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By Fruitful-Kamizhi Mulambwa May 29, 2014 2567 Words
A noun is a word used to refer to people, animals, objects, substances, states, events and feelings. In linguistics, the term noun class refers to a system of categorizing nouns. A noun may belong to a given class because of characteristic features of its referent, such as sex, animacy, shape, but counting a given noun among nouns of such or another class is often clearly conventional. This essay will therefore give detailed information on silozi noun classes within a cognitive semantics and socio-cultural approach. Usually, nouns in Silozi are classified according to traditional criteria based on their formal and semantic properties. This gives us a crew on semantic principles behind the classification of silozi noun classes. Silozi comprises of 19 noun classes. Like all other Bantu languages, it uses a system set of "noun classes" and each noun belongs to one of the classes. The noun class where a noun belongs to is indicated by a prefix. Nouns are divided somewhat arbitrarily between these classes, although a few of them contain nouns which mostly fall into clear categories. To start with, The first silozi noun class is mu which can produce words like mutu ‘person’, it is the commonly used noun class, it can be attributed to persons, objects, animals names, substances among other things.To persons it can be used as a person’s name, for instance; mundia, mululu ,mubita and to objects it refers to items like, muhulu, mufola, mulola among other useful objects. This noun class of silozi was classified under the singular noun class and states single things proper nouns to say. This explains that all class 1 nouns are attributed to humans and verbal agents; mostly they are proper names and kinship terms, such as mulambwa, mulala, mulombwe among others. Class one of silozi has a sub-division making 1a.This noun is made out of ø and examples of words we can have as examples are ndate ‘father’ ‘man’ ndwa ‘fight’ ndwalume ‘cowardice’. This noun class explains states, points out feelings and can even be persons. This noun class can also distinguish the gender or state the gender of something for example Munna muhulu mukulupani ‘old man’ On the same hand Lisimba (2000:18). Points out that “silozi nouns are composed of a noun prefix and a stem (which may in turn be derived from other parts of speech) each noun belongs to one of several noun classes and the knowledge of noun classes and their concords is pivotal to composing coherent sentences”. Usually, the noun's class can be discerned by simply looking for the prefix, but there are many instances where this can become very complicated: e.g. class 1 and 3 uses mu as a noun prefix. This is a bit complicated because they all for under plural class system and it is hard to distinguish which one belongs where if used without concern. The second class of noun prefix in silozi is ba. This noun Class 2 is raised out of class one by carrying the plural form. It is –b- or -ba- and it shows or describes the number of nouns involved (quantity).when we look at –ba- two things should be in mind thus, in silozi -ba- shows respect or it represents things being many in number (more than one)for instance,.ba-nana,ba-ana (illustrates the number),where ba-ba-tuna, ba-ba- telele, ba-bansu, shows respect. Class 2 is a noun class attributed to persons also, it is just used when talking of peoples status, age and gender (sex)e.g. .ba-ana meaning men and ba-Sali meaning females by saying many ladies and gents or one with respect. Ba, as noun prefix for class 2 in silozi can illustrate plural of persons, show a pronoun,3rd person plural, subject and object: they, them: Ba ni bona, they see me: u batusize, he has helped them and Real pronoun same class. In addition, George (2001) explains that noun class 2 can help as view 1st degree; these: Bana ba, these children. (same class): Bana baluna, our children) and In plural denoting respect: Bo ndate bakula, my father is ill. Class 2 has a sub-division making Bo .Bo is specifically used when showing respect, for example one can say ‘Bo Zimba’ meaning Mr. Zimba, it can also be used when saying Bondate meaning my father, among other respective phrases used in silozi. Noun Class 3 of silozi is mu. This noun prefix making class 3 is in a singular form and nouns belonging to this class can be persons, pronouns or subjects in some statements depending on can also be used as 2nd person plural you, for instance, mululihehisize you have delayed us, pronouns, singular objects of nouns belong to this this noun class prefix, silozi use this class to come up with words like mualafi doctor, state objects for instance mualala, sandy portion of a river and it is also used to explain or illustrate the state or the mood of something or even individuals for