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The contribution of media to growth and distortion of Kiswahili in Tanzania: the case of Dodoma municipality

Author Affiliations

  • 1Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre

Res. J. Language and Literature Sci., Volume 7, Issue (3), Pages 1-9, September,19 (2020)


The study intended to find out how media contribute to both the growth and distortion of Kiswahili in Tanzania. This research was done in Dodoma Municipality and it employed four methods of data collection. These are documentary review, key informant interview, observation and corpus linguistics. In structured interview, questions were administered to respondents. The observations were conducted through watching East African Television and listening to Clouds FM radio and social media such as WhatsApp and Instagram to see how language is used in the named media. Also, forty copies of different informal newspapers (Ijumaa, IjumaaWikienda, Risasi, Uwazi, Kiu, Sani, Amani, and Jumatatu) were collected in the corpus and a careful examination of language use was done. The findings show that there is incorrect use Kiswahili in the media especially the kind of lexicon and sentence structure used. The study further revealed that media today has three major roles, which are: the major agent of language distortion, an agent of language change and the agent of language growth. It was also revealed that the non-formal language used by the media has negative impacts to the Kiswahili speech community especially the young generation. Lastly, the findings show that the old generation have negative attitude to the use of non-formal language in the media while the young generation seems to be somehow positive.


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