza kategoria nyingine za maneno ya Kiswahili.

Sehemu ya tatu inajumuisha sura 6, yaani, sura ya 10 hadi 15 ambazo hushughulikia nyanja teule za muundo viambajengo.  Sura ya 10 hadi 11 hutoa maelezo ya nyaja za muundo viambajengo wa virai. Muundo viambajengo wa vishazi umelezwa katika sura 12 hadi 13. Sura ya 14 inaeleza muundo viambajengo wa kikategoria wa sentensi.  Muundo viambajengo wa kiuamilifu umelezwa katika sura ya 15. Katika sura hizi mbili, yaani, sura ya 14 na ya 15, msisitizo umewekwa kwenye maelezo ya taratibu za kuwakilishia muundo viambajengo..

Sehemu ya nne inashughulikia nyanja teule za daraja la juu kuhusu muundo viambajengo wa kisintaksia na inajumuisha sura tano , yaani sura ya 16 hadi 20. Sura ya 16 inatoa maelezo ya jumla kuhusu sentensi changamani. Tofauti na mtazamo wa kimapokeo, sentensi ambatani kitabuni humu zimechukuliwa kujumuisha aina mojawapo ya sentensi changamani na zimeelezwa na kuchanganuliwa katika sura ya 17. Sura ya 18 inashughulikia sifa za sentensi bebwa rejeshi na sentensi bebwa husishi kama viambajengo vya sentensi changamani aina 2A-2B. Sura ya 19 inashughulikia sifa za sentensi bebwa nomino kama viambajedngo vya sentensi changamani aina SC-3A. Sura ya 20 inashughulikia sentensi bebwa nomino maarufu kwa jina vishazi vielezi kama viambajengo vya sentensi changamani aina SC-3B                                             

Inafaa kutaja hapa kwamba kitabu hiki ni matokeo ya kukiandika upya kitabu changu: Kozi Tangulizi katika Sarufi Miundo ya Kiswahili (Wesana-Chomi, 2007).  Kitabu hicho kimefanyiwa marekebisho makubwa; hapa nitataja tu baadhi ya marekebisho hayo. Kwanza, jina la kitabu limebadilishwa na kuitwa Muundo Viambajengo wa Kisintaksia ili kuakisi yaliyomo ya toleo jipya. Pili, kitabu kimepanuliwa kujumuisha mambo ambayo hayakushughulikiwa katika kitabu cha awali. Matokeo yake ni sura 20 za kitabu hiki. Tatu, mpangilio wa kitabu hiki unatofautiana na ule wa kitabu cha awali. Nne, ingawa kila sura inashughulikia nyanja kadhaa za muundo viambajengo wa sentensi, wakati wote nimezingatia kwamba sura zote za kitabu hukamilishana. Kwa ujumla, nimejaribu kutoa kitangulizi kikamilifu cha sintaksia ya Kiswahili kadri nilivyoweza.

LET US SPEAK KISWAHILI

A  Manual for Teaching Kiswahili Conversation

based on research done by the  author and supported

by

The Directorate of Research and Publications

Kabale University

November 2016

 

  1. Background to the Research

Today in East Africa, especially in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda there are people who view Ugandan Kiswahili with extremely low esteem as reflected by the following negative perceptions:

  1. Ugandans do not know Kiswahili
  2. Ugandans speak very bad Kiswahili
  3. Kiswahili was born in Tanzania, became sick in Kenya, died and was buried in Uganda
  4. Uganda lags far behind other East African countries in promoting and developing Kiswahili

These are clearly subjective value judgments of a sweeping nature and can be contested. However, except for perception No.3 there is compelling evidence to justify the rest of the above perceptions. Take, for example, the following dialogues between Ugandan speakers of Kiswahili:

DIALOGUE 1

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:       Jambo  bwana?

Bi. ASIIMWE:               Muzuri

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:       Weweikomuzurisana?