example, muangalwa which is quietness, joyfulness and happiness. As mentioned above, Guthrie,(1948:27),adds on to say “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” .Noun class 4 in this regard is the plural prefix raised out of noun class 3 and it is represented by mi. Mi as a noun prefix is used in reference to people’s names like Milema, objects for instance Mihuma meaning hores, Milelu bear heads among other items. With respect to the `inherent' classes, it is usually argued that although some semantic generalizations can be made about the groupings of nouns into classes, there is also a great deal of arbitrariness. Noun class 5 also deals with the description of objects, birds’ names and even names for people. This noun prefix is commonly used in silozi and to people names like Likando, Lichila, Likezo, Liseli are raised. This class is under a singular grouping system, it just deal with single items for example an egg in silozi is other words li is the noun prefix for class 5 in states things that can be seen with our physical eyes. Greenberg,(1955) points out that, All Bantu languages have a noun class specifically for humans (sometimes including other animate beings).in this respect he explains that Ma is the 6th noun prefix in silozi. On the same hand, Most words in a Bantu sentence are marked by a prefix indicating the category to which the noun used as the subject of the sentence belongs, and, if there is an object, the words in that noun phrase and the verb are also marked by a prefix determined by the noun class of the is a good example for this explanation in silozi, Ma is attributed to objects such as Mai ‘eggs’, Mabisi ‘milk’, Macwe ‘stones’ among others. This noun class 6 of Ma in silozi falls under plural group, it is used when recognizing many objects more than one to say, but in other cases it is commonly used as a noun class prefix stating people’s name for instance, in silozi we have names like Maimbolwa, Maikabo, Manyando, among others. When applying to people’s names, Guthrie,(1948) explains that ma as a noun prefix even with names it states things in number (plural) for example manyando means sufferings. Greenberg, (1963), reports that Class 7 is made up of a noun prefix Si and this can state abstract items. Si is used when trying to explain an object, it just shows the state and mood but does not point or clearly show that object. For example we can say kunani sika, meaning there’s something. Si in silozi does not state items by names but indicates the presence of an item. This noun class can also explain or can also be used state, proper nouns which can be visualized, a good example for this is Silabo meaning ‘paddling stick’, Sikolo ‘school’ among can also illustrate the quality of something bad, good, original or not. Si is under a singular noun classification, it is commonly used to state or explain single items. Noun class 8 is made up of a noun prefix Li and this is under the plural noun prefix classification .This class 8 and class 5 of silozi has the same noun prefix with same usage on the fact that they both explain and state objects but Lisimba (2000), also explains that there is a little distinction between the classes depending on the usage, of which class 8 is used when mainly referring to plural objects for example, linja ‘dogs’, likwena ‘crocodiles’, linjoko, ‘monkeys’. Class 8 despite having the same noun prefix with class 5 mainly it is attributed to animals, meaning this class is commonly used when referring to animals. Class 9 and 10 is made up of N prefixes. Where class 9 has a division making 9a represented as ø prefixes giving us examples like Ndongo ‘groundnuts’ from the prefix Nd. This classification was the combination of persons, animals objects among others, for instance ø produces words like Nja in the singular classification and N produces names of objects, people animals among others. This is one of the biggest noun prefix classes we have in silozi commonly or frequently used on a daily basis by native speakers .N covers a big range of silozi vocabulary but despite being a big class it also states single items. This Noun class also has a division making 10a which is Li and has the same prefix with class 5 and 8. Lu is the noun prefix making class 11 of silozi noun class system. Lu in silozi shows a pronoun, Singular, subject. & object of nouns for instance you can say ‘Lufiyelo lu latehile. ya lu boni ki mahi? The broom is lost, who saw it? It can also show 2nd person pronoun, subject. & object First person of the plural: Lu ile. ba lu latelele, we are going, let them follow us. On the same hand, Ka is the 12th noun prefix in is a commonly used prefix that is used to explain the quantity or quality of something. Ka in silozi is noun prefix showing a singular form of nouns to which it gives a diminutive meaning: Mukolo, a canoe; kakolo ‘a