Publication details [#65672]

Kanana, Fridah Erastus and Atemo Christine Ny'onga. 2018. Lexical restructuring processes in Sheng among the Matatu crew in Nakuru, Kenya. South African Journal of African Languages 39 (1) : 42–55.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


The urban youth language Sheng arose in Nairobi's Eastlands areas in the early 1970s. It is now spoken all over the country and is notably pop in the media and amid the urban youth across East Africa. Sheng develops very fast. This article traces the (re)structuring and use of Nairobi Sheng words in the Matatu transport business in Nakuru town, Kenya, by debating the morphophonological processes involved in creating words from the matrix languages. Words from the Nairobi Sheng used by the Matatu crew in Nakuru town are thro being re-invented to fill fixed communication needs. Nakuru Matatu Sheng mostly uses metathesis to restructure both Kiswahili and Nairobi Sheng to profuce a novel and innovative Sheng for practice in the Matatu crew community of practice.