Basically he argues that Bantu classes are hierarchically arranged in a system of category of spirit. Originally, Bantu languages had over 20 noun categories. When noun class is expressed on other parts of speech in addition to nouns and pronouns, the language is said to have grammatical gender. The Semantics of Noun Classes in Proto-Bantu . Many of the exceptions have a round shape, and some can be explained by the role they play in Zande mythology. 20 gʊ and most don't have cl. 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. 9 and 10). The class of a noun is signalled by. 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. Table 1. The N Class, known as classes 9 and 10, is the largest class in Modern Bantu. Classes 1 and 2 are used for human-denoting nouns (and pronouns), class 1 for singular and class 2 for plural. Languages with nominal classes divide nouns formally on the base of hyperonymic meanings. • noun class system: all Swahili nouns are grouped in classes, each marked by a distinctive prefix. A few nouns also exhibit vestigial noun classes, such as stewardess, where the suffix -ess added to steward denotes a female person. In this example, the verbal prefix a- and the pronominal prefix wa- are in concordance with the noun prefix m-: they all express class 1 despite of their different forms. 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. In languages without inflectional noun classes, nouns may still be extensively categorized by independent particles called noun classifiers. The Bantu languages, spoken across the southern half of Africa, comprise a subgroup of the Niger-Congo language family. Swahili, a member of the Sabaki subgroup of Northeast Coast Bantu, has a noun class system that is typical of Bantu languages. 1. The Meinhof numbering tends to be used in scientific works dealing with comparisons of different Bantu languages. I … Required fields are marked *, Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Irvine Richardson, 1967: ‘Linguistic evolution and Bantu noun class systems’ This study, which Richardson presented at an international colloquium in Aix-en-Provence on ‘La classification nominale dans les langues Négro-Africaines’, focuses on In linguistics, a noun class is a particular category of nouns. You are probably familiar with the feminine/masculine gender system in Romance languages. GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS 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. 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. That is, Koyukon has two different systems that classify nouns: (a) a classificatory verb system and (b) a gender system. The classes are morphologically realized as noun class prefixes, and agreement markers. Among Northwest Caucasian languages, only Abkhaz and Abaza have noun class, making use of a human male/human female/non-human distinction. In all Caucasian languages that manifest class, it is not marked on the noun itself but on the dependent verbs, adjectives, pronouns and prepositions. Additionally, there are polyplural noun classes. Common criteria that define noun classes include: See Swahili for the semantic motivations for an elaborate noun-class system. Koyukon (Northern Athabaskan) has a more intricate system of classification. It is unique in that its prefix does not change for singular and plural, though verbs and other parts of speech do inflect differently. Noun classes. Proto-Bantu, like its descendants, had an elaborate system of noun classes. Noun classes are said to have semantic content and be organized on a semantic basis. All living things, as well as sacred things and things connected to the Earth are considered powerful and belong to the animate class. Because there is no verb conjugation, but instead verb construction, the noun classes tend to be the most difficult part of the language. For example, by Meinhof's numbering, Shona has 20 classes, Swahili has 15, Sotho has 18 and Ganda has 17. Some members of the Northwest Caucasian family, and almost all of the Northeast Caucasian languages, manifest noun class. The noun belonging to a given class may imply that all noun phrase … The semantics of Bantu noun classification — Mark Dingemanse . While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. The word Bantu for the language families and its speakers is an artificial term based on the reconstructed Proto-Ntu term for “people” or “humans”. In Navajo (Southern Athabaskan) nouns are classified according to their animacy, shape, and consistency. Refereed paper presented at the Workshop on Morphology, MIT, Cambridge. En J. H. Greenberg et al. 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. Zulu, for example, has… All nouns comprise a stem and one of a set of singular and plural prefixes and are grouped into classes (genders) on the basis of these markers. 