Names and Naming System of Tugen
Prisca Jerono

Each ethnic group and language has a way of providing reference to its members. Reference is provided by names which are labels for people and places. From a semantic perspective, proper names have been known to have no descriptive meaning but only denotational meaning. However, we find that in some languages some of the proper names used by communities for reference have a descriptive backing. A descriptive backing consists of a number of propositions associated with a name and that have a relationship concerning the identity of the bearer of the name. Tugen which is a language within the Kalenjin macro language of the Southern Nilotic group of languages is one language whose proper names have a descriptive backing. The descriptive backing may or may not be associated with the individual bearing the name. This paper expounds on the system of naming that is used by the Tugen in assigning names. It shows the morphological processes of inflection, derivation and compounding that are used in the formation of names as well as the differences in the use of names depending on age and status and the descriptive backing associated with the names.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijlc.v7n1a2