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,
> 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
examples, the initial 'isi-' has become reckoned as the class marker, so
the plural is 'izikola'.