What are the morphological characteristics of Bantu languages?

In its morphological structure Chichewa is typical of the Bantu languages. It is a tone language, displaying characteristics of grammatical and lexical tone. It has the elaborate system of noun classification and the highly agglutinative and complex verbal morphology that characterize Bantu languages in general.

How are African languages classified?

In accordance with this classification the languages of the continent are exhaustively assigned to five families: Semitic, Hamitic, Bantu, Sudanese, and Bushman. The basis of classification is an analysis into linguistic types in which each linguistic family is distinguished by a set of structural characteris- tics.

What was the first Bantu language?

Proto-Bantu is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Bantu languages, a subgroup of the Southern Bantoid languages. It is thought to have originally been spoken in West/Central Africa in the area of what is now Cameroon.

Do Bantu languages have articles?

The Bantu languages are conventionally classified by a letter and a number (e.g., Ndebele is S44), the letters referring to geographical zones.

What is the most common Bantu language?

The Bantu language with the largest total number of speakers is Swahili; however, for the majority of its speakers it is a second language (L1: c. 16 million, L2: 80 million, as of 2015).

Why are Bantu languages called Class languages?

The Bantu languages are also called ‘class languages’ because they … 1. form a class on their own based on a common origin. 2.

Why Bantu languages are called Class languages?

The Bantu languages are also called ‘class languages’ because they … 1. form a class on their own based on a common origin. 2. have nouns which are grouped into classes according to prefixes. 3.

What is areal classification of language?

In linguistics, areal features are elements shared by languages or dialects in a geographic area, particularly when such features are not descended from a proto-language, or, common ancestor language. That is, an areal feature is contrasted to genealogically determined similarity within the same language family.

What is the word order of southern Bantu languages?

Virtually all Bantu languages have a Subject–verb–object word order with some exceptions such as the Nen language which has a Subject-Object-Verb word order.

Why are Bantu languages similar?

– the Bantu languages are fairly closely related and have a unique feature in the harmonic concord. – there is a fairly high degree of similarity in the languages, including the grammar and structure, but also a substantial sharing of root words, especially if one takes account of simple sound shifts.

Is there a gender distinction in the Bantu language?

There is no gender distinction. -Proto-Bantu had 19 classes, most of which have been conserved in its descendant languages, though some classes have been lost in a number of them. Classes 1-10 and 12-13 were paired, the first member of the pair was for singular nouns, the second for plural nouns. Classes 16-18 had no actual words.

What are the 19 noun classes of Proto-Bantu?

The 19 noun classes of Proto-Bantu were: Classes 1-2 for people. Classes 3-4 for plants, trees and natural phenomena. Classes 5-6 for objects that come in pairs or larger groups. Classes 7-8 were heterogeneous. Classes 9-10 included animals and miscellanea. Class 11 for extended body parts. Uses plural of classes 6 and 10.

Is Bantu a drop language?

Third, Bantu languages are so-called pro-drop languages: the subject DP can be omitted, as seen in (1b). Fourth, the canonical word order in Bantu is SVO. With these basics in place, we can move on to more specific issues in Bantu syntax.

Why is syntax not a part of Bantu linguistics?

First, there is still a considerable number of languages that remain to be documented and receive a full linguistic description. Second, the research tradition in Bantu linguistics has typically focused on morphophonology, tonology, and historical linguistics, which means that syntax is not a point of focus in many descriptive grammars.