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. Nouns are put into noun classes (categories) based on their prefixes. 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. 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. Lingala does have a full noun class system with agreement, your online source just didn't give all the facts. 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. JERRO-DISSERTATION-2016.pdf (1.120Mb) Date 2016-05. Noun classes form a system of grammatical agreement. 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. You are probably familiar with the feminine/masculine gender system in Romance languages. 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]. The Andi language has a noun class reserved for insects. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. (This inspired the title of the George Lakoff book Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. 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. Ohly, R., Kraska-Szlenk, i., Podobińska, Z. The Zande language distinguishes four noun classes:[5]. As this was my final semester of my undergraduate studies, I completed the capstone for the Linguistics major. 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. I … 1 1) (1) a. A noun in a given class may require: In Modern English, countable and uncountable nouns are distinguished by the choice of many/much. The syntax and semantics of applicative morphology in Bantu. Noun Classes and Concord Bantu languages are described as noun-centered, the noun occupying the primary focus of the sentence or phrase. While no single language is known to express all of them, most of them have at least 10 noun classes. 9 and 10). 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. 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. 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. a class-specific word in the noun phrase. Author. 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). 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. That is, Koyukon has two different systems that classify nouns: (a) a classificatory verb system and (b) a gender system. The noun belonging to a given class may imply that all noun phrase … The Noun Class System of the Bantu Languages: Part II, The Noun Class System of the Bantu Languages: Part I. A few nouns also exhibit vestigial noun classes, such as stewardess, where the suffix -ess added to steward denotes a female person. frozen remnants of such attributive noun class prefixes will be investigated. 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. 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 … The Proto-Bantu class 12 disappeared in Swahili, class 13 merged with 7, and 14 with 11. Proto-Bantu, like its descendants, had an elaborate system of noun classes. Because there is no verb conjugation, but instead verb construction, the noun classes tend to be the most difficult part of the language. En J. H. Greenberg et al. 1985: Some Problems in the Semantic Interpretation of Noun Classes in Bantu Languages. 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