BANTU ROSETTA STONES PART B
Ancient Egyptian: MT MALE, MAN
Kiswahili-Bantu MTU = man, person, male (as seen from symbol above)
THE KISWAHILI-BANTU RESEARCH UNIT
FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE
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Strictly Bantu and Ancient Egyptian Cognates
Near Consonantal Matching
Researched by FERG SOMO © July 2008
This investigation follows on from my previous researches called the Bantu Rosetta stones. The present findings form Part B of the Bantu Rosetta Stones. I have also included relevant books for references.
The word cognate derives from the Latin cognatus 'born together'. Therefore cognates are those words that derive from a single earlier common ancestor or original form of language. These words have diversified into similar forms in contemporary languages. My research will demonstrate the sound and meaning relationships between the two languages thus further establishing a linguistic link. The more pairings of similar sound/meanings words which can be identified between languages the greater is the likelihood that languages are related.
According to the linguist Russell Schuh, when comparisons are made between languages which are supposedly genetically related one must look for a good number of words which give clear sound/meaning relationships. Stable vocabularies between languages consist of items which do not exhibit much change over time and these might include a possible collection of the following words:
(1) Words for small numbers, 'one', 'two'
(2) Terms used for parts of the body such as 'throat', 'arm' 'leg', 'hand', 'eye', 'nose', 'ear', 'mouth'
(3) Universal environmental terms such as words used for 'sun', 'moon', 'water', 'fire'.
(4) Verbs referring to basic life functions which may consist of the following words: 'die', 'eat', 'drink', 'smell'
(5) Depending on geographical locations terms of words may include the following such as 'cow' 'snake', 'dog', 'cat', 'mouse', 'rat', 'elephant', 'duck', 'goat', bovine or domestic animals grouped as a herd which include 'sheep', 'goat', ' ox'.
The following groups of words which I have researched, demonstrate a probable linguistic connection between the Bantu and Ancient Egyptian languages.
In the Ancient Egyptian language there are a considerable number of terms of demonstrably Bantu origin, but their exact source within the Bantu domain have never been properly identified. The Ancient Egyptians incorporated Bantu words from Southern Africa into their vocabulary for animals derived from the generic term for an animal of the bovine type such as a cow, ox or bull. The etymology of the words which describe bovine animals may best be understood by examining the Kiswahili-Bantu noun, komo which means, end, or end part. This word also appears in the Ancient Egyptian language as a verb kmto bring to an end, given in the Kiswahili-Bantu language as koma, to come to an end. Thus any bovine animal possessing a projecting forehead or front, the end part would be described by the noun komo or ukomo.
Example 1: COW
Ancient Egyptian khm-tcow
Siswati-Bantu: [In-khomo+ati, In-khomati] = cow
The ending t is a feminine marker. The root of the Zulu-Bantu word -khomo means a bovine animal such as cow and is used by attaching a prefix to give the word in-komo. The Southern-Soto-Bantu language uses the word kgomo whilst the Sesuto-Bantu language uses khomo. In Tsonga-Bantu it is homu.
With regards to the feminine ending specifically the Zulu-Bantu word consists of attaching the feminine ending azi giving in-komo+azi, and finally to in-komazi, a cow. However in the Siswati-Bantu language the feminine ending is given as ati and the word for a cow follows the Zulu-Bantu form to give a match in sound and meaning with the Ancient Egyptian word in-khomati, a cow.
Example 2: SHIELD MADE FROM AN ANIMAL SKIN
Gardiner 555, (I 6)
Ancient Egyptian: ikmshield
Zulu-Bantu: um-khomo = shield
The word for a shield is derived from the root of the Zulu-Bantu word -khomo which means a beast, or a cow which provides a formidable barrier. The word for a shield consists of the prefix um-giving um-khomo. Thus the prefix um- is equivalent to the Ancient Egyptian prefix i-
Example 3: COW
Gardiner 492, N41
Ancient Egyptian: hm-t cow cow
Tsonga-Bantu: Homu = cow
This is a variation on the word for a cow. Again the ending in t is a feminine marker. These two sets of hieroglyphics are meant to be the same, but there seems to be some confusion with regard to their interpretation. Both Gardiner and Faulkner give the meaning as a cow, since the determinant represents the uterus of a heifer seen hereRefer to Gardiner page 492, N41 and also page 466, F45. In this instance the pronunciation of the word changes, to give the Tsonga-Bantu word for a bovine animal such as a cow as homu.
Example 4: FIGHTING BULL
Kiswahili-Bantu: Mori, male fighting animal such as a bull
The Kiswahili-Bantu word which describes the anger or ferocity of male animals such as bulls when fighting for females of the species is given as mori. Mori also means a heifer Thus mori could be a male fighting animal such as a bull.
