"His brothers are teachers"

Translation:Kaka zake ni walimu

February 22, 2017

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  • 2993

Shouldn't kaka get class I/II agreement because it's animate?


Some plural forms for addressing people keep the same.

From KU (University of Kansas):

baba/baba [father/fathers]

babu/babu [grandfather/grandfathers]

dada/dada [sister/sisters]

kaka/kaka [brother/brothers]

mama/mama [mother/mothers]

See in the link below, Other nouns of people:


Here, there is also the word "babu/mababu" but in the ji/ma class:


The same for "bibi/mabibi" (grandmother/grandmothers) in Wiktionary:


  • 2993

My question was about the fact that it's kaka zake instead of kaka wake. Animate nouns, like animals, usually get I/II agreement on adjectives, possessives, and verbs, even if they form plurals like a different class.


I understand, and sorry if I do not remember well the grammar notes. I try to repeat lessons and share some information. This is from the notes (People):

For the M- WA- noun class, the prefix w- is used for both singular AND plural possessive pronouns. For example, my child will be mtoto wangu and my children will be watoto wangu.

Note: The exceptions to this rule are certain kinship nouns that come from Arabic: baba, mama, bibi, babu, shangazi, binamu, rafiki, dada, kaka, etc. These nouns take the y- agreement in the singular and the z- agreement in the plural.

Accordingly, my sister will be dada yangu whereas my sisters will be dada zangu.

  • 2993

Aha, that's the information I was missing. Thanks!


Thanks for the explanation but I am not sure 'baba' came from Arabic since it is the same in many Bantu languages which had no Arabic influence like Ndau = baba, Zulu, Ndebele = ubaba

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