Tag Archives: noun class

The Locative Prefix in Kisa (Published)

The hallmark of nominal morphology in Bantu languages is based on the rich noun class system in which nouns in these languages are classified. Noun roots, in Bantu languages, are placed into noun classes according to the prefixes they take and their meanings. In Proto‑Bantu and most present day Bantu languages prefixes with a locative meaning have been analysed as noun class prefixes, and noun roots occurring with them placed into locative noun classes. Prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa, a Bantu language spoken in Western Kenya, have also been previously analysed as noun class prefixes leading to locative noun classes in this language. Synchronically, however, prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa should be analysed in a different way. Using a descriptive design and basing on data generated by the author as a native speaker of Kisa, this paper provides evidence from head class marking and agreement marking and shows that prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa attach to noun stems belonging to a specific noun class. This gives rise to locative constructions that function as locative heads. In this way, prefixes with a locative meaning in Kisa are better analysed as locative prefixes and not as noun class prefixes. This implies that, synchronically, Kisa does not have locative noun classes.

Keywords: Bantu, Kisa, Morphology, locative., noun class, prefix