Kiswahili terms in the domain of food and nutrition: “Are they PEGITOSCA compliant?”
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This study examines Kiswahili terms in the domain of Food and Nutrition (FN) in line with the PEGITOSCA criterion. Despite over 50 years of planned terminology development of Kiswahili in different specialised domains, there are some terms used in various scientific domains, particularly FN that do not adhere to the PEGITOSCA criterion. The main objective of this study was to examine the appropriateness of the Kiswahili FN terms in use, based on the PEGITOSCA criterion. Specific objectives include: a) to assemble the frequently used FN terms and their elaborated concepts; b) to analyse the methods employed in the formulation of Kiswahili terms in the domain of FN and; c) to assess the appropriateness of Kiswahili FN terms using PEGITOSCA criterion. The study assembled a list of 192 frequently used Kiswahili FN terms from a wide range of sources: newspapers, TV programs, dictionaries and FN textbooks. The 192 terms were then tested for compliance with PEGITOSCA. The findings of the study indicate that the most widely used methods to develop Kiswahili terms in the FN domain in their order of frequency of use are: borrowing, derivation, semantic expansion, semantic narrowing, reduplication and compounding. Among those methods, borrowing was extensively preferred and used. Even though borrowed terms were highly preferred to other methods; and were phonologically adapted to Kiswahili, they were meaningfully opaque to native speakers. A significant number of Kiswahili FN terms are not PEGITOSCA compliant, implying that Precision, Economy, Consistency and Systemicity which are the key criterion of PEGITOSCA, were widely violated. This study recommends that: a) Term developers should endeavour to exhaust the internal methods of term development first before they resort to borrowing, and may only use the latter in cases where the concept has not been explained by the internal term formulation methods. b) organise conferences that will bring term developers together to develop terms as a bigger group rather than divided and uncoordinated factions; c) existing terms of the Kiswahili FN domain, as well as those in other domains should be reviewed to iron out all the inconsistencies therein; d) PEGITOSCA criterion should be incorporated in the terminology development course at university level to skill students who are preparing to be terminologists. Future researchers could carry out a comparative study of certain Bantu languages to determine which internal methods can create terms that are PEGITOSCA compliant and; also streamline Kiswahili terms in other domains such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Mathematics and Chemistry.