For example, in the sentence kye kibúga ekikúlu mu Ugáńda 'it is the chief city in Uganda', the lexical high tones of the syllables bú, kú and gá stand out and gradually descend in pitch, the toneless syllables in between being lower. Vowel length is then only distinctive before simple consonants (i.e. Human translations with examples: mimi ni mtu, sijakuelewa, unapendwa sana. Monosyllabic verbs, in particular, have unpredictable modified forms: Tense–aspect–mood in Luganda is explicitly marked on the verb, as it is in most other Bantu languages. However, a complication arises from the agreement of numerical adjectives with the powers of ten. In addition, Luganda has four locative classes, e, ku, mu, and wa. As is the case with most languages, the distribution of nouns among the classes is essentially arbitrary, but there are some loose patterns: The class that a noun belongs to can usually be determined by its prefix: There are a few cases where prefixes overlap: the singulars of Classes I and II (both beginning with mu-); the singular of Class III and plurals of Classes III and VII (all beginning with n-); and the plurals of Classes V and IX (both ma-). We're part of Translated, so if you ever need professional translation services, then go checkout our main site, Usage Frequency: 1, Usage Frequency: 2, Usage Frequency: 3. So lwaki /lwáːci/ 'why' may also be pronounced [rwáːci], [ɾwáːci], [ɹwáːtʃi] etc. Finally the sounds /ɲ/ and /ŋ/ are spelt n before another consonant with the same place of articulation (in other words, before other palatals and velars respectively) rather than ny and ŋ: The standard Luganda alphabet is composed of twenty-four letters: Since the last consonant ŋ does not appear on standard typewriters or computer keyboards, it is often replaced by the combination ng' (including the apostrophe). Quality: those with a long vowel (okukóoká 'to sing'),[12] those with a short vowel followed by a geminate consonant (okubôbbá 'to throb'),[12] those with a vowel followed by a prenasalised consonant (Abagândá 'Baganda people'), and those following a consonant plus semivowel (okulwâlá [okulwáalá] 'to fall sick'). In speech, word-final vowels are often elided in these conditioning environments: For example, ekiddugavu /ecídːuɡavu/ 'black' may be pronounced [ecídːuɡavʷu] or [ecídːuɡavʷ]. The Luganda system of cardinal numbers is quite complicated. It is formed by inserting the suffix -ik/-ek before the verb's final -a: The intransitive conversive modification reverses the meaning of an intransitive verb and leaves it intransitive, or reverses the meaning of a transitive verb and makes it intransitive, similar to English's 'un-' prefix. However, there is considerable variation in this, and using one allophone instead of the other causes no ambiguity. It is usually realised as a tap or flap [ɾ] after a front unrounded vowel (i.e. harvcoltxt error: no target: CITEREFStevickKamoga1970 (,, English–Luganda Dictionary for printing (24 pages, A5),,, Pages with non-English text lacking appropriate markup from February 2019, Articles containing Luganda-language text, Language articles with speaker number undated, Language articles without reference field, Articles containing Italian-language text, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Two vowels may not appear adjacent to one another. Change ). However, there are certain types of phrase, notably those in the form 'noun + of + noun', or 'verb + location', where downdrift does not occur, and instead all the syllables in between the two lexical high tones link together into a 'plateau', in which all the vowels have tones of equal height, for example mu maséréngétá gá Úgáńda 'in the south of Uganda' or kírí mú Úgáńda 'it is in Uganda'. Yiga Oluganda - Learn Luganda is a non-profit organization devoted entirely to teaching Luganda and promoting the status of this beautiful language. The far past is formed with the same prefix a- as the near past, but using the simple form of the stem: The far past tense is used for events that happened more than 18 hours ago, and can also be used as a weak pluperfect. Depending on the possessed noun, the possessive takes one of the following forms: If the possessor is a personal pronoun, the separate possessive form is not used. In fact, the plurals of Classes III and VII, and those of Classes V and IX, are identical in all their prefixes (noun, verb, adjective etc.). It gives a verb the sense of 'to cause to do', and can also make an