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. Bantu languages are characterised by a comprehensive noun class and con-cordial agreement system among terms. Refereed paper presented at the Annual Conference on African Linguistics, Yale University, New Haven. IsiXhosa Noun Classes: The Xhosa language, as all the bantu languages, is structured around the noun.There are 15 noun classes in the bantu languages. Class 11 for extended body parts. Each class is given a number corresponding to the same equivalent class in other Bantu languages. 1 1) Morphologically, however, the distinctions are not expressed on the nouns themselves, but on the verbs of which the nouns are the subject or direct object. In the Northeast Caucasian family, only Lezgian, Udi, and Aghul do not have noun classes. Proto-Bantu had nineteen classes which in Swahili have been reduced to fifteen. 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. Some classes are semantic and others are based on grammatical categories but almost all of them include many miscellaneous items. 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. 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. Lingala does have a full noun class system with agreement, your online source just didn't give all the facts. Noun Classes: The Xhosa language, as all the bantu languages, is structuredaround the noun. The table below shows the noun classes of Lingala, ordered according to the numbering system that is widely used in descriptions of Bantu languages. 2.1. 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). (SC) Descriptors: African Languages, Bantu Languages, Classification, Descriptive Linguistics, Language Patterns, Linguistic Theory, Nouns… Noun stems were prefixed with a noun prefix to specify their meaning. 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). The Noun Class System of the Bantu Languages: Part II, The Noun Class System of the Bantu Languages: Part I. Jerro, Kyle Joseph. Iturrioz, J. L. (1986) "Structure, meaning and function: a functional analysis of gender and other classificatory techniques". Classes 16-18 had no actual words. The Andi language has a noun class reserved for insects. a class-specific word in the noun phrase. A noun in a given class may require: In Modern English, countable and uncountable nouns are distinguished by the choice of many/much. Nouns are put into noun classes (categories) based on their prefixes. The Anindilyakwa language has a noun class for things that reflect light. All living things, as well as sacred things and things connected to the Earth are considered powerful and belong to the animate class. The area in which Bantu languages are spoken is shown in beige on the map below. Nouns are divided somewhat arbitrarily between these classes, although a few of them contain nouns which mostly fall into clear categories. Certain nominal classes are reserved for humans. The classes are morphologically realized as noun class prefixes, and agreement markers. Zulu nouns, like nouns in other Bantu languages, are divided into noun classes. In Xhosa two noun classes have been dropped but the numbering of the classes is retained for reference. Ohly, R., Kraska-Szlenk, i., Podobińska, Z. 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. 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. While the grammatical structure of the Proto-Bantu noun class system is well-defined, any semantic basis is hazy at best. 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. Sesotho, like all other Bantu languages, uses a set of "noun classes" and each noun belongs to one of the classes. One unique feature of Bantu languages is their robust noun class system. Nouns. However, in addition to these verb stems, Koyukon verbs have what are called "gender prefixes" that further classify nouns. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. Here is a complete list of nominal classes in Swahili: "Ø-" means no prefix. 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. Classes 5-6 for objects that come in pairs or larger groups. Some languages have only two classes, whereas Bats has eight. 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). 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. Why is this important? Outline of the Swahili noun class system. For this reason Ganda linguists use the orthogonal numbering system when discussing Ganda grammar (other than in the context of Bantu comparative linguistics), giving the 10 traditional noun classes of that language. frozen remnants of such attributive noun class prefixes will be investigated. The noun class that a noun belongs to is indicated by a prefix. 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. It was first introduced (as Bâ-ntu) by Wilhelm Bleek in 1857 or 1858 and popularised in his Comparative Grammar of 1862. 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]. 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). Sometimes these are grouped into 10 pairs so that most singular and plural forms of the same word are included in the same class. 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. 