Some classes are homonymous (esp. Jan. 1984: Zero-Derivation and Inflection. Outline of the Swahili noun class system. Classes 1 and 2 are used for human-denoting nouns (and pronouns), class 1 for singular and class 2 for plural. The Bantu attribute noun class prefixes and their suffixal counterparts, with special reference to Zulu A mini dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Magister Artium: IsiZulu (course work) in the Department of African Languages at the UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA by LINKIE MOHLALA Supervisor: Prof R Gauton … Each noun class umfula (‘river’) is in noun class 3, where -fula is the stem and um- the pre x for that noun class. Refereed paper presented at the Annual Conference on African Linguistics, Yale University, New Haven. Its prefix is a homorganic nasal, realized as m, n, or ny depending on the first consonant of the root. Why is this important? frozen remnants of such attributive noun class prefixes will be investigated. There is no gender distinction. Noun Classes in Proto-Bantu 129 The first of the two attempts at some kind of overall treatment referred to above is that of Leakey (1959) who presents his ideas very informally in the context of an introductory grammar of the Kikuyu language. The table below shows the noun classes of Lingala, ordered according to the numbering system that is widely used in descriptions of Bantu languages. JERRO-DISSERTATION-2016.pdf (1.120Mb) Date 2016-05. In languages without inflectional noun classes, nouns may still be extensively categorized by independent particles called noun classifiers. When -tonh is combined with different gender prefixes, it can result in daaltonh which refers to objects enclosed in boxes or etltonh which refers to objects enclosed in bags. For example, in the sentence Shi’éé’ tsásk’eh bikáa’gi dah siłtsooz "My shirt is lying on the bed", the verb siłtsooz "lies" is used because the subject shi’éé’ "my shirt" is a flat, flexible object. Classes 6 and 10 are inherited as polyplural classes by most surviving Bantu languages, but many languages have developed new polyplural classes that are not widely shared by other languages. The Zande language distinguishes four noun classes:[5]. In Basque there are two classes, animate and inanimate; however, the only difference is in the declension of locative cases (inessive, locative genitive, allative, terminal allative, ablative and directional ablative). You are probably familiar with the feminine/masculine gender system in Romance languages. The concept of noun classes is similar, except while Romance languages have 2-3 genders, Bantu languages can have up to 23 noun classes! The Fula language has about 26 noun classes (the exact number varies slightly by dialect). particular classes of nouns, in linguistics, List of languages by type of noun classification, sfn error: no target: CITEREFCorbett1991 (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, List of languages by type of grammatical genders, "Remarks on a few "polyplural" classes in Bantu", Noun classes and categorization: Proceedings of a symposium on categorization and noun classification. Classes 7-8 were heterogeneous. The Meinhof numbering tends to be used in scientific works dealing with comparisons of different Bantu languages. The table below shows the 16 noun classes and how they are paired in two commonly used systems. Like all Bantu languages, Lingala has a noun class system in which nouns are classified according to the prefixes they bear and according to the prefixes they trigger in sentences. There are about 80 inanimate nouns which are in the animate class, including nouns denoting heavenly objects (moon, rainbow), metal objects (hammer, ring), edible plants (sweet potato, pea), and non-metallic objects (whistle, ball). Noun classes are similar in concept to grammatical gender in many European languages, as the noun class determines how other words are inflected in concordance with the noun. Further, these noun classes are not only expressed on nouns and adjectives, but also on verbs, prepositions, and more. It was first introduced (as Bâ-ntu) by Wilhelm Bleek in 1857 or 1858 and popularised in his Comparative Grammar of 1862. A noun prefix tells us what type of noun it is, and it tells us if the noun is singular (one) or plural (many). Nouns belong to a multitude of different classes, and they can be identified as belonging to those classes by the noun class prefix marker that they take. The syntax and semantics of applicative morphology in Bantu. En J. H. Greenberg et al. 1 1) (1) a. In Ganda each singular class has a corresponding plural class (apart from one class which has no singular–plural distinction; also some plural classes correspond to more than one singular class) and there are no exceptions as there are in Swahili. Noun classes are said to have semantic content and be organized on a semantic basis. Refereed paper presented at the Workshop on Morphology, MIT, Cambridge. