Swahili
Kiswahili
كِسوَحِيلِ
PronunciationSwahili: [kiswɑˈhili]
Native toTanzania, Kenya, Comoros, Mayotte, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Bajuni Islands (part of Somalia), southern Somalia (see Bravanese dialect),[1] Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar and Oman
EthnicitySwahili
SpeakersL1: 18 million (2012–2019)[2]
L2: 55 million (2015–2019)[2]
Early form
Proto-Swahili[3]
Official status
Official language in
4 countries
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-1sw
ISO 639-2swa
ISO 639-3swa – inclusive code
Individual codes:
swc – Congo Swahili
swh – Coastal Swahili
ymk – Makwe (?)
wmw – Mwani (?)
Glottologswah1254
  • G.42–43;
  • G.40.A–H (pidgins & creoles)
[5]
Linguasphere99-AUS-m
Geographic-administrative extent of Swahili. Dark: native range (the Swahili coast). Medium green: Spoken by a majority alongside indigenous languages. Light green: Spoken by a minority.
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
PersonMswahili
PeopleWaswahili
LanguageKiswahili

Swahili, also known by its local name Kiswahili, is a Bantu language originally spoken by the Swahili people, who are found primarily in Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique (along the East African coast and adjacent littoral islands).[6] The number of current Swahili speakers, be they native or second-language speakers, is estimated to be over 200 million[7], with Tanzania known to have most of the native speakers.

Swahili has a significant number of loanwords from other languages, mainly Arabic, as well as from Portuguese, English and German. Around fifteen percent of Swahili vocabulary consists of Arabic loanwords,[8] including the name of the language (سَوَاحِلي sawāḥilī, a plural adjectival form of an Arabic word meaning 'of the coasts'). The loanwords date from the era of contact between Arab traders and the Bantu inhabitants of the east coast of Africa, which was also the time period when Swahili emerged as a lingua franca in the region.[9]

Due to concerted efforts by the government of Tanzania, Swahili is one of three official languages (the others being English and French) of the East African Community (EAC) countries, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. It is the lingua franca of other areas in the African Great Lakes region and East and Southern Africa, including some parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the southern tip of Somalia.[10][11][12] Swahili is also one of the working languages of the African Union and of the Southern African Development Community. The East African Community created an institution called the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC) which began operations in 2015. The institution currently serves as the leading body for promoting the language in the East African region, as well as for coordinating its development and usage for regional integration and sustainable development.[13] In recent years South Africa,[14] Botswana,[15] Namibia,[16] Ethiopia,[17] and South Sudan[18] have begun offering Swahili as a subject in schools or have developed plans to do so.

Shikomor (or Comorian), an official language in Comoros and also spoken in Mayotte (Shimaore), is closely related to Swahili and is sometimes considered a dialect of Swahili, although other authorities consider it a distinct language.[19][20] In 2022, based on Swahili's growth as a prominent international language, the United Nations declared Swahili Language Day as 7 July to commemorate the date that Julius Nyerere adopted Swahili as a unifying language for African independence struggles.[21]

Classification

Swahili is a Bantu language of the Sabaki branch.[22] In Guthrie's geographic classification, Swahili is in Bantu zone G, whereas the other Sabaki languages are in zone E70, commonly under the name Nyika. Historical linguists consider the Arabic influence on Swahili to be significant, since it takes around 40% of its vocabulary directly from Arabic, and was initially spread by Arab slave traders along the East African coast.[8][23][24]

History

Swahili in Arabic script—memorial plate at the Askari Monument, Dar es Salaam (1927)

Etymology

The origin of the word Swahili is its phonetic equivalent in Arabic:

سَاحِل →   سَوَاحِل →   سَوَاحِلِيّ
sāḥil sawāḥil sawāḥilī
"coast" "coasts" (broken plural) "of coasts"

Origin

The core of the Swahili language originates in Bantu languages of the coast of East Africa. Much of Swahili's Bantu vocabulary has cognates in the Pokomo, Taita, and Mijikenda languages[25] and, to a lesser extent, other East African Bantu languages. While opinions vary on the specifics, it has been historically purported that around 16-20% of the Swahili vocabulary is derived from loan words, the vast majority Arabic, but also other contributing languages, including Persian, Hindustani, Portuguese, and Malay.[26]

