This paper describes an avoidance register of Datooga (Nilotic; Tanzania), a special vocabulary used by married women to avoid taboo names and words. Strategies used to create the avoidance vocabulary include consonant replacement, lexical substitution, and morphological derivation. A number of the morphologically derived forms are shown to employ the morphological resources of the language in unusual ways. The paper argues that the atypical morphological combinations exhibited in these words contribute to the distinctive sociolinguistic status of the avoidance vocabulary. This implies an ideological connection between form and meaning in Datooga, whereby linguistic and social differentiation are interconnected processes.
Selected Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference on African Linguistics
edited by Ruth Kramer, Elizabeth C. Zsiga, and One Tlale Boyer
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