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"A big aeroplane"

Translation:Ndege kubwa

June 14, 2017

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s.rombaut

Why isn't it "ndege mkubwa"? Because if it was -zuri, it would be "ndege nzuri" right? Why isnt there an agreement?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

There is an agreement. In this case, it's indicated by the lack of prefix on kubwa

Adjectives that go with class 9 or 10 nouns follow the "N-rule'. The following changes take place.

B > mb
W > mb
V > mv

D > nd
R > nd
L > nd
Z > nz
J > nj
G > ng

This may look random, but it's because Swahili has the following prenasalised phonemes: mb mv nd nz ng

Other consonants (ch, f, h, k, m, n, p, s, t, z) take no prefix. So that's why it's nzuri but kubwa. Adjectives starting with a vowel take ny- as the prefix, except for -ema which is njema instead of *nyema.

The only exception to this is when the adjective would, without a prefix, only be one syllable, such as -pya which takes a stressed m-.

And incidentally, if you say ndege mkubwa, that's placing it in the M-WA class, used for people and animals, so that actually means "a big bird".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s.rombaut

So an adjective starting with a "k" never takes a nasalised consonant in this class?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AGreatUserName

Correct, except if it would otherwise only be one syllable. The adjective -ke for example, would be nke in this class. Adjectives, nouns and verbs have to have a syllable that is stressed, so one syllable words tend to be avoided, and in this case, the nasal prefix is stressed.

I don't think nke is commonly used though. Usually -a kike is used to mean female, or the noun jike.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gazelle1596

All the hard sounds at the beginning aren't altered for class 9/10 (p, t, k...), neither the nasals; the "soft" counterparts (b, d, g...) are prenasalized (according to their place of articulation). So you don't have to memorize an entire list.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whsndstalb

korongo ndevu ni ndege kubwa

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