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. Genders are then considered a sub-class of noun classes. Still, the assignment is somewhat arbitrary, as "raspberry" is animate, but "strawberry" is inanimate. Demuth describes Bantu noun classification system as such: they are realized as grammatical morphemes rather than independent lexical items. In Xhosa two noun classes have been dropped but the numbering of the classes is retained for reference. Because the classes defined by these classifying words are not generally distinguished in other contexts, there are many linguists who take the view that they do not create noun classes. In WGB on the other hand, noun class prefixes may be H and the nasals are missing. 2006) provides the following examples from Nyungwe. In Xhosa two noun classes have beendropped but the numbering of the classes is retained for reference. (eds.). There are two main theories regarding the development of noun class systems: one, proposed by Malcolm Guthrie in 1967, argues for semantically arbitrary noun classes determined only by grammatical and morphological criteria. In the Northeast Caucasian family, only Lezgian, Udi, and Aghul do not have noun classes. The area in which Bantu languages are spoken is shown in beige on the map below. according to similarities in their meaning (semantic criterion); by grouping them with other nouns that have similar form (morphology); a special form of pronoun to replace the noun. For instance, in Swahili the word rafiki ‘friend’ belongs to the class 9 and its "plural form" is marafiki of the class 6, even if most nouns of the 9 class have the plural of the class 10. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. That is, Koyukon has two different systems that classify nouns: (a) a classificatory verb system and (b) a gender system. Bantu languages are hypothesized to have descended from one mother language, Proto-Bantu. [example needed] There are a few words with both masculine and feminine forms, generally words for relatives (cousin: lehengusu (m)/lehengusina (f)) or words borrowed from Latin ("king": errege, from the Latin word rex; "queen": erregina, from regina). Bleek). This type of noun affixation is not very frequent in English, but quite common in languages which have the true grammatical gender, including most of the Indo-European family, to which English belongs. The mu-ba class, known numerically as class 1 in the singular and class 2 in the plural, is the most semantically coherent class in Modern Bantu. Nouns are put into noun classes (categories) based on their prefixes. In particular the idea that noun classes, In names for familiar relatives, where both genders are taken into account, either the words for each gender are put together ("son": seme; "daughter": alaba; "children"(meaning son(s) and daughter(s)): seme-alaba(k)) or there is a noun that includes both: "father": aita; "mother": ama; "parent": guraso. Bantu languages. Similar to all Bantu languages, Runyakitara has a noun class system. From class 11 to 23, the system is distorted to pair as given: class 11/10, 12/13, 15/6, and 20/22. It refers exclusively to people, though not all nouns that have human referents are placed in this class: The travels of a girl and her 3D-printed friend. For example, David Ker (p.c. The concept of noun classes is similar, except while Romance languages have 2-3 genders, Bantu languages can have up to 23 noun classes! (a) a pair of prefixes attached to the nominal stem, one for singular, one for plural; GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS This post and the following one will summarize my research on this topic. Your email address will not be published. For example, by Meinhof’s numbering, Shona has 20 classes, Swahili has 15, Sotho has 18 and Ganda has 17. For my capstone paper, I chose to undertake a data-based analysis of noun class semantics in Bantu languages. Additionally, there are polyplural noun classes. 3In the Bantuist tradition, a noun class numeral indicates both class (gender) and number: odd-numbered noun classes are for singular and even-numbered for plural. 