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I'm lost. According to the Notes, "ki" is used with singular KI-VI nouns (if I'm understanding things correctly). Can anyone tell me where I can look up which noun class "chakula" belongs to?
ki-vi. The noun class that dictates the prefix used in the verb or adjective or adverb is determined by the noun. So you can use the prefix to tell you what noun class the noun belongs to
Noun class A/Wa: mtoto
mbaya - watoto
Noun class Li/Ya: jino
linauma - meno
Noun class U/I: mkono
unauma - mikono
Thank you, machieng. I had figured that out by reading the Notes, but it made me wonder how I would know that if we were asked to translate "bad food" from English to Swahili and I only remembered that "chakula" meant food, but couldn't remember which noun class it belonged to.
A lot of nouns in the ki/vi class actually begin with ch (and vy in the plural). Some examples:
choo = toilet; bowel movement (pl. vyoo)
chura = frog (pl. vyura) [treated as m-wa nouns for concord]
chandarua / chandalua = mosquito net (pl. vyandarua / vyandalua)
The reason for this is that, ki- and vi- before another vowel, tend to turn into ky- and vy-. In some dialects, ky- is still used, but in most Swahili dialects, ky- has, over time, turned into ch-.
Some words that start with ch belong to the 9/10 word class (N/N) and you just have to remember these.