An Investigation of Compound Words in Kisukuma

Jesca Christopher Kisusi *

Department of Languages and Linguistics, St Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

Kulikoyela K. Kahigi

Department of Languages and Linguistics, St Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

Nestory Nyamwala Ligembe

Department of Languages and Linguistics, St Augustine University of Tanzania, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


This study presents an analysis of the types and formation of compound words in Kisukuma. The study used word-structure theory and the compositionality principle in a descriptive research design to analyse the types and formation of compound words in Kisukuma. A purposive sampling method was used in getting competent native speakers. The data was obtained through a documentary review and focus group discussion whereby 8 respondents were involved. The validity and reliability of the instruments were checked through the triangulation method whereby two native speakers of Sukuma were interviewed. The findings show that Kisukuma has one functional type of compound words, namely, compound nouns. In most cases, compound nouns in Kisukuma are formed by the combination of noun + noun, noun + verb, nominalized-verb + noun, and nominalized-verb + adjective.  In addition, both endocentric and exocentric compounds were found to occur in the language; however, copulative compounds were not.

Keywords: Kisukuma compounds, endocentric compounds, exocentric compounds, compound formation rules

How to Cite

Kisusi, J. C., Kahigi, K. K., & Ligembe, N. N. (2022). An Investigation of Compound Words in Kisukuma. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 5(3), 260–275. Retrieved from


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