2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Linguistic Features of Shona

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Michal Temkin Martínez and Dr. Tim Thornes


This poster provides a preliminary description of the linguistic features of Shona, a major language spoken in Zimbabwe and by at least one speaker in the Boise area. Shona, spoken by over 10 million people, is characterized as an Atlantic-Congo, Narrow Bantu, Central language (S.10) within the Niger-Congo language family. As part of the capstone course in linguistics this semester, our group has met every week with a native speaker of the Karanga dialect of Shona and worked together to document the phonological, morphological, and syntactic features of the language, as well as several semantic domains of interest. The archived recordings and analyses resulting from this project will provide the scientific community with new data to promote theoretical linguistic research on Shona. Our project will benefit the Shona-speaking community as well as the Boise community by increasing linguistic awareness about the variety of languages spoken in our community and by supporting documentation efforts.

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