Source languages for loanwords in Swahili[27]
Source languages Percentage
Arabic (mainly Omani Arabic) 15%
English 4.6%
Portuguese 0.9–1.0%
Hindustani 0.7–3.9%
Persian (mainly Iranian Persian) 0.4–3.4%
Malagasy 0.2–0.4%

Omani Arabic is the source of most Arabic loanwords in Swahili.[28][29] In the text "Early Swahili History Reconsidered", however, Thomas Spear noted that Swahili retains a large amount of grammar, vocabulary, and sounds inherited from the Sabaki language. In fact, while taking account of daily vocabulary, using lists of one hundred words, 72–91% were inherited from the Sabaki language (which is reported as a parent language) whereas 4–17% were loan words from other African languages. Only 2–8% were from non-African languages, and Arabic loan words constituted a fraction of that.[30] According to other sources, around 40% of the Swahili vocabulary comes from Arabic.[8][31] What also remained unconsidered was that a good number of the borrowed terms had Bantu equivalents. The preferred use of Arabic loan words is prevalent along the coast, where local people, in a cultural show of proximity to, or descent from Arab culture, would rather use loan words, whereas the people in the interior tend to use the Bantu equivalents. It was originally written in Arabic script.[32]

The earliest known documents written in Swahili are letters written in Kilwa, Tanzania, in 1711 in the Arabic script that were sent to the Portuguese of Mozambique and their local allies. The original letters are preserved in the Historical Archives of Goa, India.[33][34]

Colonial period

Although originally written with the Arabic script, Swahili is now written in a Latin alphabet introduced by Christian missionaries and colonial administrators. The text shown here is the Catholic version of the Lord's Prayer.[35]

Various colonial powers that ruled on the coast of East Africa played a role in the growth and spread of Swahili. With the arrival of the Arabs in East Africa, they used Swahili as a language of trade as well as for teaching Islam to the local Bantu peoples. This resulted in Swahili first being written in the Arabic script. The later contact with the Portuguese resulted in the increase of vocabulary of the Swahili language. The language was formalised in an institutional level when the Germans took over after the Berlin conference. After seeing there was already a widespread language, the Germans formalised it as the official language to be used in schools. Thus schools in Swahili are called Shule (from German Schule) in government, trade and the court system. With the Germans controlling the major Swahili-speaking region in East Africa, they changed the alphabet system from Arabic to Latin. After the First World War, Britain took over German East Africa, where they found Swahili rooted in most areas, not just the coastal regions. The British decided to formalise it as the language to be used across the East African region (although in British East Africa [Kenya and Uganda] most areas used English and various Nilotic and other Bantu languages while Swahili was mostly restricted to the coast). In June 1928, an inter-territorial conference attended by representatives of Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, and Zanzibar took place in Mombasa. The Zanzibar dialect was chosen as standard Swahili for those areas,[36] and the standard orthography for Swahili was adopted.[37]

Current status

Swahili has become a second language spoken by tens of millions of people in the four African Great Lakes countries (Kenya, DRC, Uganda, and Tanzania), where it is an official or national language. It is also the first language for many people in Tanzania, especially in the coastal regions of Tanga, Pwani, Dar es Salaam, Mtwara and Lindi. In the inner regions of Tanzania, Swahili is spoken with an accent influenced by other local languages and dialects. There, it is a first language for most of the people who are born in the cities, whilst being spoken as a second language in rural areas. Swahili and closely related languages are spoken by relatively small numbers of people in Burundi, Comoros, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Rwanda.[38] The language was still understood in the southern ports of the Red Sea in the 20th century.[39][40] The East African Community created an institution called the East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC) which began operations in 2015. The institution currently serves as the leading body for promoting the language in the East African region, as well as for coordinating its development and usage for regional integration and sustainable development.[13]

Swahili is among the first languages in Africa for which language technology applications have been developed. Arvi Hurskainen is one of the early developers. The applications include a spelling checker,[41] part-of-speech tagging,[42] a language learning software,[42] an analysed Swahili text corpus of 25 million words,[43] an electronic dictionary,[42] and machine translation[42] between Swahili and English. The development of language technology also strengthens the position of Swahili as a modern medium of communication.[44] Furthermore, Swahili Wikipedia is one of the few Wikipedias in an African language that features a substantial number of contributors and articles.