intransitive verb transitive: Applying two causative modifications results in the 'second causative': The neuter modification, also known as the stative, is similar to the '-able' suffix in English, except that the result is a verb meaning 'to be x-able' rather than an adjective meaning 'x-able'. The singular noun prefix, eri-, is often reduced to e- with an accompanying doubling of the stem's initial consonant. we love you bunches. Luganda is used in some primary schools in Buganda as pupils begin to learn English, the primary official language of Uganda. But a phrasal tone can and frequently does form a plateau with a following high tone of either sort. [8] Before a geminate, all vowels are short. When morphological processes require this, the gemination is dropped and the syllable /zi/ is inserted, which can then be prenasalised. We are in an adorable hotel with mosquito nets hanging over the beds. However, there are certain contexts, such as when a toneless word is used as the subject of a sentence or before a numeral, when this tone-raising rule does not apply: Masindi kibúga 'Masindi is a city'; ebitabo kkúmi 'ten books'.[15]. A notable feature of Luganda phonology is its geminate consonants and distinctions between long and short vowels. Create a free website or blog at Reference: Anonymous, Last Update: 2016-01-24 The possessive in Luganda is indicated with a different particle for each singular and plural noun class (according to the possessed noun). either /j/ or /w/). First impression - Ugandans are ALL gorgeous and the air smells sweet. For example, Uganda is pronounced as though written Yuganda and Teso is pronounced Tteeso.[23]. [16] This phenomenon is called 'downdrift'. For example: Here, 'badly' is translated with the adjective -bi 'bad, ugly', which is declined to agree with the subject. Adverbs in this group include -nna 'all' (or, with the singular, 'any'), -kka 'only', -mbi, -mbiriri 'both' and -nsatule 'all three': Note how, in the last two examples, the adverb -kka agrees with whichever antecedent it is qualifying — either the implicit nze 'I' or the explicit emmotoka 'the car'. A non-native speaker has to learn the variations of pitch by prolonged listening. Reference: Anonymous, Last Update: 2016-01-20 Usage Frequency: 2 The pattern repeats up to 'ten thousand', then standard nouns are used for 'ten thousand', 'one hundred thousand' and 'one million'. After 17 hours in the air, we have arrived in beautiful Africa. The tone-raising rule also applies to the toneless syllables at the end of words like eddwâliro [eddwáalíró] 'hospital' and túgenda [túgeendá] 'we are going', provided that there is at least one low-toned mora after the lexical tone. There are two states in Luganda, which may be called the base state and the topic state. Long vowels in Luganda are very long, more than twice the length of a short vowel. This is formed by making various changes to the final syllable of the stem, usually involving either changing the final syllable to one of the following suffixes: The modified form of verb stems is the only real source of irregularity in Luganda's verbal system. Words in Luganda commonly belong to one of three patterns (other patterns are less common): (a) toneless, e.g. Usage Frequency: 1 Boeing vs Airbus: The Battle for Supremacy in the Sky. In some cases the prefix causes the initial l of the stem to change to n or r. Attributive adjectives agree in state with the noun they qualify, but predicative adjectives never take the initial vowel. It is often used with intransitive verbs with the sense of being in the state of having done something. The negative is formed in the same way but with the negative subject prefixes (this is the usual way of forming the negative in Luganda). It is one of the major languages in Uganda, spoken by more than eight million Baganda and other people principally in central Uganda, including the capital Kampala of Uganda. The ny combination is treated as a single letter and therefore doesn't have any effect on vowel length (see the previous subsection). The present perfect is just the subject prefix plus the modified stem: The present perfect in Luganda is sometimes slightly weaker in its past meaning than in English. Reference: Anonymous, Last Update: 2016-11-02 For example, nkyatudde means 'I'm still seated'. Although words like ekitabo are theoretically toneless, they are generally subject to a tone-raising rule whereby all but the first mora acquire a high tone.