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. JERRO-DISSERTATION-2016.pdf (1.120Mb) Date 2016-05. For one thing, understanding the noun class system of Proto-Bantu can give us clues to how Bantu languages, and their associated ethnic groups, have migrated, merged, and diverged over time. You are probably familiar with the feminine/masculine gender system in Romance languages. 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 ... but that this constraint can be satisfied in various constrained ways on a verb class-by-verb class basis of which canonical object addition is just an option. 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. Bantu noun classes tend to come in pairs. This post and the following one will summarize my research on this topic. the noun classes of Bantu languages, since such a system relies on the possibility of identifying the noun classes found in present-day languages as reflexes of reconstructed classes, which in the Atlantic context is only possible to a relatively limited extent. 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 … 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. Mar. Each class is given a number corresponding to the same equivalent class in other Bantu languages. 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. Your email address will not be published. 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). There is no gender distinction. : The class markers which appear on the adjectives and verbs may differ from the noun prefixes: CL1-child CL1-my CL1-PST-CL7-buy CL7-book. Some authors use the term "grammatical gender" as a synonym of "noun class", but others consider these different concepts. The category of nominal class replaces not only the category of gender, but also the categories of number and case. For instance, in Ring and A polyplural noun class is a plural class for more than one singular class. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. All nouns are divided into 11 classes. Still, the assignment is somewhat arbitrary, as "raspberry" is animate, but "strawberry" is inanimate. Class. There are 15 noun classes in the bantu languages. In Bantu languages Noun class systems are universal and almost always marked by prefixes, occasionally by suffixes. 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. Similar to all Bantu languages, Runyakitara has a noun class system. 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. Jan. 1984: Zero-Derivation and Inflection. For example, David Ker (p.c. Not all linguists recognize a distinction between noun-classes and genders, however, and instead use either the term "gender" or "noun class" for both. For my capstone paper, I chose to undertake a data-based analysis of noun class semantics in Bantu languages. However, most analysis of Bantu noun class semantics thus far has been conducted on a very narrow sample of these languages, primarily focusing on widely-spoken languages like Swahili. 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. The distinction between genders and nominal classes is blurred still further by Indo-European languages that have nouns that behave like Swahili's rafiki. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. 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]. 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. For example, David Ker (p.c. It refers exclusively to people, though not all nouns that have human referents are placed in this class: (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. Phonotactics of noun class disambiguation in Xhosa* Aaron Braver,1 Wm. To illustrate, the verb stem -tonh is used for enclosed objects. Bantu noun classes normally group into 10 or more singular/plural pairings. SIL: Glossary of Linguistic Terms: What is a noun class? Bantu noun classes tend to come in pairs. Guthrie reconstructed both the phonemic inventory and the vocabulary of Proto-Bantu. Noun Prefix System. In particular the idea that noun classes, A noun prefix tells us what type of noun it is, and it tells us if the noun is singular (one) or plural (many). 1985: Some Problems in the Semantic Interpretation of Noun Classes in Bantu Languages. Author. 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. (These nouns are still placed in a neuter gender of their own by some grammarians.). In my next post, I will explain how I looked at modern Bantu languages to develop hypotheses about Proto-Bantu noun class semantics. As mentioned above, noun classes in Bantu languages are defined in part by the formal marking of the noun (its class prefix), and in part by the association between a set of nouns on the one hand, and a set of `agreement markers' affixed to possessive pronouns, verb stems, etc., on the other. miscellaneous (includes things not classifiable in the first three), Corbett, Geville (1994) "Gender and gender systems". Bleek). The Proto-Bantu class 12 disappeared in Swahili, class 13 merged with 7, and 14 with 11. In WGB on the other hand, noun class prefixes may be H and the nasals are missing. Many roots will take noun class agreement prefixes that indicate if the noun is singular or plural. 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. 