Monday, October 18, 2010


Some Ngoni words And Their Meaning Taken Down by A Werner in 1894 Among The Maseko Ngoni

  • Monday, October 18, 2010
  • Samuel Albert
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  • In a list of Zulu words as used by Chekusi's Angoni, which I took down at Ntumbi (West Shire District) in 1894, I find the words amaqanda (eggs), isixwembe (a wooden ladle), and licansi (a mat), all written with a k, subsequently corrected to c. This is more probably because my ear failed to discriminate between the clicks, than because my informant (a very intelligent old woman, who had lived for a long time at Chekusi's kraal, but, I think, was not a Zulu by birth) pronounced them alike; but it is possible that, in the course of their northern wanderings, the Angoni have reduced the three sounds to one. M. Edouard Foa (Du Zambeze au Congo Francais, p. 74) says that Mpezeni's people called the head-ring (isigcogco) chijojo, which looks as though they had substituted/(probably the French sound as in jeune is intended) for the soft dental click gc; but it is also possible that M. Foa (or his Mang'anja boys, if he did not get the information direct,) failed, like myself, to catch the click.

    It is perhaps worth noting, by the way, that the Angoni, like the Xosas, drop the first i only, of the prefix ili, which the Zulus contract into i, and say lilanga (ilanga), lizulu, licansi, etc. The prefix umu is shortened into mu rather than um: mufana for umfana; and the a of ama is usually dropped, as in Mang'anja (maganda, etc.), except in the case of monosyllabic roots:—ama-fu, ama-nzi, etc.

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