Zulu Grammar

Gonzo
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Zulu Grammar

Postby Gonzo » 2016-02-17, 7:49

Hi, could someone explain to me what Zulu grammar is like? For instance, is there masculine, feminie and neuter? I'm guessing neuter probably doesn't exist in most African languages - I mostly see them in European languages. What about it's prepositions? I always find those the hardest to pin down in a language. As I understand it, nouns have class stems for singular or plural. Is there any additional complexity, like declensions? Verbs, I get how they are formed, but as for their verb forms, how many are there? Would one say that Zulu is a complex or more simple language? Is it regular or irregular? What about syntax? Basically, I just want to gauge the language before I decide to learn it or not.

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Massimiliano B
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Re: Zulu Grammar

Postby Massimiliano B » 2016-02-28, 11:09


ennime
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Re: Zulu Grammar

Postby ennime » 2018-01-30, 11:54

Gonzo wrote:is there masculine, feminie and neuter?


No, there is no grammatical gender in Bantu languages (which is the language family that isiZulu belongs to); it does have a noun class system, but once you get the hang of it , it really isn't too hard, it is very logical

Gonzo wrote:As I understand it, nouns have class stems for singular or plural. Is there any additional complexity, like declensions?


each noun has a stem, and depending on which noun class it belongs to it has a prefix. e.g. isiZulu = isi (prefix of the particular class that includes languages) + Zulu (stem). Compare to umZulu = um (prefix of the class that includes human things) + Zulu (stem)

noun classes can be generally divided into classes that are plural and singular... and usually one can link a particular noun class with another: e.g. isi- (singular) and izi- (plural); um- (singular) and aba- (plural), etc.

Gonzo wrote:Verbs, I get how they are formed, but as for their verb forms, how many are there?


conjugation... well it can get complicated, cause they turn everything in one big word: e.g. ngangingayisebenzise = I have not (remote past) not used it. Also for the same thing it has often a long form and short form, meaning the same thing but used differently.

Gonzo wrote:Would one say that Zulu is a complex or more simple language? Is it regular or irregular? What about syntax? Basically, I just want to gauge the language before I decide to learn it or not.


Mostly regular, with some irregular verbs but they are fairly easy to figure out as being irregular. Overall, very different than Indo-European languages, but once one gets the structure, it is really interesting and logical.
Rupert Giles - "The problem with the English language is all those pesky words"


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