1985: Some Problems in the Semantic Interpretation of Noun Classes in Bantu Languages. For example, by Meinhof's numbering, Shona has 20 classes, Swahili has 15, Sotho has 18 and Ganda has 17. Jerro, Kyle Joseph. For this reason, noun classes are often referred to by combining their singular and plural forms, e.g., rafiki would be classified as "9/6", indicating that it takes class 9 in the singular, and class 6 in the plural. Certain nominal classes are reserved for humans. Each class is given a number corresponding to the same equivalent class in other Bantu languages. Classes 3-4 for plants, trees and natural phenomena. Bantu noun classes tend to come in pairs. All living things, as well as sacred things and things connected to the Earth are considered powerful and belong to the animate class. The classes are morphologically realized as noun class prefixes, and agreement markers. Noun classes form a system of grammatical agreement. Noun classes are believed to have historically have been classified according to a semantic criteria, such as grouping nouns which are animate, inanimate, abstract and so on and so forth, these such classifications are shown in Proto … Noun Classes: The Xhosa language, as all the bantu languages, is structuredaround the noun. Classes 5-6 for objects that come in pairs or larger groups. Basically he argues that Bantu classes are hierarchically arranged in a system of category of spirit. Some classes are semantic and others are based on grammatical categories but almost all of them include many miscellaneous items. Nouns are divided somewhat arbitrarily between these classes, although a few of them contain nouns which mostly fall into clear categories. The category of nominal class replaces not only the category of gender, but also the categories of number and case. However, in addition to these verb stems, Koyukon verbs have what are called "gender prefixes" that further classify nouns. a class-specific word in the noun phrase. Required fields are marked *, Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. A noun may belong to a given class because of the characteristic features of its referent, such as gender, animacy, shape, but such designations are often clearly conventional. Noun classes. 1 1) Your email address will not be published. View/ Open. Noun classes are similar in concept to grammatical gender in many European languages, as the noun class determines how other words are inflected in concordance with the noun. SIL: Glossary of Linguistic Terms: What is a noun class? Some members of the Northwest Caucasian family, and almost all of the Northeast Caucasian languages, manifest noun class. Many roots will take noun class agreement prefixes that indicate if the noun is singular or plural. In my next post, I will explain how I looked at modern Bantu languages to develop hypotheses about Proto-Bantu noun class semantics. In all Caucasian languages that manifest class, it is not marked on the noun itself but on the dependent verbs, adjectives, pronouns and prepositions. Some Bantu languages such as Venda that express variations in size and shape as well as the emotive perception by means of suffixes, or by a combination of prefixes and suffixes Many roots will take noun class agreement prefixes that indicate if the noun is singular or plural. … The Dyirbal language is well known for its system of four noun classes, which tend to be divided along the following semantic lines:[1], The class usually labeled "feminine", for instance, includes the word for fire and nouns relating to fire, as well as all dangerous creatures and phenomena. Noun Prefix System. Introduction Everyone who has ever worked with a Bantu language has faced the problem of deciding what kind of system is encoded with the gender class markers. The class of a noun is signalled by. The noun class that a noun belongs to is indicated by a prefix. The statement, ‘agreement markers’ means that nouns function as part of a larger concordial agreement system. The Bantu languages, spoken across the southern half of Africa, comprise a subgroup of the Niger-Congo language family. Phonotactics of noun class disambiguation in Xhosa* Aaron Braver,1 Wm. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noun_class&oldid=998367130, Articles needing additional references from October 2019, All articles needing additional references, Articles needing examples from October 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, plural: persons (a plural counterpart of class 1), plural: plants (a plural counterpart of class 3), plural: fruits (a plural counterpart of class 5, 9, 11, seldom 1), plural: things (a plural counterpart of class 7), plural: animals, things (a plural counterpart of class 9 and 11). G. Bennett2 1Texas Tech University and 2Rhodes University 1 Introduction Bantu languages are widely noted for their complex noun class systems: each noun belongs to a class, and this class membership controls agreement morphology. [4] For example, Proto-Bantu class 10 contains plurals of class 9 nouns and class 11 nouns, while class 6 contains plurals of class 5 nouns and class 15 nouns. According to Steven Pinker, the Kivunjo language has 16 noun classes including classes for precise locations and for general locales, classes for clusters or pairs of objects and classes for the objects that come in pairs or clusters, and classes for abstract qualities.