Dr. Saidu Challay
Institute of Languages and Cultural Studies
Njala University, Sierra Leone
Tense as a grammatical category has not been studied in Hulimba, especially regarding how it is realised and expressed in verbs. This paper presents tense realization in Hulimba, with a view to bringing out how the verb is modified morphologically to indicate tense. Data for study were collected from non-mobile adult native speaker of the language with the use a tape recorder. The recorded material include some casual discourse between the researcher and the respondents, and also Hulimba oral literature, which comprised mainly story telling. Data analysis involved the phonemic transcription of the recorded material, and free and interlineal translations into English were done.
The study revealed that tense in Hulimba involves a two-way opposition, which is between future and non-future. The future tense is marked by the use of preverbal particles, whereas the absence of such particles locates the situation or event in the non-future. This means in Hulimba, the processes of grammaticalization and lexicalization are used in expressing the grammatical category of tense. This involves the use of time adverbials to indicate when an action takes place.
Key Words. Deictic, grammaticalisation, lexicalisation, proximate, non- proximate