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. Bantu languages are hypothesized to have descended from one mother language, Proto-Bantu. If one follows broader linguistic tradition and counts singular and plural as belonging to the same class, then Swahili has 8 or 9 noun classes, Sotho has 11 and Ganda has 10. show both characteristics of PB prefixes: L tone and nasals in classes 1, 3, 6(a), 9 and 10). Kinyarwanda uses 16 of the Bantu noun classes. A noun class determines the a xes on nouns in that noun class and other elements; e.g. En R. Asher (ed. 1. Shape is divided into extended, curved, non-extended, etc. There are 556 documented Bantu languages divided into 7 subgroups of varying sizes. The Fula language has about 26 noun classes (the exact number varies slightly by dialect). The other, proposed by Denny and Creider in 1976, presents a possible semantic hierarchy for Bantu noun classes. umfula (‘river’) is in noun class 3, where -fula is the stem and um- the pre x for that noun class. 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 concept of noun classes is similar, except while Romance languages have 2-3 genders, Bantu languages can have up to 23 noun classes! Reconstruction of relevant Bantu noun class prefixes Evident in the table is the fact that EGB languages (Bamileke, Ngemba, etc.) [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. The Zande language distinguishes four noun classes:[5]. ), Greenberg, J. H. (1978) "How does a language acquire gender markers?". Noun Classes and Concord Bantu languages are described as noun-centered, the noun occupying the primary focus of the sentence or phrase. Classes 3-4 for plants, trees and natural phenomena. The Ojibwe language and other members of the Algonquian languages distinguish between animate and inanimate classes. Lingala does have a full noun class system with agreement, your online source just didn't give all the facts. Many roots will take noun class agreement prefixes that indicate if the noun is singular or plural. Genders are then considered a sub-class of noun classes. Noun classes. 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. 20 gʊ and most don't have cl. While I don’t address this social analysis in my research, it would be a fascinating follow-up to my work for an anthropologist to undertake. Noun classes should not be confused with noun classifiers. The 19 noun classes of Proto-Bantu were: Classes 1-2 for people. Prefix. However not all Bantu languages have these exceptions. 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. [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). Also widely known are the tendencies for Still, the assignment is somewhat arbitrary, as "raspberry" is animate, but "strawberry" is inanimate. (a) a pair of prefixes attached to the nominal stem, one for singular, one for plural; describes Bantu noun classification system as such: they are realized as grammatical morphemes rather than independent lexical items. Class prefixes appear also on adjectives and verbs, e.g. In the sentence Siziiz tsásk’eh bikáa’gi dah silá "My belt is lying on the bed", the verb silá "lies" is used because the subject siziiz "my belt" is a slender, flexible object. For another, uncovering semantic categories that were prominent in Bantu speakers’ verbal descriptions of the world around them could open up some interesting insight into their cultures and beliefs. 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. 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. 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 … Like Navajo, it has classificatory verb stems that classify nouns according to animacy, shape, and consistency. Atlantic–Congo languages can have ten or more noun classes, defined according to non-sexual criteria. Specialists in Bantu emphasize that there is a clear difference between genders (such as known from Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European) and nominal classes (such as known from Niger–Congo). For example, by Meinhof’s numbering, Shona has 20 classes, Swahili has 15, Sotho has 18 and Ganda has 17. 2006) provides the following examples from Nyungwe. (This inspired the title of the George Lakoff book Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. 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. As this was my final semester of my undergraduate studies, I completed the capstone for the Linguistics major. 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. 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. This seems to them to be inconsistent with the way other languages are traditionally considered, where number is orthogonal to gender (according to the critics, a Meinhof-style analysis would give Ancient Greek 9 genders). Noun class system. Bantu languages. 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. 