There are many meanings attached to the word mori. Mori is a strong portion of medicine administered to produce anger or ferocity. In the Sesutu-Bantu language more is a drug or medicine.
Budge has the set of hieroglyphics mr-t on page 314 consisting of the feminine ending t. This translates as mori, a heifer, a young cow in the Kiswahili-Bantu language whilst in the Kuria-Bantu language a heifer is known as emoori.
Example 5: BULLS (collective)
Ancient Egyptian: mrwbulls
Kiswahili-Bantu: Mori-wao (collective)
This also translates as mori. The Ancient Egyptians used the ending w as the plural form for the word mori. The ending w could be approximated to wao, meaning those. In other words it may be interpreted as those belonging to mori, the bulls, that is, mori-wao.
The collective in -t are written as plural strokes. In these two examples the words for cattle or a herd appear to be duplicated. The word for a domestic animal which includes sheep, goat or ox in the Luvale-Bantu language is given by using the prefixed word chi-muna. This is clearly shown in the set of hieroglyphics given by Budge on page 299 as seen below. In the Oshindonga-Bantu language muna means, raise, rear, breed livestock.
Example 6: DOMESTIC ANIMALS
Ancient Egyptian: mn domestic animal
mnmn-t cattle, mnmn-t herd
Luvale-Bantu: Chi-Muna, domestic animal such as sheep, goat or ox
The Luvale-Bantu word for a domestic animal, sheep, goat or ox is given by the prefixed word Chi-muna. These two similar examples taken from Faulkner page 109 and Gardiner pages 61, 459, which contain the duplicated words are muna+muna followed by the feminine ending in -t. Thus one obtains munamuna-t giving the Ancient Egyptian meaning for cattle or herd.
Example 7: CATTLE STALL
Gardiner 524, V19, Faulkner 123, Budge 337a
Ancient Egyptian: mtch-t
Ancient Egyptian: mtch-t
The two sets of hieroglyphics are identical and covey similar meanings. They show an enclosure for cattle, or a stall for containing cattle. The Kiswahili-Bantu word chaa defines a stable or enclosure for cattle and m-chaa would mean the stable. The ending t signifies that the Ancient Egyptian word is a feminine noun and does not detract from the sound/meaning of the word.
The sounding of the word chaa is given by the serpent
Example 8: SHEEP, DOMESTIC ANIMAL
Ancient Egyptian: ankhugoat, any small domestic animal
Ancient Egyptian: ankhtgoat
Northern Soto-Bantu: NKU = sheep
In this instance, the Northern-Soto-Bantu language Nku is the word which defines a sheep.
Example 9: GOAT
Ancient Egyptian: ibkid
Ki-Kamba-Bantu: M-BUI = goat
The Proto-Bantu term budi used for a goat in many Bantu languages may be pronounced differently depending on the ending of the word. A kid is a young goat hence the word for a goat could be a suitable substitute for the word kid.
Here are a few Bantu pronunciations: m-bushi, m-buzi, m-buti, m-budzi, pudi. M-bui is the closest match with the Ancient Egyptian word. It is derived from the Ki-Kamba-Bantu language. Note the Ancient Egyptians used the prefix i instead of the Bantu prefix m. Thus it is clear that the Ancient Egyptian word would be pronounced as i-bui instead of m-bui. Compare the prefix i with the prefix for the word for dog, i-waa shown below.
Example 10: DOG
Gardiner pg 459 E 14
Faulkner pg 12
Ancient Egyptian: iw dog
Luvale-Bantu: Ka-wa = the dog, 'the barker'
The word for a dog is derived from the repeated sound, wa,wa,wa made by a barking dog. The Proto-Bantu word for a dog is bua. In the Luvale-Bantu language the root is -wa and the prefixed by ka- to give ka-wa, 'The barker', a dog. The form u-wa means the state of being a dog. Clearly the Ancient Egyptian letter i acts as a formative prefix to derive the word i-wa for a dog. Thus the Bantu prefix ka is equivalent to the Ancient Egyptian prefix i. Other Bantu forms of the word for a dog are mb-wa, or emb-wa.
Ancient Egyptian: ky
Kiswahili-Bantu: kima, monkey
Proto-Bantu, kima, monkey
The word for a monkey seems to be derived from the word for tail of a monkey. M-kia means tail and seems to fit in with ideas about a monkey having a long tail. Hence the word 'tail' for a monkey.
Example 12: CAT
Gardiner page 459 E13.
[The cat = miaow or niau (nyau)]
How does one pronounce the characteristic high-pitched cry of a cat? Is it a miaw, miaow, or miau? The word for a cat in Southern Africa is synonymous to the cry of a cat and is pronounced with the consonant n instead of the consonant m giving a niau or nyau sound. The Kiswahili-Bantu and Bemba-Bantu word nyau or niau mimics the cry of a cat and is used as the word for a cat. Below are three forms which describe possible pronunciations of the word for a cat. The last set of hieroglyphics consists of the feminine form ending with the consonant -t. If one assumes the form miaow instead of the form niau then the feminine form would be given as miaow-ti.