[3]. Class. The N Class, known as classes 9 and 10, is the largest class in Modern Bantu. There is some variation in the class system in "ordinary" Bantu (most of the languages, except for parts of zone A), where not all languages have cl. Noun Classes and Concord Bantu languages are described as noun-centered, the noun occupying the primary focus of the sentence or phrase. 2006) provides the following examples from Nyungwe. Zulu, for example, has… The Proto-Bantu class 12 disappeared in Swahili, class 13 merged with 7, and 14 with 11. Ohly, R., Kraska-Szlenk, i., Podobińska, Z. Noun class system. According to Carl Meinhof, the Bantu languages have a total of 22 noun classes called nominal classes (this notion was introduced by W.H.J. I … Lingala does have a full noun class system with agreement, your online source just didn't give all the facts. The Ojibwe language and other members of the Algonquian languages distinguish between animate and inanimate classes. Some languages have only two classes, whereas Bats has eight. (1998), Global map and discussion of languages by type of noun class at, This page was last edited on 5 January 2021, at 01:54. Noun classes. A noun class determines the a xes on nouns in that noun class and other elements; e.g. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. The Ojibwe language and other members of the Algonquian languages distinguish between animate and inanimate classes. There are three main ways by which natural languages categorize nouns into noun classes: Usually, a combination of the three types of criteria is used, though one is more prevalent. Most words in a Bantu sentence are marked by a prefix indicating the category to which the noun used as the subject of the sentence belongs, and, if there is an object, the words in that noun phrase and the verb are also marked by a prefix determined by the noun class of the object. Perhaps the most noun classes in any Australian language are found in Yanyuwa, which has 16 noun classes, including nouns associated with food, trees and abstractions, in addition to separate classes for men and masculine things, women and feminine things. Swahili, a member of the Sabaki subgroup of Northeast Coast Bantu, has a noun class system that is typical of Bantu languages. Classes 16-18 had no actual words. The term gender, as used by some linguists, refers to a noun-class system composed with 2, 3, or 4 classes, particularly if the classification is semantically based on a distinction between masculine and feminine. In the men's dialect, the classes for men and for masculine things have simplified to a single class, marked the same way as the women's dialect marker reserved exclusively for men.[2]. You are probably familiar with the feminine/masculine gender system in Romance languages. Shona noun classes are a system of categorizing nouns on the basis of the prefix used when the noun is in the same sentence as a determiner, adjective, verb in past tense or a verb in third person. Still, the assignment is somewhat arbitrary, as "raspberry" is animate, but "strawberry" is inanimate. Italian, for example, has a group of nouns deriving from Latin neuter nouns that acts as masculine in the singular but feminine in the plural: il braccio/le braccia; l'uovo/le uova. According to Carl Meinhof, the Bantu languages have a total of 22 noun classes called nominal classes (this notion was introduced by W.H.J. 2.1. All living things, as well as sacred things and things connected to the Earth are considered powerful and belong to the animate class. Shona noun classes are a system of categorizing nouns on the basis of the prefix used when the noun is in the same sentence as a determiner, adjective, verb in past tense or a verb in third person. Among Northwest Caucasian languages, only Abkhaz and Abaza have noun class, making use of a human male/human female/non-human distinction. Noun classes should not be confused with noun classifiers. Critics of the Meinhof's approach notice that his numbering system of nominal classes counts singular and plural numbers of the same noun as belonging to separate classes. Other words that related or referred to that noun, such as adjectives and verbs, also received a prefix that matched the class of the noun ("agreement" or "concord"). Bantu noun classes tend to come in pairs. For RR and Luganda, classes 1 to 10 pair up as 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, and 9/10 to form singular and plural forms respectively. The noun belonging to a given class may imply that all noun phrase … There is some variation in the class system in "ordinary" Bantu (most of the languages, except for parts of zone A), where not all languages have cl. 20 gʊ and most don't have cl. (This inspired the title of the George Lakoff book Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. A noun in a given class may require: In Modern English, countable and uncountable nouns are distinguished by the choice of many/much. According to Carl Meinhof, the Bantu languages have a total of 22 noun classes called nominal classes (this notion was introduced by W. H. J. Bleek). A few nouns also exhibit vestigial noun classes, such as stewardess, where the suffix -ess added to steward denotes a female person. Some languages, such as Japanese, Chinese and the Tai languages, have elaborate systems of particles that go with nouns based on shape and function, but are free morphemes rather than affixes. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. The Semantics of Noun Classes in Proto-Bantu . • noun class system: all Swahili nouns are grouped in classes, each marked by a distinctive prefix. While the grammatical structure of the Proto-Bantu noun class system is well-defined, any semantic basis is hazy at best. The other, proposed by Denny and Creider in 1976, presents a possible semantic hierarchy for Bantu noun classes. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. According to Carl Meinhof, the Bantu languages have a total of 22 noun classes called nominal classes (this notion was introduced by W. H. J. Bleek). Bantu languages are characterised by a comprehensive noun class and con-cordial agreement system among terms. For example, David Ker (p.c. Each class is given a number corresponding to the same equivalent class in other Bantu languages. Proto-Bantu, like its descendants, had an elaborate system of noun classes. A comprehensive noun class prefixes, and agreement markers ’ means that nouns function Part... Marked *, Notify me of followup comments via e-mail reproduced from Creissels & Pozdniakov noun. Swahili, class 13 merged with 7, and consistency 7, and markers... Used systems relevant Bantu noun classification system as such: they are paired two! Also exhibit vestigial noun classes are hierarchically arranged in a system of the sentence phrase. Is animate, but also on verbs, e.g, J. H. ( 1978 ) `` gender and elements! H. ( 1978 ) `` how does a language acquire gender markers?.., although a few of them, most of them, most of them most... Appear also on verbs, prepositions, and agreement markers the labels used in scientific works dealing with of. Part I languages that have nouns that behave like Swahili 's rafiki complete list of nominal divide! Known as classes 9 and 10, is the largest class in Modern Bantu reserved for canines hunting... In 1976, presents a possible semantic hierarchy for Bantu noun classes Proto-Bantu. First consonant of the George Lakoff book Women, Fire, and do... Distinguishes four noun classes, such as stewardess, where the suffix -ess added to steward denotes a female.... See Swahili for the Linguistics major classification, Descriptive Linguistics, language Patterns, Linguistic,! The Algonquian languages distinguish between animate and inanimate classes 3-4 for plants, trees and natural phenomena,. University, New Haven Swahili, class 13 merged with 7, and Aghul not. 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H. ( 1978 ) `` gender and gender ''... One singular class Linguistics major book Women, Fire, and consistency number corresponding to the are... ( SC ) Descriptors: African languages, Bantu languages are spoken is shown in beige on the other,... Aghul do not have noun classes has 18 and Ganda has 17 12/13,,. Feminine/Masculine gender system in Romance languages human male/human female/non-human distinction, R., Kraska-Szlenk,,. Is somewhat arbitrary, as `` raspberry '' is inanimate is animate, but `` strawberry '' is.! One singular class fields are marked *, Notify me of followup comments via e-mail hierarchically arranged in given! Nasals are missing classes 1-2 for people Northeast Coast Bantu, has a more noun class bantu system of noun class There. As given: class 11/10, 12/13, 15/6, and agreement markers paper presented at the Workshop on,. Prefixes Evident in the semantic Interpretation of noun class system is distorted to pair as given: class 11/10 12/13. 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