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Language is a living entity that is always in constant change. It develops changes, undergoes modernisation and vanishes. In every language, there are items that die out and others develop by using different strategies or devices of word formation, such as derivation, to express the modern needs of a particular language community (Handhal 1998). The purpose of this research is to comparatively examine the lexical variations in Sang-ghshi and Sang-gami dialects of the Zaar (Sayawa) language with a view of analysing the areas of convergences and divergences between the two dialects. The study analyses those differences which are prominent in the dialects and also examines if these differences are capable of hindering communication among the speakers of these dialects. The study adopts an eclectic approach by combining the generative dialectology approach to the study of dialects and a comparative analysis to the study of lexical items. One hundred questionnaires were administered to native speakers of the two dialects in which one hundred lexical items were written and two columns were provided, one for each dialect. Other methods such as interview and observations were employed in data collection. The result from the study reveals some lexical and phonological differences found in the dialects. It also reveals some reasons for the variations such as geographical features like rivers, mountains, migration and general distance. The findings further reveal that Sangh-ghshi dialect is frequently used in organised gathering such as religious or political, as a result of its larger population as well as the fact that it is more acceptable by the people and their neighbouring ethnic groups given it is also simplified and easy to learn by non speakers of Zaar than the Sangh-gami dialect. Most traditional songs and Radio programmes or presentations are conveniently presented in Sangh-ghshi dialect. Prominent literature like the Bible, Zaar (Sayawa) dictionary are written in Sangh-ghshi dialect because of the reasons given above. In the mids all this, the dialects of the study are still mutually intelligible among the speakers‟, despite the differences in the lexis and phonology of the language, these dialects can be identified and are distinct from other Zarr (Sayawa) dialects. The research concludes that the two speech forms are mutually intelligible and the dialects are of the same language and cannot be passed as separate languages.
1.1 Background to the Study
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