CASES OF ZULU NOUNS

62. Nouns are used in three cases : 

1. The Simple=Nominative or Accusative;

2. The Vocative;

3. The Oblique (or Locative)=Dative or Ablative.

We shall see afterwards (Chap. V) how the want of a Possessive or Genitive is remedied.

63. The Simple Case is the primitive noun, inflex and root.

64. The Vocative is formed by eliding the initial vowel.

Ex.          Mpande, O Mpande; bantu, O people; from uMpande, abantu.

But plurals of Class I, with inflex o, prefix b.

Ex.          yizwanini bobaba, bomame, bodade, boJojo, hear ye fathers, mothers, sisters, Jojo and his party.

65. The Oblique or Locative Case (so called, because it is often used to denote the place, at, to, or from, which the action in any case proceeds), is formed by changing the noun’s initial vowel into e, and its final vowel, if a, into eni, if e, ini, if o, into weni, if u, into wini, except that the w is omitted in the last two cases, when the preceding consonant is any one of the labials (b, p, m,f, v).

Moreover, when the last consonant of the noun is b, p, or m, the rules of (53) will come into operation, almost always, if the final vowel be o, — frequently, if it be u, — more rarely, if it be any other vowel.

Ex.          entabeni, from intaba, mountain.

ezulwini, izulu, heaven.

emacetsheni, amacebo, deceits.

emputsheni, impupu, tiour, meal.

emlonyeni, umlomo, mouth.

emkunjini, umkumbi, ship.

But umzimba, body, makes emzimbeni, — insimbi, iron, metal, makes ensimbeni, — indlu, hut, room, house, makes endlini, &c. Such exceptions as these will be learnt by practice.

N.B. The uncontracted forms of the inflex are generally but not invariably, used with the Locative form .

Ex.          ezweni or elizweni, from izwe, land; etshwaleni, from utshwala; etshanini or otshanini (66), from utshani, grass.

66. Nouns in u, contracted for ulu, have, besides the above, another form of the Locative, made by changing the u into o, and altering the termination, as before.

Ex.          eludakeni or odakeni, from udaka, mud, marsh, mortar.

okukweni, from ukuko, mat, oNdini, from uNdi (uluNdi), at Ulundi.

67. Proper names of places, rivers, &c., unless they are also common nouns (like iteku, bay of the sea, which is used for Durban, and makes regularly eThekwini, form their Locatives by merely changing their initial vowels to e.

Ex. eBotwe, from iBotwe, Natal.

emGungundhlovu, from umGungundlovu, Maritzburg.

emGungundhlovwana, (little Maritzburg) Greytown.

emDhloti, (at the Umhloti) Verulam.

emHlali, (at the Umhlali=) Williamstown.

But such nouns, with initial u for ulu, change u into o (66).

Ex. oTukela from uTukela, name of a river.

oKahlamba, from uKahlamba, Drakensberg Mountains.

N.B. oSutu—ku’baSutu, among the Basutos, or among the Sutu,

Cetshwayo’s people ; but oSutwini may be used in speaking about the latter, and about the cattle of the former.

eSwazini among the amaSwazi, emaMpondweni=among the amaMpondo (Pondos).

Kraals or places of abode, with their neighbourhoods, are often named from former residents, by prefixing kwa (92).

Ex. kwa’Magwaza, kwa’Dukuza, kwa’Zulu.

68. Several nouns, which denote a particular situation or a definite period of time, form also their Locatives by merely changing their initial vowels to e.

Ex.          ekhaya, at home, from ikhaya; plur. emakhaya,

eminini, by day, from immini.

ebusuku, by night, from ubusuku.

obala, in the open plain, from ubala..

empumalanga, in or from the East, from impumalanga.

Entshonalanga, in or from the West, from intshonalanga.

Enhloka or enhlakweni, on the hand, plur. ezihloka.

69. The Locative takes an s before it, whenever it follows either of the words na, nja, njenga, or a Personal Pronoun or Possessive Particle, or any  part of the verb ba, to be.

Ex.          umkuba was’ empumalanga , custom of the East. 

Njengas’ ezulwini, like as in heaven.

us’ekufeni, he (is) at the point of death (lit. in dying).

bas’ekhaya, they (are) at home.

kwaba s’obala, it was plain (lit. in the open).

70.  A noun is placed in the Oblique or Locative Case when it follows a verb of which it is not the direct object ; and it will need to be rendered variously in English (like the Latin Dative and Ablative), by means of a preposition, in, to, from, at, among, before, &c., according to the context.

Ex. waya wangena endlini, he went, he entered into the hut.

yabona isithunzi emanzini, it saw the shadow in the water.

kwaphuma emlonyeni, it came out of the mouth.

ulele okukweni, he is laid on a mat.

ekuvukeni kwake, at his waking.

71. Particularly, the name of a place at which any one is residing or acting, or to or from which he is proceeding, is always put in the Locative form.

Ex. us’emGungundlovu, he is at Maritzburg.

bavela eThekwini na? do they come from the Bay?

bapuma emDumezulu, they came forth from Umdumezulu.

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