Tanzania

The widespread use of Swahili as a national language in Tanzania came after Tanganyika gained independence in 1961 and the government decided that it would be used as a language to unify the new nation. This saw the use of Swahili in all levels of government, trade, art as well as schools in which primary school children are taught in Swahili, before switching to English (medium of instruction)[45] in secondary schools (although Swahili is still taught as an independent subject). After Tanganyika and Zanzibar unification in 1964, Taasisi ya Uchunguzi wa Kiswahili (TUKI, Institute of Swahili Research) was created from the Interterritorial Language Committee. In 1970 TUKI was merged with the University of Dar es Salaam, while Baraza la Kiswahili la Taifa (BAKITA) was formed. BAKITA is an organisation dedicated to the development and advocacy of Swahili as a means of national integration in Tanzania. Key activities mandated for the organisation include creating a healthy atmosphere for the development of Swahili, encouraging use of the language in government and business functions, coordinating activities of other organisations involved with Swahili, standardising the language. BAKITA vision are: "1.To efficiently manage and coordinate the development and use of Kiswahili in Tanzania 2.To participate fully and effectively in promoting Swahili in East Africa, Africa and the entire world over".[46] Although other bodies and agencies can propose new vocabularies, BAKITA is the only organisation that can approve its usage in the Swahili language. Tanzanians are highly credited for shaping the language to appear the way it is now. Almost 95 percent of Tanzanians speak standard Swahili. In Tanzania, those born in urban areas, Swahili is their first language. It contributed greatly to the solid unification of Tanzanians. They call each other 'Ndugu' meaning my brother,sister, or relative.

Kenya

In Kenya, Kiswahili has been the national language since 1964 and is official since 2010.[47] Chama cha Kiswahili cha Taifa (CHAKITA) was established in 1998 to research and promote Kiswahili language in Kenya.[48] Kiswahili is a compulsory subject in all Kenyan primary and secondary schools.[49]

Burundi

In order to strengthen political ties with other East African Community nations, both Kiswahili and English have been taught in Burundian elementary schools since the academic year 2005/2006. Kiswahili is now used widely in Burundi but is not recognised as an official language; only French, Kirundi, and English have this distinction.[50]

Uganda

Uganda adopted Kiswahili as the official language in 2022, and also made it compulsory across primary and secondary schools in the country.[51][47]

Somalia

The Swahili language is not widespread in Somalia and has no official status nationally or regionally.[52] Dialects of Swahili are spoken by some ethnic minorities on the Bajuni islands in the form of Kibajuni on the southern tip of the country and in the town of Brava in the form of Chimwiini; both contain a significant amount of Somali and Italian loanwords.[53][54] Standard Swahili is generally only spoken by Somali nationals who have resided in Kenya and subsequently returned to Somalia.[55][56] Lastly, a closely related language Mushunguli (also known as Zigula, Zigua, or Chizigua) is spoken by some of the Somali Bantu ethnic minority mostly living in the Jubba Valley.[57] It is classified as a Northeast Coast Bantu language as Swahili is[58] and has some intelligibility with Swahili.

Religious and political identity

Religion

Swahili played a major role in spreading both Christianity and Islam in East Africa. From their arrival in East Africa, Arabs brought Islam and set up madrasas, where they used Swahili to teach Islam to the natives. As the Arab presence grew, more and more natives were converted to Islam and were taught using the Swahili language.

From the arrival of Europeans in East Africa, Christianity was introduced to the region. While the Arabs were mostly based in the coastal areas, European missionaries went further inland spreading Christianity. As the first missionary posts in East Africa were in the coastal areas, missionaries picked up Swahili and used it to spread Christianity, since it contained many similarities with other indigenous languages in the region.

