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Questions tagged [bantu]

For linguistic questions about the Bantu languages, a family of languages (with Swahili and Zulu as its most prominent members) spoken in the central and southern parts of Africa.

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16 Genders of the Kivunjo Language?

Some of the Bantu languages have many grammatical genders. One of these, Kivunjo, is said to have 16. Would anyone let me know all of the 16 genders? Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct quotes ...
samhana's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Origin of the habitual tense in Swahili

How far back can a tense like hu, which fails to agree with its subject, be reconstructed in Swahili? Alternatively, do we know which construction it developed from? This question is based on reading ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
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2 votes
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What is "mupigane" in Swahili? [closed]

In this sentence: "Wazazi waliwaambia watoto wao: 'Badala ya kufa nyumbani nendeni mupigane.'", I assume "mupigane" is a conjugated form of the verb "kupiga" (fight). ...
Martino's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Subject prefixes in Bantu languages

Background I'll be up front: this question arises from trying to crack a Lingala song. There is this polyphonic Lingala religious hymn, Salelaka Mokonzi, which is very well-known among members of ...
MickG's user avatar
  • 507
9 votes
1 answer
236 views

Do other languages have an "irreversible aspect"?

Like many languages, Lingála combines tense, aspect, and mood into a single TAM marking. Three of these TAMs pertain to the past: a-kɛnd-ákí "he left earlier today" (hodiernal/recent past) a-kɛnd-áká ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
234 views

Does Swahili have relational nouns?

I've just come across the concept of relational nouns, and I'm curious if Swahili's position-indicating words count. In Swahili, there's a possessive particle -a that joins nouns together. For ...
Draconis's user avatar
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4 votes
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Word frequency list for agglutinative languages like Swahili?

I'm an intermediate Swahili speaker looking to substantially increase the size of my vocabulary over the next couple weeks. However, I want to optimize my learning curve by focusing on the first 2000 ...
Parseltongue's user avatar