Browsing by Subject "Bantu languages"

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  • Sampa, Francis K.; Ojanen, Emma; Westerholm, Jari; Ketonen, Ritva; Lyytinen, Heikki (2018)
    This study investigated the comparative efficacy of a phonics-based reading program and a language experience approach based literacy program to develop reading skills among Zambian early childhood school learners. The learners (n = 1 986; Grade 2 level; females = 50.1%) took either the phonics-based reading program (n = 1 593) or the alternative language experience approach based program (n = 393). They were all assessed for reading skills utilising the Early Grade Reading Assessment test (EGRA) in four languages (Cinyanja, Icibemba, Kiikaonde, and Silozi). Results suggest that learners in phonics-based literacy program were significantly better in letter-sound knowledge in all the four languages. Additionally, they were significantly better in reading skills (non-word reading, oral passage reading, and reading comprehension), yet only in Icibemba and Silozi, as compared to those who took the alternative program. Results reveal that children in the Primary Literacy Program (PLP) had significantly better performance in most reading skills than in the Primary Reading Program (PRP). However, the effect sizes were small or medium. The high floor effect in all reading-related measures is an indication that by following either PRP or the recently implemented PLP, most children do not acquire basic reading skill of the transparently written language they are familiar with. Instruction of the sounds of letters requires special attention where digital training tools (such as GraphoGame) may provide the most effective help to both teachers and children.
  • Helenius, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Conjoint and disjoint verb forms are distinguished only in few languages of the world, almost all of them being Bantu languages. The forms have been studied quite comprehensively in some languages, and not at all in others. The South African isiNdebele language is among the overall less-studied ones; there are no proper grammars available, and its conjoint/disjoint distinction has not been consistently studied earlier. Thus, there is a clear research gap to be filled. This thesis examines the use of the conjoint and disjoint forms in isiNdebele through a comparison of near-relative language (Zulu) grammars and linguistic field data collected in South Africa as part of the "Stability and Change in Language Contact: The Case of isiNdebele (South Africa)" research project organised by the University of Helsinki and funded by the Academy of Finland between 2014–2020. The results of my research are in line with other recent conjoint/disjoint research on related languages, and illustrate that, also in isiNdebele, it is a much more nuanced phenomenon compared to the mechanistic rules described in the Zulu grammars. My results also indicate that there is a clear need for further and more in-depth study of the effects of information structure and prosody on the conjoint and disjoint use in isiNdebele.