This article describes the design of an electronic knowledge base, namely a morpho-syntactic
database structured as an ontology of linguistic categories, containing linguistic units of two
related languages of the South African Bantu group: Northern Sotho and Zulu. These
languages differ significantly in their surface orthographies, but are very similar on the lexical
and sub-lexical levels. It is therefore our goal to describe the morphemes of these languages in
a single common database in order to outline and interpret commonalities and differences in
more detail. Moreover, the relational database which is developed defines the underlying
morphemic units (morphs) for both languages. It will be shown that the electronic part-ofspeech
ontology goes hand in hand with part-of-speech tagsets that label morphemic units.
This database is designed as part of a forthcoming system providing lexicographic and
linguistic knowledge on the official South African Bantu languages.