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Re: Borrowing Words

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, September 27, 2003, 17:14
On Friday, September 26, 2003, at 04:49 , Isidora Zamora wrote:


> Swahili allows only open syllables. > > It borrowed the word for "book" from Arabic "kitab." The Swahili is > "kitabu." (I am told that the choice of vowel inserted depends upon the > previous consonant.) > > The Swahili word for "traffic roundabout" is borrowed from English. It is > "kipilefiti" from "keep left." (British traffic, of course.) > > An interesting thing with both of these words is that their plurals are > "vitabu" and "vipilefititi." This is because, in native Swahili words, > the > prefix "ki-" is a noun class marker, and the corresponding noun class (the > plurals of "ki-" nouns) is marked with a "vi-" prefix. So speakers > interpreted the /ki/ at the beginning of both of those words as a noun > class marker and formed the plurals accordingly.
AFAIK I Bantulangs allow only open syllables; this is certainly true Zulu & Xhosa, where we find that "school" is 'isikola' and, just like ki- in Isidora's examples, the initial 'isi-' has become reckoned as the class marker, so the plural is 'izikola'. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) ===============================================