Runyankore-Rukiga refers to two of the four closely related languages of Uganda which form part of a new standardized language of Uganda together with Runyoro and Rutooro. Sometimes Runyakitara is used to refer to the standardized form of these four languages; see for example the following still incomplete wikipedia article .
Here we discuss questions related to the annotation of Runyankore-Rukiga texts and sentence collections in TypeCraft. The material is annotated by Allen Asiimwe who is a lecturer at Makerere University. She is a speaker of Rukiga. In addition Justus Turamyomwe and Misah Natumanya both graduate students at the Linguistic Department at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU annotate.
Annotating in TypeCraft
The following example shows a standard TypeCraft annotation. TypeCraft uses three tiers for linguistic annotation: a translational tier, a gloss tier and a part-of-speech tier. When interlinear glosses (IG) are exported from TypeCraft the translational and the gloss tier are collapsed for presentational reasons. You need to have a login to TypeCraft in order to annotate. Simply write and e-mail using the mail address given on the [Main Page]
The free morphemes aha and omu
The free forms aha and omu are derived from the locative classes ha- and mu- via the affixation of an initial vowel. Both
forms may occur as part of a locative expression, as determiners or as pronouns. In the example below aha is categorised as a preposition. On of the projects the Runyankore-Rukiga group is working on is to develop a better understanding of the role that both elements play in the grammar of Runyankore-Rukiga.
The following two phrases taken from the TC-database represent one of the interesting phenomena that we came across while annotating Runyankore-Rukiga:
Naagambira aha Yunivasite.
“He speaks at the university”
In (1) the verb kugamba meaning speak carries the applicative suffix -ir. Interestingly it seems to be the applicative marker that forces a spatial interpretation of aha, since (2) below is ambiguous between a 'spatial interpretation' and a 'topic interpretation' of the prepositional phrase headed by aha:
Naagamba aha Yunivasite.
“He speaks at/about the univiersty”
other examples of the use of aha and omu
Enjubu eri omu maizi
“A hippo is in water”
Enkoko eri aha rwigi
“A hen is at/near the door”
Bakataahamu omu nju abagyenyi
“They (the visitors) entered in the house”
Otaza aha iziba tihariyo maizi
“Do not go to the well, there is no water”
Is there a preposition 'of' in Runyankore-Rukiga?
The following sentences taken from the TC database have in common that they contain a phrase that is translated using the English preposition of. The corresponding element in RR is sometimes a free, sometimes a bound morpheme.
Its forms are: we,gwe, bw, rwa, ka, za, bwa, ya.
Following Taylor (1985) -a is the possessive marker while the variation derives from agreement. Should we call this formative a preposition?
Naahika aha mwojo w'Omunyankore.
“I found one Munyankore boy”
Bamwe aha barikukurata omupiira gwa Uganda nibagamba aha migisha ekiriyo
“Some of those who follow Uganda matches say that Uganda still has a chance.”
Reeba hariho n’obugyere bwayo aha meeza.
“See her footprints on the table.”
Naareeba enkoko aha rwigi rw’eifumbiro.
“I have seen the hen near/at/on the kitchen door.”
Diverging noun class systems for Runyankore-Rukiga
Morris.H.F. and B.F.R. Kirwan(1972) and Taylor, C. (1985) see Bantu Bibliography feature two different noun class systems.
Table: Noun class systems Runyankore-Rukiga
||Morris & Kirwan
||oru (orushozi) orukuuto
||here (definate place)
||here (wider area than -ha-)
||inside (a place)
||very big/frightening dog
||very big/frigheting dogs
Are classes 22 and 23 noun class? They consist of noun prefixes that can co-occur with other noun prefixes: Wa- is prefixed on animals and birds in classes 9 and 11 e.g Warukoko Mr. Hen (class 9). Wa- was commonly used in folk tales following the African tradition of personification. Nya- on the other hand is used with class1 when the speaker does not want to reveal the name of the person being talked about but still refer back to that person.
2(a) with nouns:
Nya-mw-ojo ‘the boy being referred to
Nya-mu-kazi ‘the woman being talked about’
Nya-mu-gurusi ‘the old man being referred to’