small canoe’.it can also show or be used as a pronoun, subject and object of nouns which have the singular in 'ka' ‘it’ for example, Kanja ka matile ‘the small dog (it) has run away; Ni ka boni. I saw it and even second person pronoun, subject and object. ‘Which’: Kanja ka ka matile, the small dog which has ran away; Kanja ka ni boni ki ka muhulwan' a ka, the little dog I saw belongs to my elder brother. In addition to class 12, iJalla (1936:8) states that “class 13 is made up of tu as a noun prefix which is the plural form or class raised out of class 12. Tu in silozi as a noun prefix can mean or express silence, quietness, calmness: Nifumani mwa hae ku li tu! I found that it was completely quiet in the village”. This means it is also be used to refer to many small things for example tushimani to meaning these young boys. This shows the state of something, a pronoun, object and subject. Class 14 is made up of bu as a noun prefix with the interest to show singular subject and object of same class, it: for instance in silozi you can say ‘Busihu bu sile’, meaning the night is over; butanga ni bu zibile, I have known the slavery. And class 15 is ku talking of abstract ideas and items in silozi, it even have the trails of respect behind also shows the mood, state or condition of something. For instance kunyema ‘annoyed’ kutabela ‘being happy’ among others. Class 16 is is a locative prefix interested in showing the location of nouns. This is one of the general and commonly or daily used noun class silozi we can use it to say bafitile fa li-kamba, they have arrived at the shore; fa tafule, on the table; fa nakoya tei1i, at the appointed time. fa also means, sometimes from or to: Ni zwa fa likamba, ni ya fa sikolo, I come from the shore and ,go to the school Fa is also used in compound adverbs as fa halimu. –on above: in addition to:fafasi, on "the ground: fatuko, aside: fahali, Cinside, within, through: fa kaufi Near. Class 17 and 18 are also locative noun prefixes interested in showing the location of a place this means classes 16-18 aims at achieving same silozi we use these when giving a description of a location. Class 17 uses kwa as a noun prefix, and we can use it when saying to, from, in, at: there: some of: for instance in silozi u can say niya kwa nuka, I am going to the river. It can also be used on its own: niya kwa, I am going there.or used to form compound ad-verbs of place (or prepositions) such as: kwa halimu, kwa tasi, kwa-tuko, among others Guthrie,(1948) explains that class 18 uses mwa meaning under and Mwa as a class prefix and in silozi it is used as preposition to, from at in, ex-pressing motion (short distance), mwa is also used to form adverbs: for example mwahala inside, in the middle of, out of many: mwahali a ndu, inside the house: Mwanana u ipatile mwahali a batu, the child has hidden himself among people, Mwahal'a ba balalu ku ta ketwa alimu–wi, one will be chosen out of three: mwatasi, below: mwahal*rF above: mwamu-laho, behind, among other usages expressing localization. The last noun class in silozi is bi giving a noun a meaning of wretchedness: for example Bindu, dilapidated shows pronoun, plural, subject and object. (Same class) they, them: Biseme byani bi lekisizwe kaufela, those poor mats have been sold out: bitapi bye, ya bi lekile ki mani? Who has bought such bad fish? And (same class): those which: bisholi bye be bi bulelwa ki bifi? Who are these robbers the people are speaking of? In conclusion, silozi noun prefix classification shows the classes of how nouns are formed and used of which to leaners it is an important thing that can help in vocabulary development. It also shows a pair of prefixes attached to the nominal stem, one for singular, one for plural and illustrates the characteristic pattern of grammatical agreement, whereby possessive pronouns, demonstratives, verb subject and object prefixes, and other sentence elements referential with a noun are assigned a prefix that co-indexes the class of the noun, if it denotes an inanimate object. Sentence elements relating to nouns that denote animate beings are indexed by a special set of "animate concords", regardless of the prefix on the noun.

George. (2001). An Outline of Silozi Grammar (2nd ed.) Lusaka: Bookworld Greenberg, Joseph H. (1955). Studies in African Linguistic Classification. New Haven: Compass Publishing Company. Greenberg, Joseph H. (1963), The Languages of Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Pres. Guthrie, Malcolm. (1948). The classification of the Bantu languages. London: Oxford University Press for the International African Institute. iJalla, A. (1936). Elementary Grammar of the Lozi Language. London: United Society for Christian Lisimba M.(2000). Lozi names in language and culture. Gabon: international center for Bantu languages

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