Before history repeats itself and your eyes glaze over again, a quick and basic definition: an adjective qualifies a noun and in Silozi it is brought into agreement by using adjectival concord.
Simple adjectival concord has a very limited use in Silozi as in Southern Sotho. Here the adjectival prefix is the same as the noun prefix it is qualifying.
Munna muhulu old man
Banana bande pleasant children
Much more commonly used is the combination of the demonstrative (or relative pronoun) with simple adjectival concord and then the stem.
Munna yo-mu-hulu Banana ba-ba-nde
Below is a table showing the adjectival form with the various classes of nouns.
1. yo – mu – tuna 2. ba – ba – tuna
3. o – mu – tuna 4. ye – mi – tuna
5. le-li-tuna 6. a-ma-tuna
7. se-si-tuna 8. ze-tuna
9. ye-tuna 10. ze-tuna
11. lo-tuna 12. lo-lu-tuna
13. to-tu-tuna 14. bo-bu-tuna
15. ko-ku-tuna 16. fo-ku-tuna
17. ko-ku-tuna 18. mo-ku-tuna
19. se-si-tuna 20. bye-bi-tuna
In Silozi adjective stems are very few in number around thirty. Over half of them refer to colours and markings of cattle and they unusually have a feminine form when applied to cows. Others are to do with mainly physical description and numbers.
fubelu - red, talaa –green, yellow, ndilu – blue
nde – good, beautiful, tuna - big, hulu – big, old nyinyani – small, young
nuna – fat, siswani - thin, kima – thick, stout, telele – tall, long
ñwi – one, beli – two, lalu – three, ne – four
With cattle colour adjectives the Sotho diminutive suffix (-ana) is used for the feminine form. It is very unusual for this family of languages to convey gender and to have a special feminine form.
Poho yekwaba a black, white-patched bull
Sitole sesikwabana a black, white-patched cow
We can also just use the Class 9 form where komu: beast, is understood
Yensu (a black male one) Yeswana (a black female one)
Here is a list of the cattle colour adjective stems or roots. NB Ye- needs to be prefixed before use!
Male Form Female Form Meaning
sweu swanyana white
nsu swana black
kwaba kwabana black with white patches
puzwa puluzwana grey
seta setana grey-blue
nala nalana red with white patches
konoñu kunwana red
tukwa tukwana dark grey
sumu sunyana white-headed
sooto sootwana dark brown
tamaha tamahana roan
paswa paswana brown with white spots
tululi tuluzana black and white spots
This list is an indication of the close relation between the people and their cattle; clearly an affectionate one but certainly not sentimental. Cattle were highly valued, not only for milk, meat and leather but they played a vital role in social and economic transactions too. They were given, by the groom’s family as a dowry for taking a woman in marriage, for receiving traditional treatment for illness or disease, to settle debts, or as compensation in court cases.