Skip to main content
22 votes

Ncuti Gatwa is, according to Wikipedia, pronounced /ˈʃuːti ˈɡætwɑː/ - where is the NC orthography derived from?

In Kinyarwanda, <nc> represents phonetic [n̥tʃʰ], at least in a somewhat-conventional style of IPA transcriptions. The [t] portion of the cluster is brief, and English speakers generally do not ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
11 votes

Ncuti Gatwa is, according to Wikipedia, pronounced /ˈʃuːti ˈɡætwɑː/ - where is the NC orthography derived from?

As noted by user7626, incuti means "friend" in Kinyarwanda. But the usual form of the word is inshuti in Kinyarwanda, and incuti is dialectal. Incuti is also the usual form in Kirundi, which ...
Jongseong Park's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Origin for specific letters used in Swahili for tenses

First, the "letters" question is answered by understanding that Swahili is (now) written using the Latin alphabet, and the sounds that those represent are the morphemes for marking past, ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
6 votes

Have other language families been mapped like Proto-Indo-European has?

Yes, there are very many researchers working to reconstruct proto-languages other than Indo-European. There are a number of languages that are not clearly related to any other language (e.g. ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
5 votes

Is Swahili a Mora-counting language like Japanese?

In essence, Swahili stress has two rules: If the word is shaped like NC(C*)V, the first nasal is syllabic, and stressed. (For example, ḿbwa "dog", ḿtu "person".) Otherwise, the stress is on the ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
5 votes
Accepted

What is Songhay's Family?

This is a very small field, where one abstaining scholar prevents reaching a consensus. I think one should discount any one-off pre-Greenbergian affiliation claims which have not been re-affirmed, ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
4 votes
Accepted

African languages containing "the clicks"

The question is rather broad, so I'll just focus on one part of it. There are no clicks in "Shona" (a fluid social construct), i.e. Karanga, Zezuru, Manyika, Korekore, Kalanga. There are a ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Which mutually intelligible language groups are spoken by more than 1 million people in Cameroon?

This is years late, but offering it anyway: Ethnologue tends to approach language from what I've heard called a "splitter" perspective, where in effect certain differences are considered sufficient ...
Don Osborn's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Are ~simba (Bantu) and ~simha (Indic) related?

That is a coincidence, the two words are not related, neither are the Indo-European and Bantu languages. The Swahili simba 'lion' comes from the Proto-Bantu *ǹcímbá 'any of various wild felines or ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
4 votes

Subject prefixes in Bantu languages

For Lingala grammars, you might want to read this paper, which contains references to grammars (not well-meaninged class projects labeled "grammar") and some discussion of the dialect problem. Lingala ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
4 votes
Accepted

African languages spoken continuously in the US (language islands)

No there are no such communities - we gotta understand that the circumstances under which European people resettled and African people found themselves in North America are different. When slaves were ...
shabunc's user avatar
  • 919
3 votes
Accepted

Subject prefixes in Bantu languages

Excellent question! It just so happens that this is exactly what my group is researching at the moment! Are there Bantu languages where, unlike Zulu and Swahili, the subject prefix system has only ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
3 votes

Is Swahili a Mora-counting language like Japanese?

The term "mora counting" has a specific technical meaning, based on the connection between duration and certain linguistic units (moras, syllables, stress feet). In a so-called syllable-timed language,...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
2 votes
Accepted

Have other language families been mapped like Proto-Indo-European has?

There are a great many language families studied by linguists, and part of the demonstration of their relatedness typically involves the classification of the members of that family into subgroups. ...
Tristan's user avatar
  • 8,857
2 votes
Accepted

How To Solve UKLO Mandombe Problem

The numbers 1 through 5 are based on the five basic vowels in Mandombe: i, u, e, o, and a. You can find the "closed triangle" shape of the number 4 in any syllables that contain an o vowel, ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.1k
2 votes

Are ~simba (Bantu) and ~simha (Indic) related?

Indic languages are not related to the Bantu languages genetically; however, both Hindi/Urdu and Swahili were influenced by Arabic due to contact between speakers. Neither of these words arose through ...
DeLissaplitz Anonymous's user avatar
2 votes

What's the origin of the word "br" in Yemeni Arabic?

I gave this a try with my comment: ብርሃን bǝrhan is from በርሀ bärhä "to be bright". This is the source of በራ bärra too. ብሩህ bǝruhǝ is probably related, since it has b and r at the start. برق ...
MickG's user avatar
  • 507
2 votes

About Bamileke language Kwa

I will re-interpret the question so that it is clearly not off topic, as follows: I met a gentleman who claims to speak the Bamileke language Kwa in Cameroon. He denied that it was the language ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
2 votes
Accepted

List of languages with numbers of L1 speakers in Africa

You can get such information from Ethnologue. I don't know of e.g. a document that lists all languages of Africa along with L1 population, but you can piece together such a list (tediously, ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
2 votes
Accepted

Diacritics and Ashanti/Twi alphabet?

That text uses the old (obsolete) orthography developed by J.G. Christaller about 150 years ago. (t)w̌ represents labio-palatalization, IPA [tɕɥ], which is now simply tw (it's predictable, but was in ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
1 vote

Are ~simba (Bantu) and ~simha (Indic) related?

If the word is borrowed, the direction of borrowing would have to be from Bantu to Indic, given that nsimba is widely distributed in Bantu, not limited to Eastern Bantu. This is not impossible in ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
1 vote

Help identifying words in unknown language from the Caribbean

Koen Bostoen would know the answer. The known resources on Vili are listed here. Kongo "goat" would be along the lines of nkombo and "lion" is nkosi, but there are many forms of Kongo: these are from ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible