Fangwezi Territories

Fangwezi territories (yellow).JPG

Welcome to the language of the Fangwezi language. This language is very closely related to the Fangwa language but is often considered a dialect by the Fangwa language although the Fangwezi themselves see their language as separate and point to the differences between the two languages. Fangwezi has less influence from Afrihili then Fangwa and the vocabulary has more in common with Entesi. Fangwezi is also head final like Entesi but unlike Fangwa, Fangwezi also has the distinction between the inclusive and the exclusive first person plural. The counting system works like Entesi but the other aspects of Fangwezi like the verb conjugation and the noun class system are similar to Fangwa. There is some mutual intelligibility between the two languages although the Fangwa report a better understanding of Fangwezi then the other way around. Linguists consider the languages as closely related but the Fangwezi deny the close relationship because they don't like the claim of the Fangwa that Fangwezi is a mere dialect of Fangwa.

The Fangwezi territories are located to the south of Fangwa-land and the two countries share a border and the Fangwa would like to include the Fangwezi to their country because only then they would have the biggest territory, bigger than their rivals the Entesi and they would then possess a lot of cattle because the Fangwezi are expert sheperds posessing lots of sheep, goats and cows and making lots of dairy product from these animals.

But the Fangwezi are very proud and stubborn people and they insist that their language is a branch on its own although there is little evidence to support this idea. The purists among the Fangwezi proposed to call the language "Kadziba" from the old word 'kadzi' (= work/labour) and 'bantu' (= people) to stress that the Fangwezi are hard working people but the name isn't popular. Nowadays most linguists agree that Fangwezi and Fangwa are essentially the same language but that Fangwezi is like a rebelious twin has decided to differentiate itself as much as possible from the other twin.The similarities between Fangwezi and Fangwa are in part also due to the history of their peoples.

History of the Fangwezi[edit | edit source]

The Fangwa initially tried to forge an alliance with the Fangwezi by helping them expand to the North East (second map, the yellow area is the Fangwezi territories) but the Fangwezi wanted to expand to get access to the sea in the North-East in order not to be dependent of the Fangwa or Oseroa for fish since the Fangwezi Territories are landlocked. But when the Fangwa noticed the intentions of the Fangwezi the Fangwa stopped helping the Fangwezi and kept the Fangwezi Territories landlocked and encouraged the Fangwa in the South to interact with the Fangwezi in an effort to make the dialects near their common border more similar to eachother. This strategy succeeded in part making the Southern dialects of Fangwa more like Fangwezi but the Fangwezi reacted to this by standardizing their language and centralizing the education of language even more making the Fangwezi dialects less different to the standard Fangwezi language.

One verb in particular 'kosenga = to get drunk' has an interesting history. This verb is thought to derive from Fangwa ukosana (to drink), this new verb has been loaned back into Fangwa as ukosenga with the same meaning as in Fangwezi. This Fangwezi verb has also been loaned into the other related languages as Entesi, Oseroa, Entegwa with minor alterations in phonology.

Numerals[edit | edit source]

The numbers in Fangwezi ressemble the numerals in Entesi a lot:

1) moje 2) bile 3) tsato 4) niye 5) tsano 6) tsandato 7) sombo 8) none 9) henda 10) gome

11) moje nqwa gome (lit : 1+10) etc. 20) bilegome [lit: 2 times ten]; short form bilome 21) moje nqwa bilegome etc

Fangwezi also has special forms of multiples of 20 suggesting that it may have used base 20 at some level: 40) niyome (short form) 60) tsandatome (regular short form) and tsato bilome (3 times 20) are both used and 80) niye bilome or nibilome (i.e. 4 times 20) are so popular nowadays that the regular none gome or its short form nonome are rarely used anymore and certainly not in colloquial speech.

The upper tens are made by attatching the basic numeral to the word for ten so tsatogome = 30 (3 times 10) etc;

Counting between the upper tens is done by consistently lower number first then put 'nqwa' (=and) and the higher number, so 31 = moje nqwa tsatogome. 100 = zane, 1000 = nkotu, 1000.000 = foku.

Counting above 100 and 1000 used to have two options: either greater number first + lesser number or lesser number first and then the greater number. The Fangwezi government chose the second option as the official one, not only to make their counting system more regular but also for the added advantage of a further divergence of the Fangwa language. So 101 = moje nqwa zane (1 +100) and one thousand and one = moje nqwa nkotu

Personal Pronouns[edit | edit source]

The personal pronoun system is a little bit more complex than Fangwa but not much.

