The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the attributive noun classes, as well as their suffixal counterparts, firstly in Bantu, and secondly in Zulu. The investigation will be done with reference to aspects such as the following: the general distribution, meaning and function of the attributive noun class prefixes in Bantu. This study will also investigate the distinction between those prefixes which are exclusively used to categorise size and shape deviations, namely those belonging to classes 12/13, 19, 20, 21 and 22; and those class prefixes which have a secondary function of indicating such deviations, namely the prefixes of classes 5/6, 7/8 and 11. The main concern is the way in which these prefixes are often associated with positive or negative emotive perceptions regarding size and shape, and are therefore often used to express amelioration and derogation. In languages such as Zulu and Northern Sotho the existence of possible frozen remnants of such attributive noun class prefixes will be investigated. Some Bantu languages such as Venda that express variations in size and shape as well as the emotive perception by means of suffixes, or by a combination of prefixes and suffixes will be investigated. The possible semantic overlap between the meanings expressed by attributive class prefixes, and/or between the meanings expressed by attributive class prefixes and so-called ‘attributive suffixes’ will also be scrutinized. Apart from the aspects mentioned above, the relationship between augmentative and diminutive suffixes and the notion [+ feminine] in languages such as Zulu and Northern Sotho will be scrutinized. The occurrence of the Zulu suffix -azana/-azane, which is apparently a combination of the diminutive and augmentative suffixes, will also be investigated. This study will firstly provide a typological overview of the various strategies employed in Bantu in order to express variations in shape and size, as well as of the emotive perceptions that accompany such variations. Secondly, this study will provide an insight into the way in which shape and size variations, amelioration and derogation are expressed in Zulu through the utilisation of diminutive and augmentative suffixes. An indication will also be given of the possible diachronic development of attributive categories in this language. This study will make a significant contribution not only to the field of diachronic and comparative Bantu linguistics, but also to Zulu linguistics. This research will furthermore lead to a deeper understanding of the strategies employed in Zulu to express the semantic nuances of amelioration and derogation.
Dissertation (MA (African Languages))--University of Pretoria, 2005.