Ancient Egyptian: miwcat
Bemba-Bantu; Kiswahili-Bantu: The cat = niau (nyau)
Ancient Egyptian mi-tcat (feminine)
Example 13: MOUSE
Ancient Egyptian: pnwmouse
Kiswahili-Bantu = pania (panya), rat, mouse
The Kiswahili-Bantu word for a small rat, mouse is given as panya or pania, with a slight variation to the Ancient Egyptian consonantal ending in w.
Example 14: BIRDS: DUCK
Gardiner 471 G38
Ancient Egyptian: apd duck
Kiswahili-Bantu: bata = duck
This is a good example which shows the interchange between the equivalent consonants p for b and d for t. The Bantu word for a duck is bata, Proto-Bantu baata. Its Ancient Egyptian pronunciation would be apada. Other Bantu words for a duck include pato, mbata, bakha, libata, ombaka, li-dada.
Example 15: SNAKE
Raymond Faulkner 126,
Christian Jacq 149
Ancient Egyptian: nik serpent
Kiswahili-Bantu nioka, nyoka = Snake, Serpent
This word has been mentioned before. The word for serpent or snake in Bantu languages is derived from the Proto-Bantu joka, nyoka, root -oka. By using different prefixes attached to the root one arrives at different pronunciations. As an example the word used in Luvale-Bantu is li-noka. Other examples are ey-oka, nj-oka, noha. In the Kiswahili-Bantu language the word is given as ny-oka or ni-oka. The word ni-oka gives an exact match in sound and meaning with the Ancient Egyptian word, nik.
Example 16: SNAKE
Ancient Egyptian: tchtcobra
Proto-Bantu: cato, snake python.
Kiswahili-Bantu: chatu = snake, python
Body Parts and their actions
There are a few words for parts of the body which share a common origin. These have been identified with words dealing with the hand, throat, neck, or leg.
Example 17: THROAT
Kiswahili-Bantu: throat = koo
The proto-Bantu word kodo (kolo) defines the throat or gullet. Nkolo defines the throat in the Tsonga-Bantu language. The Kiswahili-Bantu language uses the word koo, for the throat. The Ancient Egyptian form khkh forms a duplicated word and may be given as khokho. Contrast this to the Venda-Bantu word for the throat of cattle, given as khokhokho. In the scheme of things the throat is part of the neck and would also share the same word.
Example 18: HAND
Ancient Egyptian: khn direct ones hand
Kiswahili-Bantu: The lower arm and hand = kono
The Proto Bantu root kono means forearm, arm, hand or leg. In the Kiswahili-Bantu language the word m-kono is used for the lower arm and hand and the form kono means something that projects or sticks out such as the hand, handle or the shoot or sprig of a plant. The hand is often used to guide or indicate direction in the sense, 'this way please!' This fits in with the Ancient Egyptian meaning of khono, to direct ones hand.
Example 19: CLAP HANDS
Ancient Egyptian: khn clap of hands
Kiswahili-Bantu: Kono, hand used to clap
In this instance the Ancient Egyptians used the Proto-Bantu and Kiswahili-Bantu word kono to indicate the clap of hands, or beating time as may be seen by the forearm with the palm of hand in a downward position.
Example 20: REBEL
Ancient Egyptian khn rebel
Kiswahili-Bantu: M-kono, kono, thieving hand, vagabond
A rebel could be any one who possesses the following traits, thief (the stealing hand), vagabond, traitor, lawless person, outcast, disobedient person, or outlaw. The Kiswahili-Bantu word used for the arm and hand, m-kono or kono is also used for describing what a rebel is in terms of the descriptions given and are in accordance with the Ancient Egyptian notions. Thus m-kono or kono means a rebel or vagabond.
Example 21: TREAD DOWN WITH FOOT
Ancient Egyptian khndtread down foes, tread ways
Kiswahili-Bantu: Ku-unda = to tread down, to tread ways
The Kiswahili-Bantu verb unda have several meanings. The meaning specific in this instance is, to stamp on or tread down, especially an enemy. Thus unda means, tread on, put foot on, crush with the sole of the foot. The Ancient Egyptian word may be best described as, khnd= ku+unda giving kuunda, which means, to stamp down with the foot, to crush with the foot to tread on, to tread upon or to trample under ones feet. Refer to the Kiswahili-Bantu meaning in 'Kamusi ya Kiswahili Sanifu'
BANTU AND ANCIENT EGYPTIAN WORDS
FOR THE SUN
Apart from the familiar word Ra used for the sun, the Ancient Egyptians also used three other Bantu words for the sun derived from Bantu languages. The word Ra appears in the ChiDigo-Bantu language of Tanzania and means, be bright, glitter, gleam, give light, shine of the sun.
