|WikiProject Africa / Angola / Democratic Republic of the Congo||(Rated Start-class, High-importance)|
|WikiProject Languages||(Rated Start-class)|
Does anyone know the Kongo word for striped? I'm trying to find out whether the word zebra came from this language, via Old Portugese, in the 1400s. Are there older versions of the language? Dbfirs 13:18, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
- I hope I do understand your question. One of the words for "strip" in Kikongo is zeba. Karl Lam, Dictionnaire kikongo-français, pp. 1154-1155 gives for zeba in French the following definitions: détacher, lâcher, dénouer, devenir mou, tendre (viande); souple, ni raide, ni dur (p. ex. des ressorts); être lâche, se relâcher (p. ex. des ressorts); être dans le besoin, misère; être faible, sans force, délicat (personne); être facile, aisé, ni sévère, ni difficile (jugement, etc.). Now, does the Portugese zebra comes from the Kikongo zeba? I don't know. But it seems that the Kikongo zeba derives from the Egyptian nbi (nebi) which means to melt (p. ex. metal)? About the Egyptian word, see Raymond Faulkner, A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian, p. 129. --Lusala lu ne Nkuka Luka (talk) 21:50, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
- Thank you for your research into the word. I don't know any Old Portugese so I've no idea whether they were likely to introduce the "r" to make zebra. The Oxford English Dictionary has researched this without coming to any firm conclusion, so I will just have to accept that the origin of zebra is lost in the mists of time, though I rather like the theory of a Kikongo source. Dbfirs 19:05, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
KiKongo language template
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Note that Guthrie's "Zones" in his classification are on non-linguistic grounds.
- In general, his work on Bantu languages was more sound than that implies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 11:26, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
The article funk presents a very different etymology for the word. It's difficult to see how one would derive funk from fuki anyway; we'd expect something like ˣfook(y) instead. I wonder how reliable the source given is on this, anyway? --Trɔpʏliʊm • blah 03:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
The intro states that Kongo is a tonal language, but there isn't anything about this in the Phonology section. Which tones are used? Any phonological rules about their use? How are they marked? From what I can tell, written Kongo doesn't mark tones at all, but it would be good to clarify.