Bi. ASIIMWE:                Mimi nikomuzurisana

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:        Sawasawa

 

DIALOGUE 2

Bw. KAMUKAMA:           Habari Koku?

Bi. KOKU:                      Muzuri

Bw. KAMUKAMA:           Nyumbaikomzuri?

Bi. KOKU:                      Nyumbaikomuzuri

Bw. KAMUKAMA:          Baba wakoiko?

Bi. KOKU:                     Baba wanguiko. Wewenatakayeye?

Bw. KAMUKAMA:          Ndiyo, mimi taka yeye

 

A competent speaker of Kiswahili listening to the above dialogues would rate them as substandard, at best. First of all, in both dialogues there are Kiswahili cultural conventions that are missing. For, example, missing are the obligatory introductory Aisee and the Shikamoo and Marahabathat reflect the social standing of the interlocutors; (compare with the standard versions below). Moreover,in Dialogue I, the word sawasawa is uncalled for. Secondly, in both dialogues, there are numerous violations of lexical and grammatical conventions the latter of which relate to concordial agreement as can be seen from the following illustration:

UGANDAN KISWAHILI                               STANDARD KISWAHILI

*Jambo ?Hujambo?/hamjambo?/hajambo?/hawajambo?

*Nyumbaikomuzuri ?Nyumbanikuzuri?/kwema?/ Nyumbanihawajambo?

*Habari?                                                        Habarigani?

*MuzuriNzuri/Njema

*baba wakobaba yako

*Baba ikoBaba yupo                                       Unamhitaji?

*Wewe nataka yeye?                                      Kwaniunashidanaye?

                                                                     Kwani unashidagani?

 

*NOTE: ill-formed or nonstandard expressions are marked by a star

 

Standard versions of the above dialogues would be spoken along the following lines:

DIALOGUE 1

Bw. KAMUKAMA:             Hujambobibi?

Bi.KOKU:                         Sijambo

Bw. KAMUKAMA:              Mzima?

Bi.KOKU:                          Mzima

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:             Haya, dada

Bi.Asiimwe:                        Haya, bwana

 

DIALAOGUE 2

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:              Aisee, Bi Asiimwe!

Bi.Asiimwe:                          Abee/bee

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:               Hujambo?

Bi. ASIIMWE:                       Sijambo. Shikamoo.

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:               Marahaba. Habarigani?

Bi. ASIIMWE:                       Nzuritu/Njematu.Habarigani?

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:               Nzuritu.Nyumbanikwema?

Bi. ASSIMWE:                     Nyumbanikwema. [Nyumbani] kwenu je?

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:              Hakunashida. Baba [yako] yupo?

Bi. ASIIMWE:                      Ndiyo. Kwa niniunauliza?

Bw. BYAMUKAMA:              Nina shidanaye.

Bi. ASIIMWE:                      Haya; ngojanikuitie

Bw. BYAMUKA:                   Asante.

 

A comparison between the Ugandan (non-standard) and standard versions of the Kiswahili dialogues demonstrates that  they sharply differ from each other in terms of cultural, lexical and grammatical norms and that the Kiswahili spoken by many Ugandans leaves a great deal to be desired. The negative observations cited above are thus largely justified and are significant against the background that Uganda is a signatory to the protocol that adoptedKiswahili as a working language of the East African Community proceedings. Kiswahili was selected for this purpose because it is believed to be the language that has the potential for culturally integrating the citizens of the EAC. Given the paltry level of Kiswahili spoken by most Ugandans, Uganda as a country is not well prepared to be culturally integrated with the rest of the EAC citizens. Consequently, Uganda’s role in the cultural integration of the peoples of the EAC will remain insignificant unless concrete measures are taken to ensure that Ugandans acquire reasonable levels of competence in spoken and written Kiswahili. Aware of this,the Ugandan Government enacted an Act of Parliament making Kiswahili an official language. This was followed by another Act which makes it mandatory toteach Kiswahili in the first four years of primary school education in the country.

