Laughter interjections in Xhosa




typology, Bantu, Xhosa, interjections, laughter


The present paper analyzes the system of laughter-based interjections (L-INTJs) in Xhosa. By drawing on corpus and fieldwork evidence, the author concludes the following: the systems of L-INTJs consists of five types of constructions built around the segments ha, he, ho, hi, and yha, the satellites te and ti, as well as a number of replicative templates. The pattern hVhVhV with a short vowel is the most productive. Other replicative patterns, patterns involving (extra‑)long vowels, and the pattern tVhV are less productive. Overall, L-INTJs are the canonical members of the interjective category. The presence and range of uses of L-INTJs result from the interjectionalization of laughter-based onomatopoeias or the onomatopoeization of non-laughter-related interjections.


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How to Cite

Andrason, A. (2021). Laughter interjections in Xhosa. Studies in African Languages and Cultures, (55), 31–71.