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  5. "Gauni la Rehema"

"Gauni la Rehema"

Translation:Rehema's gown

March 25, 2018



Gown of Rehema sounds like broken english. Shouldn't it be Rehema's gown


Gauni - N/N class

gauni yangu - my gown

gauni zangu - my gowns

gauni ya Rehema - Rehema's gown

gauni za Rehema - Rehema's gowns

gauni za dukani - store gowns

However I also found gauni as part of Ji/Ma class

gauni /magauni (gauni langu/ magauni yangu

gauni la Rehema - Rehema's gown

gauni ya Rehema - Rehema's gowns

gauni la kijani - green gown

magauni ya kitenge - dresses of printed material)

Any insight from a native speaker ???


I'm not a native speaker, but I know that many loanwords are in flux between assignment to the N/N or Ji/Ma class (so you might find either class given in a dictionary entry). Here's the background:

Ma class
This class was originally used for foreign loanwords because the singular did not necessarily have a prefix, but such words are usually placed in the N class now, although they are often given Ma class concords and the ma- plural by many speakers.
Borrowings referring to people are still habitually placed in the Ma class because of animacy concerns. There are a few words in the U class that take a Ma class plural, and some N class words that may take a Ma class plural to indicate a collective grouping.


Gauni was borrowed from English gown, which is itself a Latin borrowing, that goes back to a Greek loan.

Italian gonna ("skirt") is a related word.

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