Oseroa Land.JPG

Welcome to the page on the Oseroa language. This is also a constructed Bantu language that is placed in the same group as Fangwa and Entesi. All these three languages are not mutually intelligible though, they are considered three separate branches. Oseroa's structure is similar to Entesi, it is also an SOV language and in Oseroa the adjective also precedes the noun like in Entesi. But on the other hand in Oseroa the noun class particle is a prefix and in Entesi it is a suffix, e.g. Oseroa moremo = the man. What separates Oseroa from both Entesi and Fangwa is the verb conjugation: in Oseroa the verb prefix consists of the tense particle first and then the personal particle, for example: yenbona = I see [pres. tense-1p sg- see], in Fangwa the verb conjugation is also formed with prefixes but the order is different it's personal pronoun particle first and then tense particle; in Entesi on the other hand verbs are conjugated with suffixes.

Geography[edit | edit source]

The land of the Oseroa "Oseroanshe" (in purple on the map) is relatively small compared to it's neighbours: The Entesi (in orange) in the north, the Entegwa (related to the Entesi, in dark pink) at the South West border and the Fangwezi (in yellow) in the South East and at the eastern most point it has a very tiny border with Fangwa-land. Because of the long shared border in the North it is thought that the many shared grammatical features are a result of some kind of Sprachbund between Entesi and Oseroa. The verbal system of the two languages is so different with Oseroa conjugation particles being prefixes and Entesi using suffixes that although being grouped together in one branch, i.e. the West Yárima Bantu languages both languages are considered as separate branches within this group.

Numerals[edit | edit source]

The number system is also different, in Oseroa the counting is done on base 6.

The numerals are:

1) moze 2) vedi 3) shato 4) ni 5 shano 6) shande 7) shande nwa moze 8) shande nwa vedi 9) shande nwa shato 10) shande nwa ní 11) shande nwa shano 12) veshande (= 2 times 6) 13) veshande nwa moze ; 18 = shashande; 24 = nishande;

30 = shanande ( 5 times 6), 36 = shandande ( but because the pronounciation is very much like the numeral 30 the construction shande nwa shanande is used to disambiguate the two numbers, 60 = konshande ( from the old word komi (10), so it means 10 times 6; and there is also dzanshande = 600 (100 times 6 from the old word dzane = 100) and nkuchande = 6000 (1000 times 6, from the old word nkuto = 1000); bojande = 6000.000 (1000.000 times 6) from the old word bogu = 1000.000).

It is said that the Oseroa started to count this way because their first king Rolawo was born with six toes on both feet and was believed to be the human form of the God Mongu, the God of the sea. The Oseroa believe that Mongu created humans out of seashells.

Personal Pronouns[edit | edit source]

The personal pronouns are somewhat different to Entesi but not very far removed:

I = hine; you (sg) = hiu; he/she = hia; we = hiti (inclusive); hitu (exclusive); you (pl) = hinqu; they = hiva

Verb conjugation[edit | edit source]

The verb conjugation is the main difference between Oseroa, Entesi and Fangwa. Because of the similar word order SOV and the placement of the adjective in front of the noun, Oseroa is often grouped together with Entesi but the verb conjugation is so strikingly different that Oseroa is now considered a separate branch in its own right.

As an example to illustrate this we will show the conjugation of gobona = to see. Oseroa also has a noun class system and all verbs are indicated with the prefix go attached to the stem of the verb.

Oseroa uses 6 prefixes to conjugate for tense: ye = present tense; li = past tense; ta = future tense and re = present continuous tense, ma = perfect tense and su = the past habitual tense. For the personal pronoun a short form is used as the particle to refer to person, this particle comes always after the tense particle and before the verb' in Oseroa.

These short personal particles are -n- = I; -u- = you (sg); -a- = he/she (human); -ti- = we (incl); -tu- = we (excl); -nqu- = you (plur); -va- = they (humans)

So 'I see' = yenbona; 'I saw' = linbona; 'I will see' = tanbona and 'I am seeing' = renbona;

'I have seen' = manbona; 'I used to see' = sunbona

Oseroa can also combine the tense particles ma and re with other tenses. The particle re is the one that is most used and comes after the first tense particle but before the personal pronoun. For example: lirenbona = I was seeing; tarenbona = I will be seeing

Negation[edit | edit source]

To put a verb in the negative you can simply put the prefix si- at the beginning of the conjugated verb. So: siyenbona = I don't see; siliubanza = you didn't begin; sitavapenzha = they will not love

Noun class system[edit | edit source]

Like the other languages in its family Oseroa also has a noun class system. This system consists of prefixes denoting the singular and plural within each class: mo/va denotes humans e.g. mokwaze - vakwaze ( the woman/ the women), mu/mi denotes plants, fruits and vegetables e.g. mute - mite (the tree/the trees), ge/ve is used for objects e.g. getavu - vetavu = (the book/ the books), me is used for certain fluids: metsi = the water, metsiwa = the milk, meruwa = the rain; go is used for verbs: gobenda = to write; vu is used for abstract nouns vubandza = the beginning, for this prefix there is also a plural du that is used when an abstract noun also has a plural form like vuyandzi = the kingdom, duyandzi = the kingdoms.

The inessive noun particle[edit | edit source]

Oseroa has like Entesi and Entegwa a particle nwi that means 'in or inside' but unlike Entegwa or Entesi where the particle is a suffix in Oseroa it is a prefix. This prefix is inserted between the noun class particle and the noun, e.g.: gendago = the house (ge-ndago = noun class inanimate - house); genwindago = in the house ( noun cl inanim-in- house). This noun class particle nwi is derived from an old locative noun class in the ancestor of the Bantu languages but is not considered a noun class anymore, however the formation is a remnant of the combination of two noun class particles.

Sample texts[edit | edit source]

moremo metsi yeanyoa =  the man drinks (the) water. [lit: the-man water pres-he (human)-drink]

Shi-Oseroa yetisema = we speak Oseroa ( language particle- Oseroa pres tense - we [incl]-speak)

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