"Viti viwili"

Translation:Two chairs

September 8, 2017



Mbili is two. I learn phonetic by Wikipedia, so I could see how that b-v happens. But, I couldn't see why the b would grammatically do so, or is it just some normal phenomenon?

September 8, 2017


"Mbili" is only used when counting abstractly or when agreeing with nouns in the N class, such as chupa mbili (two bottles), dakika mbili (two minutes), etc.

The root word for the numeral two is actually -wili, and it takes adjective agreements based on the noun it modifies. For the Ki/Vi class, the plural agreement is vi- so you get viwili, as in viatu viwili (two shoes), visu viwili (two knives), etc. Another example is the Ma class, in which the plural agreement is ma- so you get mawili, as in makanisa mawili (two churches), majibu mawili (two answers), etc.

Note that -wili only takes plural agreements since of course we are talking about two of something!

September 9, 2017


is this true for all numbers? or do some numbers stay the same everytime (ex: saba, moja) - and if do, then how do we know which ones?

February 8, 2018


Good question. The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 are all of Bantu origin and so take agreements (-moja, -wili, -tatu, -nne, -tano and -nane). The numbers 6, 7 and 9 are all of Arabic origin and so do not take agreements (sita, saba and tisa).

February 9, 2018


The root form is -wili. In the N class (9/10), the nasal consonant added to the beginning depends on and affects the first consonant. W changes to mb- in this situation.

November 22, 2017
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