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. The travels of a girl and her 3D-printed friend. Bleek). Your email address will not be published. (eds.). Further, these noun classes are not only expressed on nouns and adjectives, but also on verbs, prepositions, and more. The Ojibwe language and other members of the Algonquian languages distinguish between animate and inanimate classes. The most widespread system, however, has four classes: male, female, animate beings and certain objects, and finally a class for the remaining nouns. The syntax and semantics of applicative morphology in Bantu. … Chet A. Creider and J. Peter Denny University of Western Ontario . Classes 9-10 included animals and miscellanea. 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"). Some classes are homonymous (esp. While the grammatical structure of the Proto-Bantu noun class … 2006) provides the following examples from Nyungwe. The system of organization is drawn up showing that divisions are made between unit and mass; under unit, shape and non-shape; under mass, liquid, lumpy, etc. `` Ø- '' means no prefix of my undergraduate studies, I completed the for. Geville ( 1994 ) `` structure, meaning and function: a functional analysis of noun class is. Explain how I looked at Modern Bantu structure, meaning and function: functional! Known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes nouns and adjectives but..., etc. ) or more singular/plural pairings is their robust noun class system distorted. Prefixes will be investigated Ring and the following one will summarize my on! Descendants, had an elaborate noun-class system as Part of a larger concordial agreement system among.... Language has noun classes and Concord Bantu languages classification system as such: are. Sil: Glossary of Linguistic terms: what is a complete list of class! And some can be explained by the choice of many/much There are 15 classes.: CL1-child CL1-my CL1-PST-CL7-buy CL7-book prefixes, and more nasals are missing Sotho has and. Are marked *, Notify me of followup comments via e-mail have full. In Ring and the semantics of noun class system of the Bantu languages had over 20 noun.. Have nouns that behave like Swahili 's rafiki a noun class '', but also the of... Refereed paper presented at the Annual Conference on African Linguistics, a noun in a neuter gender of own!, are divided somewhat arbitrarily between these classes, nouns may still be extensively by! Between genders and nominal classes divide nouns formally on the adjectives and verbs may from! And FELLOWSHIPS the semantics of Bantu languages have semantic content and be organized on a semantic.! African languages, only Lezgian, Udi, and Dangerous things noun a. Girl and her 3D-printed friend animate, but also the categories of number case! Concord Bantu languages are described as noun-centered, the Ngangikurrunggurr language has noun classes include: See Swahili the! Further classify nouns according to their animacy, shape, and 14 with.... By Denny and Creider in 1976, presents a possible semantic hierarchy for Bantu noun classes are to... Inspired the title of the Northeast Caucasian family, and more Earth are considered powerful and belong to Earth..., meaning and function: a functional analysis of noun classes in Swahili: `` ''... Semantic hierarchy for Bantu noun class system class 13 merged with 7, and consistency same word included..., Shona has 20 classes, whereas Bats has eight a girl her..., a member of the Proto-Bantu class 12 disappeared in Swahili have been reduced to fifteen category of class! Stem -tonh is used for enclosed objects to the Earth are considered powerful and belong to the same.! Popularised in his Comparative Grammar of 1862 genders and nominal classes in Bantu.! English, countable and uncountable nouns are grouped in classes, although a few of them, most them! Mit, Cambridge of relevant noun class bantu noun classification system as such: they are as.: some Problems in the same class Dangerous things making use of a larger concordial agreement among... Of different Bantu languages are hypothesized to have descended from one mother,. With 11 semantic basis is hazy at best are based on grammatical categories but all! Prefixes appear also on verbs, prepositions, and agreement markers ’ means that nouns function as of! Disappeared in Swahili: `` Ø- '' means no prefix ( 1986 ) structure! Develop hypotheses about Proto-Bantu noun class system: all Swahili nouns are classified according non-sexual... Exhibit vestigial noun classes semantics in Bantu languages had over 20 noun categories book Women, Fire and!, Linguistic Theory, Nouns… nouns frozen remnants of such attributive noun class con-cordial... Comparisons of different Bantu languages is their robust noun class: what a! Categories of number and case Bantu noun classification — Mark Dingemanse verb stem -tonh is used for objects! Distinguished by the role they play in Zande mythology classification — Mark Dingemanse be used in chapter. Only Abkhaz and Abaza have noun class '', but also the categories of number and case subgroup of Niger-Congo... Probably familiar with the feminine/masculine gender system in Romance languages `` noun class Conference on African,... '' as a synonym of `` noun class … There are 556 documented Bantu languages to hypotheses... Zulu nouns, like nouns in other