Politics

During the struggle for Tanganyika independence, the Tanganyika African National Union used Swahili as a language of mass organisation and political movement. This included publishing pamphlets and radio broadcasts to rally the people to fight for independence. After gaining independence, Swahili was adopted as the national language. To this day, Tanzanians carry a sense of pride when it comes to Swahili, especially when it is used to unite over 120 tribes across Tanzania. Swahili was used to strengthen solidarity within the nation, and remains to be a key identity of the Tanzanian people.

Phonology

For assistance with IPA transcriptions of Swahili for Wikipedia articles, see Help:IPA/Swahili.

Example of spoken Swahili

Vowels

Standard Swahili has five vowel phonemes: /ɑ/, /ɛ/, /i/, /ɔ/, and /u/. According to Ellen Contini-Morava, vowels are never reduced, regardless of stress.[59] However, according to Edgar Polomé, these five phonemes can vary in pronunciation. Polomé claims that /ɛ/, /i/, /ɔ/, and /u/ are pronounced as such only in stressed syllables. In unstressed syllables, as well as before a prenasalized consonant, they are pronounced as [e], [ɪ], [o], and [ʊ]. E is also commonly pronounced as mid-position after w. Polomé claims that /ɑ/ is pronounced as such only after w and is pronounced as [a] in other situations, especially after /j/ (y). A can be pronounced as [ə] in word-final position.[60] Swahili vowels can be long; these are written as two vowels (example: kondoo, meaning "sheep"). This is due to a historical process in which the L became deleted between the second last and last vowel of a word (e.g. kondoo "sheep" was originally pronounced kondolo, which survives in certain dialects). However, these long vowels are not considered to be phonemic. A similar process exists in Zulu.

Consonants

Swahili consonant phonemes[59][61]
Labial Dental Alveolar Postalveolar
/ Palatal
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop prenasalized ᵐb̥ ⁿd̥ ⁿd̥ʒ̊ ᵑɡ̊
implosive
/ voiced
ɓ ~ b ɗ ~ d ʄ ~ ɠ ~ ɡ
voiceless p t k
aspirated () () (tʃʰ) ()
Fricative prenasalized ᶬv̥ ⁿz̥
voiced v (ð) z (ɣ)
voiceless f (θ) s ʃ (x) h
Approximant l j w
Rhotic r

Where not shown, the orthography is the same as IPA.

Some dialects of Swahili may also have the aspirated phonemes /pʰ tʃʰ dʒʱ ɡʱ/ though they are unmarked in Swahili's orthography.[62] Multiple studies favour classifying prenasalization as consonant clusters, not as separate phonemes. Historically, nasalization has been lost before voiceless consonants, and subsequently the voiced consonants have devoiced[citation needed], though they are still written mb, nd etc. The /r/ phoneme is realised as either a short trill [r] or more commonly as a single tap [ɾ] by most speakers. [x] exists in free variation with h, and is only distinguished by some speakers.[60] In some Arabic loans (nouns, verbs, adjectives), emphasis or intensity is expressed by reproducing the original emphatic consonants /dˤ, sˤ, tˤ, zˤ/ and the uvular /q/, or lengthening a vowel, where aspiration would be used in inherited Bantu words.[62]

Orthography

See also: Swahili Ajami

Swahili in Arabic script on the clothes of a girl in German East Africa (ca. early 1900s)

Swahili is now written in the Latin alphabet. There are a few digraphs for native sounds, ch, sh, ng' and ny; q and x are not used,[63] c is not used apart from the digraph ch, unassimilated English loans and, occasionally, as a substitute for k in advertisements. There are also several digraphs for Arabic sounds, which many speakers outside of ethnic Swahili areas have trouble differentiating.

