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Talk:Diminutives in Luganda

Thank you for these questions. I welcome them because they will help me improve the article.

These are my answers for now:

Hi Mr. Ssentanda.

First I have to say that I found your article very interesting and it was nice to relate its content to my intuitions of the diminutive pattern of Portuguese, my mother tongue. From my examination, I got some questions I would like to add to this discussion page.

Issue 1:

Following my understanding, you state that if no diminutive connotation is intended from nouns cl12 the plural form is assigned to class 14 by adding the prefix OBU instead of AKA. However looking for other references of the noun class system in Luganda I found in the Typological Features Template for Luganda, that class 14 indicates SINGULAR nouns. Is there any encoded phenomenon that assigns class14 to PLURAL contradicting the template?

Answer There is an error i've recognised in the template for typological features. Class 14 can take on both diminutive and nondiminutive nouns from cl12. For instance, obuugi porridge is na noncountable noun that falls under cl14. Then akaso (cl12) knife can be be pluralised nondiminutively in cl14 as obuso knives.

Issue 2:

In the data you present on the article, there are two forms of the noun class12 prefix: AKA and KA. Are they varieties of the same prefix used in different situation? And if yes, what makes one to be chosen over the other (maybe any phonological context?)

Answer The issue here has to do with the initial vowel. Depending on the syntactic-pragmatic environment, the initial vowel can be deleted or not.

Issue 3:

In this example:

Talina mulimu, akola bulimulimu bwasanze
“S/he has no proper job, s/he does any job s/he finds”
notNEG haveFV

It is shown another structure for diminutive (absence of cl14 prefix OBU and no plural assigned to class 14DIM), different from the pattern you are defending on the article. Does that mean that your pattern represents general occurrence of diminutives in Luganda and other diminutive structures can be found in the language?

Answer The issue relates to the initial vowel phenomenon. I could possibly provide an article/explanatory notes to this issue.

Issue 4:

Is there any possibility that in the example below the cl12 prefix ka be free translates as an intensifier (e.g. "very")?If yes, could this be always possible (a pattern) when the prefix is used attached to an English adjective that also denotes diminutive?

Give me a kasmall piece
“Give me a small piece ”

Answer What you are describing here is true. I notice that my explanation does not bring it out clearly. I think that what the Luganda speakers mean is that, by appending ka on the English adjective small, they want to bring out the concept of tinyness/extemely small.

As a suggestion I believe it would be very helpful to students that like me, have no previous knowledge of the language that you link this page to your other work entitled “Typological Features Template for Luganda” and also that you provide an example of the agreement you say diminutive forms require form the ‘various words that modify the noun’.

--Franciane Rocha 07:33, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Good evening Medadi,

I agree diminutives and their use is an interesting topic.

Let me make some editorial suggestions. The list of inherently cl12 nouns should perhaps also come as a table.

Your table deserves some clean-up. I started with the first two rows. :)

The following examples are interesting, but I would really need some more discussion of these examples. Why is the diminutive used in these sentences. What is the context, that is, when would you typically say such as sentence.

--Dorothee Beermann 19:52, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

From Medadi:

Dorothee, thank you so very much for your kind help. I say again, thank you!

Pardon me, I seem not to clearly understand the sentences you refer to. Kindly point out the sentences in question.

Hi again,

I was referring to the following paragraph:

Classes 12/13 have very few nouns that inherently belong to these classes, and these inherently assigned nouns are not semantic diminutives.  
Examples of inherently assigned nouns to class 12 are: akajanja (no plural), akateebe (deep water), akatandaalo ‘raised table-like structure for drying utencils’, akakongovvule  óuncle’, akakunizo ‘puzzle’, akalulu ‘vote’, akamooli ‘ventilator’,  .... Class 13otu has only one inherent noun, 
otulo sleep (no plural). 
Class 14OBU (plural) has many inherently assigned nouns to it, for instance: obulo millet, obubaka message, obuugi porridge, obukeedo raw material 
for making a basket and so on. 

In addition I think it would be good to make your table more consistent.

--Dorothee Beermann 11:22, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi Dorothee!

Here I give the examples of the nouns cited: (All these example sentences are not diminutive)

1. Akakongovvule kannuma. I have pain in my ankle.

2. Akakunizo akali mu Bukedde wa leero kazibu nnyo. The puzzle in today's Bukedde (A Luganda local newspaper)is so hard.

3. Uganda egenda kukuba akalulu mu mwaka guno 2011. Uganda is going to vote this year, 2011.

4. Yazimba ennyumba nga tekuli kamooli ne akamu. He/she built a house without any ventilator.

5. Obulo bwe nasimba ku Lwokusatu bumeze. The millet that I planted on Wednesday has germinated.

6. Njagala kunywa ku buugi. I want to take some porridge.

I have tried to edit the table, hope it is more clear now.

--Medadi Erisa Ssentanda 13:07, 6 January 2011 (UTC)