The teaching of Kiswahili in primary schools will go some way in equipping a section of Ugandans with some rudiments of Kiswahili. Unfortunately, this measure targets only the very young, thus excluding a significant section of the population, namely, the adult Ugandans who are no longer at school. They too need to learn Kiswahili in order to interact with their counter-parts in the rest of the EAC. There is thus a need for a policy that can ensure that both young and adult Ugandans acquire reasonably acceptable levels of oral and written Kiswahili. In the absence of such a policy, individual and institutional efforts are needed to promote the learning and use of Kiswahili in Uganda.

1.2 The Research Problem

The general level of oral Kiswahili proficiency among the vast majority of Ugandans is too low for the country to be culturally integrated fully in the East African Community two of whose member states are far ahead of Uganda in this respect. Oral Kiswahili proficiency dictates that two people conversing in Kiswahili should do so with comprehension. This requires knowledge of Kiswahili culture, vocabulary, grammar and conversation conventions in a variety of sociolinguistic situations. Ugandans need to access this knowledge through exposure to real life Kiswahili conversations. Such knowledge is currently inaccessible to most Ugandans because so far there are no appropriate Kiswahili teaching materials for this purpose. There is, therefore, a need to develop the relevant materials for adult Ugandan learners of Kiswahili oral proficiency. This study proposes to fill this gap by preparing a Kiswahili Conversation Manual for use in formal and non-formal situations.

1.3 Objectives of the research

1.3.1General object

The general objective of the research is to generate data that will be the basis for preparing a Conversation Manual for use in oral Kiswahili proficiency classes.

1.3.2   Specific objectives 

(1) To identify real life sociolinguistic situations where typical Kiswahili oral communication can be held between two or more people

(2) To construct a series of typical Kiswahili dialogues that can serve as a model of Kiswahili oral communication appropriate in selected real life sociolinguistic situations

(3)  To compile the constructed dialogues into a Kiswahili Conversation Manual

1.4    Significance of the Project

The proposed project is significant for the following reasons:

  1. It will expose interested Ugandans to models of Kiswahili oral communication situations and culture
  2. It will be used asa teaching manual for Kiswahili oral proficiency evening classes at Kabale University and elsewhere in the country
  3. The Conversation Manual will be published and thus help to promote the teaching and learning of Kiswahili in Uganda
  4. Sales from the book will help to boost the research fund of the University

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

The teaching of Kiswahili as a foreign/second language has in the past targeted foreigners from Europe, Russia, America, Canada and Asia. For the most part, the materials for this purpose have focused on the abstract aspects of Kiswahili grammar (Ashton 1944,Loogman 1965). Where attempts have been made to go beyond grammar, authors have equally concentrated on the abstract aspects of Kiswahili phonology and phonetics. In either case, books of such a nature are mainly useful for academic purposes. But a learner of Kiswahili as a second language or even as a foreign language does not need to be exposed to academic Kiswahili. What such a learner needs are practical aspects of grammar and phonology that can provide him/her with the confidence for oral and written communicate in Kiswahili.

Authors who have tried to provide Kiswahili books of a practical nature as teaching materials include Maw(1985), Russell (1996) and Senkoro (2003) among others. These books can be characterized as the Teach Yourself Kiswahili-type of books. What they have in common is an attempt to introduce to the learner of Kiswahili grammatical, phonological and phonetic aspects of Kiswahili all at once. This is done by way of Kiswahili dialogues followed by explanations of grammatical, cultural and pronunciation points. This has the undesirable effect of interrupting the flow of dialogues which is what the learner needs to get the feel of the language. Moreover, it becomes difficult to understand the intention of the authors in offering both the dialogues and the accompanying grammatical and phonological explanations. The proposed Manual will steer clear of such explanations. Instead, real lifeKiswahili dialogues will be provided followed by  Kiswahili-English and English-Kiswahili glossaries containing words used in specific dialogues. The purpose of the glossary sections is not only to aid the learner in comprehending the content of the dialogues but also to build a stock of lexical items for future reference.

