Print

Print


On Saturday, September 13, 2003, at 02:37 , Tristan McLeay wrote:

> On Sat, 13 Sep 2003, Ray Brown wrote:
>
>> On Friday, September 12, 2003, at 06:27 , John Cowan wrote:
>>> In Chinese it's a prefix, which I think is very clever.
>>
>> ....and in Xhosa ordinals are formed by _prefixing_ the
>> possessive affix to the noun form of the cardinal, except for
>> 1st which is irregular  :)
>
> Was the emphasis just on the fact that that it's a prefix,

Yes.

> or is the
> possessive usually suffixed?

No - it's always prefixed.  The Bantu langs have a marked preference
for prefixes.

The description in "Xhosa - A Concise Manual" is rather brief. It
says there are adjective stems for numerals 1 to 6, namely:
nye, bini, thathu, ne, hlanu, thandathu
These prefix adjectival formatives when used as attribures or
predicates.

But, the basic numerals are all _nouns_, thus:
isinye (1), isibini (2), isithathu (3), isine (4), isihlanu (5),
isithandathu (6), isixhenxe (7), isibhozo (8), ithoba _or_
isithoba (9), ishumi (10), ikhulu (100), iwaka (1000),
isigidi (1 000 000).
Nouns that follow then have possessive prefix, e.g.
isine seemoto = a four of cars (<- imoto 'a car')
iwaka lamazwi = a thousand of words ( <- ilizwe 'a word')

The ordinals, as I said, are formed by prefixing the possessive
concord to the noun form of the numeral, e.g.
indlu yesithathu 'the 3rd house' (literally: the house
of [number] three).
But:
umntu wokuqala 'the 1st person'  ( <- -qala 'start', 'begin')

Ray
===============================================
[log in to unmask]    (home)
[log in to unmask]   (work)
http://home.freeuk.com/ray.brown
===============================================