What’s New in Shona Street Lingo? Semantic Change in Lingo Adoptives from Mainstream Shona

Shumirai Nyota, Rugare Mareva


This paper explores new developments in Shona lingo, whereby Shona lingo borrows words from mainstream Shona and assigns new meanings to them. The paper examines this adaptation of adoptives at the semantic level. Data were collected through observation, participant observation and a questionnaire. The paper established that Shona lingo borrows different items of grammar as they are from mainstream Shona but attaches new meanings to them. The identified resultant semantic changes include, changes in the ranges of meaning resulting in extension or narrowing the semantic content of the word, radical shift in meaning and changes in emotive value resulting in amelioration or pejorative meanings. The paper also shows how Shona lingo is reflective of the socio-economic situation of the Zimbabwean society.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v2n6p112

International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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