Analysis of Semantic Fields in G?k?y? Church Sermons in Nyeri County Kenya

Authors

  • Catherine Nyambura Gitonga Karatina University
  • MOSES GATAMBUKI GATHIGIA KARATINA UNIVERSITY
  • NAOM MORAA NYARIGOTI KARATINA UNIVERSITY

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18533/journal.v7i8.1465

Abstract

The notion of semantic field is a structural model for lexical semantics which is attributed to Jost Trier in the Semantic Field Theory. The semantic field is an indispensable part of any language since without it information may not be conveyed appropriately. To find the best way to help people comprehend semantic fields, and especially the domain of church sermons, is an issue which requires research to crystallize. However, studies conducted on semantic fields and their implications on the comprehension of church sermons remains scanty. It is against this background that the study analyses the semantic fields in G?k?y? church sermons in Nyeri County, Kenya. The study employed a descriptive survey design and targeted live sermons delivered in 84 parishes of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Nyeri County, Kenya. Eight live sermons were purposively sampled. The data was collected through tape recording. A lexical semanticist was also interviewed. Content data analysis was used to analyse the semantic fields in G?k?y? church sermons. Data is presented in tables in which G?k?y? semantic fields used in the sermons are listed and their gloss provided. The semantic fields identified are subjected to further analyses based on the tangibility and non-tangibility criteria. The study found that semantic fields are elaborately utilized in G?k?y? church sermons. Based on the semantic field analyses, the following implications for the study are noted: (i) there is merit of an extensive theoretical overview of semantic fields of church sermons (previously subject to cursory treatment), (ii) there are methodological consequences for the study of semantic fields addressing church sermons, (iii) the ability to use semantic fields correctly and appropriately is an important part of linguistic competence, and (iv) it is easier for vocabulary items that belong to the same semantic field to be understood since they will be able to form a pattern of interrelated words in a person’s mind. The study concludes that, inter alia, the broad semantic fields are based on the key issues addressed by the sermons, that is, challenges and sins, which are believed to be part and parcel of a Christian life. The study recommends that further research on semantic fields be conducted on other items of the church service like songs and prayers.Key words: Church Sermons, G?k?y?, Nyeri County, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Semantic Fields

Author Biographies

MOSES GATAMBUKI GATHIGIA, KARATINA UNIVERSITY

Moses Gatambuki Gathigia holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English and Linguistics from Kenyatta University, Kenya. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Languages at Karatina University. He has published widely on various topics in linguistics in internationally acclaimed journals. His research interests include Cognitive Linguistics, multilingual education, phonology, sociolinguistics and syntax.

NAOM MORAA NYARIGOTI, KARATINA UNIVERSITY

Naom Nyarigoti is a lecturer of English and Linguistics at Karatina University. She holds a PhD from the University of Reading, United Kingdom, MA in Linguistics from the University of Reading, United Kingdom and Bachelor of Education from Moi University, Kenya. She has research interest in English Language teaching, Professional Development for language teachers, sociolinguistics and Multilingualism in education.

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Published

2018-08-29

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