3. 0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Identification of sociolinguistic situations

This involved retrieval of data from secondary sources including published books and internet sources. Examples of the relevant sociolinguistic situationsinclude: greetings(kuamkiana), informal introductions(kujulishana),family relations(ukoo), the market place(sokoni),selling and buying(kuuzanakununa) among many others.

3.2 Constructing Kiswahili dialogues

The collected data was used as the basis for constructing real life Kiswahili dialogues.

3.3 Compiling the dialogues into a Kiswahili Conversation Manual

(1) A Teaching  Manual was compiled using the constructed dialogues The Manual contains 126 Kiswahili dialogues divided into   23 chapters, each cof which deals with a specific  sociolinguistic communication situation, e.g. greetings, introductions, family relations,

(2)   Each chapter consists of several dialogues reflecting a specific theme 

(3)  Each dialogue is followed by a section entitled: msamiati(glossary/vocabulary) giving a list of Kiswahili words and/or expressions used in the dialogue together with their meaning equivalents in English.

(4) At the end of each dialogue there is a Practice Section entitled: mazoezi(practice/exercise)

3.4 Preparing an audio version of the Conversation Manual

An audio version of the Conversation Manual is planned for use in Kiswahili oral classes. The dialogues are to be recorded on CDs.The audio version is designed to complement the hard copy of the Manual.

3.5 Preparing an Instructor’s Guide

The Teaching Manual is in preparation and it contains notes on cultural, grammatical, and pronunciation aspects in a specific dialogue. These notes are deliberately separated from the Manual in order no that  the flow of the dialogues in the manual is not be interrupted as is currenly the case int teaching materials for beginning learners ofn Kiswahili.

3.6 Conducting ‘clinical’ trials

The Kiswahili Conversation Manual is soon to be tried out on Kabale University staff. This will be done in two workshops. These will be training workshops in which staff members will participate in learning and practising Kiswahili conversations in selected sociolinguistic situations.The feedback from this training Workshop will be used to improve the Traching Manual together with the Instructor’s Guide

3.7   Theoretical Considerations

The writing of the Conversation Manual was guided by the behaviorist/structuralist theory also known imitation theory of language learning (Skinner 1957). Basically, the so-called imitation theory asserts that children acquire language through repetition of sentences, phrases or words of their parents, siblings, peers or other people in the immediate environment in which the children grow up. Within the context of second language learning, adult learners of Kiswahili as a second language are comparable to children acquiring their first language. Thus, like children, adult learners of Kiswahili acquire cultural and linguistic aspects of Kiswahili to which they are exposed. In the present context, the dialogues contain the relevant cultural and linguistic aspects to which the adult learner of Kiswahili is exposed.

Chomsky (1957) and his followers especially Lees(1957) severely criticised Skinner’s proposals as to how children acquire language and by implication as to how adults learn a second language. The strongest argument against Skinner is that there are just too many words and sentences in a language for children to imitate in the course of acquiring their fist languages. Similarly, an adult learning a second language cannot just imitate the language data to which he/she is exposed. There must be something more than just imitation. That extra something is what Chomsky calls the language acquisition device (LAD). According to Chomsky, every child is born /programmed with an LAD which enables him/her to construct sentences in the language being acquired. It is this device which is responsible for correcting the ‘mistakes’ which the child makes in the early stages of language acquisition. It is not clear, though, what role the LAD plays in second/foreign language learning where a great deal of correcting mistakes is performed by the foreign language teacher.

It is now generally accepted that both Skinner and Chomsky each has a point. A considerable amount of imitation must be involved in both language acquisition and second language learning. While the writing of the proposed Manual took cognizance of this point, in practice the imitation theory was in the driving seat.