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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

The Classification of Languages         209

(6)  Adjectival derivatives with the suffixes -ig> -icht, -isch> or -hch

e g   Macht-machtig (power-powerful), Haus-hattshch (house-
domestic), Stadt-stadtisch (town-urban)

(7)  Diminutives, e g Mann-Mannchen., Frau-Fraulem

(8)  Abstract feminine nouns in -e> e g gut-die Gute (good-goodness),

hock-die Hohe (high-the height)

(9)  Collective   neuter   nouns,   Berg-Gehrge   (mountain-mountain

range), Wurm-Gewurm (worm-vermin)
(10) Feminine nouns which take -zw, e g  Hund-Hundm (dog-bitch)

CLASSIFICATORY LANGUAGES
The Bantu languages of Africa illustrate features common to the
speech of backward and relatively static cultures throughout the world
One of these gives us a clue to the possible origin of gender in the
Indo-European group The Bantu family includes nearly all the native
tongues spoken from the Equator to the Cape Province In this huge
mangle, the only exceptions are the dialects of the Bushmen, of the
Hottentots, and of the Pygmies of Central Africa About a hundred and
fifty Bantu dialects form a remaikably homogeneous unit Most of them
are not separated by greater differences than those which distinguish
Spanish from Italian
One member has been known to us since the seventeenth century
In 1624, a catechism appeared in Congolese A generation later the
Italian, Brusciotto, published a Congolese grammar These two docu-
ments show that the language has changed little during the last three
hundred years, and therefore refute the belief that unwritten languages
necessarily change more rapidly than codified ones One Bantu language
already had a script before the arrival of the Christian missionary and
the white trader It is called Swahih, and was originally the dialect of
Zanzibar To-day it is the lingua franca of the East Coast of Africa For
several centuries before the Great Navigations, Arabs had been trading
with Zanzibar, and the native community adopted the unsuitable
alphabet of the Moslem merchants
The Kafir-Sotho group of Bantu languages (South-East Africa) have
a peculiarity not shared by other members of the same family.'In
addition to consonants common to the speech of other peoples, there
are characteristic clicks produced by inspiration of air They resemble
the smacking sound of a kiss It is probable that they are "borrowed"
elements from the click-languages of the Bushmen and Hottentots
The existence of the Bantu family as such has been recognized for a
century. This is partly because every name-word belongs to one of a