ZULU POSSESSIVE PARTICLES

72. The want of a Possessive or Genitive Case in Zulu is supplied by means of a Possessive Particle, which is set before

Ex.          ubuso bentombi (ba-intombi), the face of a girl; where ba is the Possessive Particle, set before the noun intombi.

73.This possessive particle, in any case, consists of the personal pronoun, which corresponds to the governing noun, followed by the vowel a, before which the vowel of the pronoun is either dropped, or, when u, is changed to w, and, when i, to y. But the u of lu is very frequently dropped before o, and the u of bu altogether, thus u-a, li-a, i-a become wa, la, ya, &c., Thus the different possessive particles, according to the Class of the governing noun will be —

Sing.  wa, la, ya, sa, wa, Iwa or la, bwa or ba, kwa.

Plur. ba, a, za, zg, ya. za.  

74. The possessive particles, when placed before the governed noun, will coalesce with the initial vowel, by (60).

Ex.          indlu yamacala, house of causes, for ya-amacala.

uti Iwendoda, rod of tho man, for Iwa-indoda.

usuku lokuphumula, day of rest, for Iwa-ukuphumula.

okoko babantu, ancestors of the people, for ba-abantu.

amahashi amakhosi, horses of tho chiefs, for a-amakhosi.

Amanzi omfula, water of the river, for a-umfula.

amaqanda enyoni, eggs of the bird, for a-inyoni.

amakanda onina, for a-onina, heads of the mothers.

75. The a in the possessive particle appears to be simply a connecting vowel; so that the expression ubuso bentombi=ubuso bu-a-intombi face, it of the girl.

76. But the particle may precede a personal pronoun in the possessive form, or a  demonstrative pronoun, or an adverb; and it will then usually appear in its full form, as it will not then precede a vowel.  

Ex.          indlu yakho, thy house; umuntu walapha, a man of here.

indaba yakuleso’sikhati, a story of that time.

uManjanja owale kude, Manjanja of there far away.

77. Singular Proper Names, however, usually drop the inflex, and prefix ka, preceded by the personal pronoun which corresponds to the governing noun. This pronoun, however, may be omitted, if it be a, i, or u.

Ex.          uMpande ka’ Senzangakona, Panda (son) of Senzangakona.

izwe lika’Ngoza, land of Ngoza.

umzi ka’Mfulatelwa, kraal of Fulatelwa.

isitsha sika’Ndiane, plate of Undiane.

una ka’Jojo, mother of Jojo (una contracted for unina).

wena ka’Jojo! thou (mother) of Jojo, if a man calls to her.

wena ka’Jojo, thou (son) of Jojo, if a man talks with him.

umka’Zatshuke, wife of Zatshuke (um contracted for umfazi).

ukuthanda kuka’Nkulunkulu, God’s loving (God’s love to us).

ukuthandwa kuka’Nkulunkulu, God’s being loved (by us).

But imizi yao Ngoza, kraals of Ngoza and his people.

amagama aka’Vimba, sayings (or songs) of Vimba.

N.B. Ma, contracted for umta ka=umntwana ka, ‘child of,’ is used frequently in speaking of a man’s wife, especially when a husband speaks of his own wife, calling her by her father’s name.

Ex.          uMa’Jojo, the child of Jojo, uMa’ Mpande, the child of Mpande.

tata le’mbenge uyiyise laphaya kwaMa’Ngosa, take this basket,

carry it thither to Ngoza’s child’s (place).

The natives often repeat a name, sometimes their own, by way of isibongo.

Ex. bazekuta uNyangali, uNyangali ka’Nyangali wakho, they have come to settle (the ukulobola) for Nyangali your (daughter) Nyangali.

78. All other words which form their singular in a, plur. o, take the possessive particles in the same way as proper names.

Ex.          ihashi lika’baba, horse of my father.

ingubo ka’nina, blanket of his mother.

umfunzi ka’gwai, bundle of tobacco.

79. Proper names of places express the Possessive by prefixing the possessive particles to the Locative Case with the letter s between them.

Ex.          izwe las’eBotwe, land of Natal.

abantu bas’emVoti, people of the umVoti.

umuntu was’eSwazini, man of the amaSwazi.

But umuntu wakwa’Zulu, man of the amaZulu, because was’ezulwini means ‘from heaven.’

80. Certain adverbs of place, which are merely nouns in the Locative Case, are treated like proper names of places in expressing the Possessive.

Ex.          izwe las’enzansi, land of (down below) the south-east.

izilo zas’endhle, wild animals of the veldt.

imithi yas’ehlanzeni, trees of the bush.

81. The possessive particles are often used to express fitness or capability for an action.

Ex.          isikati sokusebenza, time for working.

ukudhla kwokuphekwa, food for being cooked.

amanzi okukiwa ebusuku, water which should be drawn at night.

82. The possessive form is also used in expressions like the following, where the English idiom would require an adjective.

Ex.          ihashi lenduna, lensikazi, a male horse, a female horse.

abantu besilisa, besifazana, male people, female people.

inkabi yesibili, the second ox.

ithole leshumi, the tenth calf.

umuntu wejara, a person who is a young dandy.

ka’muntu wa’luto, he (is) not a person of anything,

umuntu wendodakazi, a person who is a daughter.

uPotolosi weBunu, Pretorius the Boer.

umta ka’Jojo wentombi, Jojo’s child the girl.

amatoyana lawa enkunzana (ezinkunzana), these little bull-calves.

soku’mdhlekedhlana nje weze, it is now (a worthless -thing of emptiness=) an useless old bullock.

izinto zokuhle z’enziwe ngamabomu, things (of beings=) which are actually done on purpose.

83. The noun utho or ulutho takes the possessive particle as above, when it is used generally for ‘a something,’ or ‘ anything,’ and not specially for a ‘certain thing.’

Ex.          akuso’nto ya’lutho, it is no longer a thing of anything (“worth anything).

bengena’cala la’luto, they not being in fault for anything.

akuyi’lubuyayo Iapho, there is nothing returning from thence.

In like manner, umuntu is used with a possessive particle in the sense of ‘a person,’ or ‘anyone.’

Ex. angiteti’cala la’muntu, I do not judge a cause of any man.

Such expressions generally occur, as above, after a negative.

84. The noun umnini, owner, is formed into a compound word with the noun it governs, as follows:

Ex.          Umnini’indlu, master of the house.

abanini’mizi, owners of the kraals.

So also with pronouns.

Ex. umnini-lo, owner of it (ihashi).

abanini-zo, owners of them (izinkomo).

So umnini-yena (wena, mina), for which a native would probably say uyise, uyihlo, ubaba.

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