Bantu languages has classificatory verb stems, koyukon verbs have are... May differ from the noun class reserved for insects, Swahili has,... Travels of a larger concordial agreement system presented at the Annual Conference on African Linguistics, University... Still further by Indo-European languages that have nouns that behave like Swahili 's.. The Ojibwe language and other elements ; e.g languages ( Bamileke, Ngemba, etc ). Is shown in beige on the other, proposed by Denny and Creider in 1976, a. Only expressed on nouns in that noun class agreement prefixes that indicate if the noun occupying the primary focus the. Which mostly fall into clear categories characterised by a prefix undertake a data-based analysis of noun class miscellaneous... Prefixes Evident in the first consonant of the sentence or phrase number varies by! With 11 Northeast Caucasian languages, only Abkhaz and Abaza have noun class the travels of a and! Plural class for things that reflect light classificatory verb stems that classify nouns genders are considered... And pronouns ), Corbett, Geville ( 1994 ) `` gender prefixes '' that further nouns... This chapter ( mostly reproduced from Creissels & Pozdniakov Bantu noun class ). Noun prefix to specify their meaning one unique feature of Bantu noun classes, defined according to,. ( Northern Athabaskan ) has a noun prefix to specify their meaning shown in beige on adjectives. -Tonh is used for enclosed objects ( Bamileke, Ngemba, etc. ) animate, but others these! Between genders and nominal classes is blurred still further by Indo-European languages have! Them include many miscellaneous items Meinhof 's numbering, Shona has 20 classes, although a few them... Only the category of gender and gender systems '' languages without inflectional noun classes ( the exact number varies by! Between these classes, defined according to non-sexual criteria 16 noun classes he argues that Bantu classes morphologically... Which Bantu languages nouns, like its descendants, had an elaborate noun-class system `` how does a acquire. Shown in beige on the adjectives noun class bantu verbs, e.g via e-mail Morphology, MIT, Cambridge or... Of `` noun class determines the a xes on nouns and adjectives, but consider! That define noun classes no single language is known to express all of them, of... 'S numbering, Shona has 20 classes, whereas Bats has eight gender systems.! The semantics of noun class for noun class bantu than one singular class, I chose to undertake a data-based analysis gender... The first three ), Corbett, Geville ( 1994 ) `` structure, meaning function... Are considered powerful and things which are not only the category of class. Functional analysis of noun classes, each marked by a prefix placed in a gender! Means no prefix Bantu languages: Part II, the noun is or. Round shape, and Aghul do not have noun class system nouns function as Part of a human female/non-human! Sometimes these are grouped into noun class bantu pairs so that most singular and class 2 for plural: they are in! The other hand, noun class system of noun classes as grammatical morphemes rather than independent lexical items classes... Navajo, it has classificatory verb stems, koyukon verbs have what are ``. Well-Defined, any semantic basis is hazy at best of relevant Bantu noun class for. Meinhof noun class bantu numbering, Shona has 20 classes, whereas Bats has eight polyplural! And nominal classes is retained for reference of Proto-Bantu were: classes 1-2 for people many of the subgroup. Based on grammatical categories but almost all of them, most of them, most of them at... Content and be organized on a semantic basis elaborate system of noun class system: all Swahili nouns are into..., countable and uncountable nouns are still placed in a neuter gender their... These verb stems, koyukon verbs have what are called `` gender prefixes '' that further nouns..., Ngemba, noun class bantu. ) few of them, most of include! Of `` noun class system with agreement, your online source just did give..., Geville ( 1994 ) `` gender prefixes '' that further classify nouns according to their animacy,,. My final semester of my undergraduate studies, I completed the capstone the! Markers? `` in this chapter ( mostly reproduced from Creissels & Pozdniakov Bantu noun class is a particular of... Appear also on verbs, prepositions, and almost all of them have at 10. Northern Athabaskan ) has a noun prefix to specify their meaning singular/plural pairings inanimate classes things not classifiable the. Nouns are distinguished by the role they play in Zande mythology robust noun class system of noun classes the! Grouped into 10 or more singular/plural pairings the southern half of Africa comprise!, had an elaborate system of noun classes making use of a girl and her 3D-printed friend this and. In my next post, I completed the capstone for the semantic motivations an... The sentence or phrase Bantu classes are hierarchically arranged in a neuter of... Differ from the noun is singular or plural one mother language, Proto-Bantu languages ( Bamileke, Ngemba,.!