Gardiner Page 577b
Ancient Egyptian: Ra
Example 23: THE SUN
Antonio Loprieno 60
Ancient Egyptian: sbastar
Bemba-Bantu: ka-suba = the sun
The Bemba-Bantu word for the Sun is given as ka-suba derived from the Proto-Bantu word for the sun juba, ba means shine. By definition the sun is a star that is a source of heat and light in the solar system. Ka- is a prefix of the word suba, which denotes shine, hence ka-suba
Example 24: THE SUN
Gardiner H6 page 474,
The air God, Faulkner 263, Faulkner 263, sun, sunlight
Budge 731 b
Ancient Egyptian: shu, shw the sun, daylight, light
Ki-Kamba-Bantu: Syua, Siua = the Sun
The Kiswahili-Bantu word for the sun is jua or juwa, derived from the word waa, or baa, shine brightly. The Proto-Bantu word for the sun is juba. There are several combinations of Bantu forms derived from this word. Here are a few examples. In Shona-Bantu it is zuva. In Luganda-Bantu it is njuba. In Chichewa-Bantu it is dzuwa. In Silozi-Bantu it is liyuwa. The Ancient Egyptians made use of the root waa or ua as in juwa or jua. If one considers the word for the sun in the Kikamba-Bantu language one obtains a good approximation of the Ancient Egyptian word for the sun. The Ki-Kamba-Bantu word for the sun is syua or siua.
Example 25: THE SUN
The Proto-Bantu word tanya or tania means midday sun or sun. The Tsonga-Bantu language word sana means warm ray of the sun, sunbeam. In the Lingala-Bantu language tana means shine, radiate light. The Oshindonga-Bantu word for the sun is etango, or itango, the sun and time included in the word. The Kiswahili-Bantu words m-tana or m-chana means daylight, daytime, the day sun.
In the Ancient Egyptian language the word itn consists of the prefix i + tana, compare to m + tana. The prefix i may be compared to the Ancient Egyptian word for the dog, iw, giving iwaa, the barker. In this case i-tana would mean, 'that which shines', 'the shiner', 'the sun'.
Example 26: FIRE
Ancient Egyptian: kh-tfire
Kiswahili-Bantu: Kaa, a burning piece of charcoal
This is given as kaa-t consisting of the feminine marker t. Kaa is a burning piece of charcoal.
WATER, DRINK, SMELL
Example 27: WATER
Ancient Egyptian: mwwater, rain
Kiswahili-Bantu: Mvua = rain, water
The Kiswahili-Bantu word for rain is mvua. To my knowledge the Ancient Egyptians did not use the consonant v but instead used the consonant w.
Example 28: STREAM
Ancient Egyptian: ntstream, canal
Kiswahili-Bantu: mto = brook, stream, estuary
There ideophone to or nto denotes the dripping of water in Zulu-Bantu, and m-to is a brook or stream of water in Kiswahili-Bantu.
Example 29: STREAM
Ancient Egyptian: nt water
Zulu-Bantu: nto = dripping water
The Kiswahili-Bantu word for a stream is mto. Since m and n are interchangeable consonants, the Ancient Egyptians would have used the word nto. If one examines the Zulu-Bantu language, the word to or nto means dripping or gurgling water.
Example 30: DRINK
Budge 350 b
Ancient Egyptian: nw drink beer with companions, swill
Oshindonga-Bantu: nwa, drink
Bemba-Bantu: nwa, drink
Proto-Bantu: nu, nyo drink
The word nwa, nywa, is derived from Proto-Bantu nu or nyo and means to drink, suck up or consume liquid. The Ancient Egyptians used the Bemba-Bantu or Oshindonga form, nwa.
Example 31: SMELL
Ancient Egyptian: nha to stink, to be in a foul condition
Tsonga-Bantu: nuha, smell, stink
Kiswahili-Bantu:nuka, smell, stink
The Proto-Bantu word nuuk, means smell, stink. The consonants h and k may be interchanged. In the Kiswahili-Bantu language nuka means smell, give out a smell. Notice the ending ka. The question one poses is this: does a Bantu language exist giving a similar sound meaning relationship to the Ancient Egyptian language? Fortunately yes, for the Tsonga-Bantu language provides us with the exact word which fits the sound meaning relationship. It is nuha, to stink. Thus this is a fitting example which shows that the consonants h and k are interchangeable.
I hope these few findings will prompt your imagination and stir you forward towards the advancement of the Ancient Egyptian language. If you find any errors in the work please feel free to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
The next instalment of the Rosetta Stones is currently being prepared.
Researched by FERG SOMO © July 2008
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