I = ndi, you (sg) = o, he/she (human) = a, we (incl) = to, we (excl) = ti, you (plur) = nqo, they (human) = ba

In addition to these pronouns Fangwezi also distinguished between the 3rd person animate (non-human) pronoun i and its plural bi as well as the inanimate object prounoun e and its plural form be. The distinction is somewhat arbitrary: plants are considered animate while fruits and vegetables are inanimate, bodyparts are animate, eggs are inanimate, certain fluids are animate (water, milk, blood, rain, alcohol) while others are inanimate (fruit juices, sweat, urine)

Verbal system[edit | edit source]

Verbs like in all Bantu languages are a separate class in the noun class system; in Fangwezi they recieve the prefix ko so kobona = to see. Verbs are conjugated for 3 tenses: ya (present), ri (past), la (future tense) and 1 aspect: ma (perfect aspect from komada = to finish) . All of these particles are inserted between the personal pronoun and the verb. E.g. ndiyabona = I see; ndiribona = I saw; ndilabona = I will see; ndimabona = I have seen

Negation[edit | edit source]

The particle 'ha' is used as a prefix to negate an action, e.g. handiyabona = I don't see [lit: neg-I-pres-see]

The noun class system[edit | edit source]

Fangwezi like all the other members of this constructed Bantu language family has a noun class system. The noun class system is very similar to the system of Fangwa but it doesn't have augmentatives nor diminutives.

The first and second class refer to humans but Fangwezi is very strict in the respect that all the nouns that refer to humans must start with these prefixes: it's either mo for the singular form or ba for the plural form. Some of the words in this class are: morome (man) - barome (men); mokazi (woman) - bakazi (women)

The third and fourth class refers to animals and insects (again singular and plural) and is marked by the prefixes i (singular) and di (plural), for example inza = dog - dinza (dogs)

The fifth and sixth class refer to plants, fruits and vegetables, e.g. muti (tree) - meti (trees), muluwa = flower - meluwa = flowers (this word has been incorporated in this class; in old texts the word luluwa has been found suggesting that is was part of the lu class, but this class no longer exists in Fangwezi so the transfer must be due to the semantic category of the word)

The seventh and eighth class refer to objects and tools, e.g. ketabo (book) - betabo (books)

The ninth class refers to certain fluids muozi (water), mazeba (milk), mvula (rain) this class has the prefix ma, this is the only irregular class that corresponds to the ma class in Fangwa but in Fangwezi the connection is less obvious. There are some speakers that try to regularize the words for 'water' and 'rain', these speakers say mamuozi (water) and mamvula (rain). This regularization started in the south of the Fangwezi territories but it looks like it's going to become the standard soon

The tenth class is the verb class, it encompasses all the verbs in Fangwezi: the prefix is ko, e.g. kovokwa = to speak, to talk; koladya = to ask. In Fangwezi almost all the verbs end in the vowel -a,, even more than Fangwa that has some exceptions that are regular in Fangwezi, e.g. Fangwa: ukoladi = Fangwezi: koladya = to ask, Fangwa ukokute = to obey, Fangwezi kokutya; Fangwa ukobade = to divide, Fangwezi kobadya; Fangwa ukokabe = to advise, Fangwezi kokabya; Fangwa ukofale, Fangwezi kofalya = to look. When the last vowel of a verb in Fangwa is an u it tends to be deleted in Fangwezi, e.g. Fangwa ukofahamu (to understand), Fangwezi kofahoma, Fangwa ukodzibu ( to answer), Fangwezi kodziba. There are some exception to this rule: Fangwa ukolomu (to enter), Fangwezi kolomwa. This last verb is believed to have retained this form to avoid being confused with 'koluma' (to bite). Another interesting verb is Fangwezi koberya (to carry, to bear) where Fangwa has ukobera, it is thought that the last vowel of this verb in Fangwa must have been an e or an i because this sound change in Fangwezi is very regular.

The eleventh class is the class of the abstract nouns, the prefix is bo for example: bozole = goodness from -zole = good (adjective)

Sample text[edit | edit source]

Tonavokwa Tsi-Fangwezi = We speak the Fangwezi language [lit: we (incl) -present tense-speak part (language) F.]

Morome moyanwaya muozi = the man drinks water [lit: (noun cl human) man (noun cl human) present tense-drink water]

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