The language used to be primarily written in the Ajami script, which is an Arabic script. Much literature was produced in this script. With the introduction of Latin, the use of Ajami script has been diminished significantly. However, the language continues to have a tradition of being written in Arabic script.[64] Starting from the later half of the 19th century, continuing into the 20th century, and going on in the 21st century, a process of "Swahilization" of the Arabic Script has been underway by Swahili scribes and scholars. The first of such attempts was done by Mwalimu Sikujua, a scholar and poet from Mombasa.[65] However, the spread of a standardized indigenous variation of Arabic script for Swahili was hampered by the colonial takeover of East Africa by the United Kingdom and Germany. The usage of Arabic script was suppressed in German East Africa and to a lesser extent in British East Africa. Nevertheless, well into the 1930s and 1940s, rural literacy rate in Arabic script as well as a local preference to write Swahili in the Arabic script (an unmodified version as opposed to proposals such as that of Mwalimu Sikujua) was relatively high.[65] There were also differences in orthographic conventions between cities and authors and over the centuries, some quite precise but others different enough to cause difficulties with intelligibility. Thus despite a lack of official governmental backing, attempts at standardization and Swahilization of the Arabic script continued into the 20th century.

In the most recent and most widely acknowledged orthographic standard, devised by Mu’allim Sheikh Yahya Ali Omar, the dialect of his hometown Mombasa has been chosen as the basis. This is, according to Yahya Ali Omar himself, because this dialect has historically been affected by all vernacular varieties of Swahili and it has formed the basis of literary Swahili. This dialect is, in his opinion, best fitted for accurate Swahili prose.[65]

Traditionally Arabic had 3 vowel diacritics, /a/ and /i/, and /u/ whereas Swahili had 5. This meant that vowels /i/ and /e/ were conflated, as were vowels /u/ and /o/. But one of the things that Swahili scholars have come to agree upon is the creation of two new diacritic, /e/ was to be from /i/ by rotating the kasra 90° (◌ٖ) and /o/ from /u/ by writing the damma (◌ٗ). backwards.

Several Swahili consonants do not have equivalents in Arabic. Instead, the closest Arabic sound was substituted. Not only did that mean that one letter often stands for more than one sound, but also writers made different choices of which consonant to substitute. In the process of standardization, new letters and even diagraphs have been introduced to represent such sounds. Conventions from Urdu were a source of inspiration in this process, as letters from Urdu were adopted so as to distinguish aspiration and /p/ from /b/: پھا /pʰaa/ 'gazelle', پا /paa/ 'roof'. Although it is not found in Standard Swahili today, there is a distinction between dental and alveolar consonants in some dialects, which is reflected in some orthographies, for example in كُٹَ -kuta 'to meet' vs. كُتَ -kut̠a 'to be satisfied'. A k with the dots of y, ـػـػـػـػ, was used for ch in some conventions; ky being historically and even contemporaneously a more accurate transcription than Roman ch. Whereas others more commonly used letters similar to those in Urdu and Persian. In Mombasa, it was common to use the Arabic emphatics for Cw, for example in صِصِ swiswi (standard sisi) 'we' and كِطَ kit̠wa (standard kichwa) 'head'.

Particles such as ya, na, si, kwa, ni were joined to the following noun, and possessives such as yangu and yako were joined to the preceding noun, but verbs are written as two words, with the subject and tense–aspect–mood morphemes separated from the object and root, as in aliyeniambia "he who told me".[66] Nowadays, preserving the word segmentation that is now conventional in Roman script is preferred when writing in Arabic script too. Thus these monosyllabic particles are written separately.[65][67][68]

Below is a table comparing the Arabic Swahili and Roman Swahili ortographies:

Swahili Ajami Letters[65][67]
Name Forms Sound represented Roman equivalent Example Notes
Isolated Final Medial Initial Ajami Roman Meaning
alifu
أَلِيفُ
ا ـا ا /a/ a أَنَسٖيمَ
سَاسَ
ڤِئَازِ
anasema
sas
viazi
he is speaking
now
potatoes
The alifu has two functions: first, to indicate the vowel [a] when stressed; second, to be the carrier of the hamzah as word initial and at vowel sequences.
bee
بٖئٖ
ب ـب ـبـ بـ /ɓ/ b بُويُ
مْبرَزِل
buyu
mbrazil
fruit
Brazilian person
mbee
نْبٖئٖ
نْب ـنْب ـنْبـ نْبـ /ᵐb/ b نْبٖيلٖ mbele in front Not applicable to Swahili noun class 1 (the M-wa class) and other instances of syllabic "mb" consonant sequence. (meaning instances when "mb" is pronounced as [m̩ɓ] as opposed to [ᵐb])
pee
پٖئٖ
پ ـپ ـپـ پـ /p/ p كُپَاكَ kupaka paint
p'ee
پھٖئٖ
پْھ ـپْھ ـپْھـ پْھـ /pʰ/ p پْھَاكَ paka cat Not distinguished from [p] in Roman orthography.
tee
تٖئٖ
ت ـت ـتـ تـ /t̪/ t هَتُؤَ haua action Dental [t].
t'ee
تھٖئٖ
تْھ ـتْھ ـتْھـ تْھـ /t̪ʰ/ t تْھُوپَ tupa bottle Dental aspirated [t]. Not distinguished from [t̪], [t], or [tʰ] in Roman orthography.
tee
ٹٖئٖ
ٹ ـٹ ـٹـ ٹـ /t/ t ٹُونْڈُ tundu chicken coop Alveolar [t], unique to Mombasa Dialect. Not distinguished from [t̪], [t̪ʰ], or [tʰ] in Roman orthography.
t'ee
ٹھٖئٖ
ٹھ ـٹھ ـٹھـ ٹھـ /tʰ/ t ٹھُونْدُ tundu a hole Alveolar aspirated [t], unique to Mombasa Dialect. Not distinguished from [t̪], [t̪ʰ], or [t] in Roman orthography.
thee
ثٖئٖ
ث ـث ـثـ ثـ /θ/ th ثٖمَنِينِ themanini eighty
jimu
جِيمُ
ج ـج ـجـ جـ ~ dʒ/ j جَانَ jana yesterday
njimu
نْجِيمُ
نْج ـنْج ـنْجـ نْجـ /ⁿd̥ʒ̊/ nj نْجٖيمَ njema good
chimu
چِيمُ
چ ـچ ـچـ چـ /tʃ/ ch چُونْڠوَ chungwa orange Historically, some manuscripts used kafu with two dots ػ‎ as well.
ch'imu
چھِيمُ
چھ ـچھ ـچھـ چھـ /tʃʰ/ ch چھُونْڠوَ ch'ungwa medium-sized orange Not distinguished from [tʃ] in Roman orthography.
hee
حٖئٖ
ح ـح ـحـ حـ /h/ h حَسَن
وَسوَحِيلِ
hasan
waswahili
Name "Hasan"
Swahili people
Only used in loanwords from Arabic. As the original Arabic pronunciation doesn't exist in Swahili phonology, Swahili speakers pronounce it as [h].
khee
خٖئٖ
خ ـخ ـخـ خـ ~ h/ h (kh) خَبَارِ habari news Only used in loanwords from Arabic. Most Swahili speakers pronounce it as [h].
dali
دَالِ
د ـد د /d̪/ d دَنْڠَانْيَ danganya deceive Dental [d].
ndali
نْدَالِ
نْد ـنْد نْد /ⁿd̪/ nd مْوٖينْدٖ mwenḏe go Prenasalized Dental [nd].
dali
ڈَالِ
ڈ ـڈ ڈ /d/ d ڈُو du Large bucket Alveolar [d], unique to Mombasa Dialect. Not distinguished from [d̪] in Roman orthography.
ndali
نْڈَالِ
نْڈ ـنْڈ نْڈ /d/ d نْڈَانِ ndani Inside Prenasalized Alveolar [d], unique to Mombasa Dialect. Not distinguished from [nd̪] in Latin orthography.
dhali
ذَالِ
ذ ـذ ذ /ð/ dh ذَهَابُ dhahabu gold
ree
رٖئٖ
ر ـر ر /ɾ/ r كِرَاكَ kiraka patch
zee
زٖئٖ
ز ـز ز /z/ z كُزِيمَ kuzima to extinguish
zhee
ژٖئٖ
ژ ـژ ژ /ʒ/ zh ژِينَ Zhina Personal name "Zhina" Nonexistent in most Swahili dialects and in most literature. Only seen in vernacular of Northern dialects.
sini
سِينِ
س ـس ـسـ سـ /s/ s كُسِكِئَ kusikia to hear
shini
شِينِ
ش ـش ـشـ شـ /ʃ/ sh كُشِيكَ kushika to hold
sadi
صَادِ
ص ـص ـصـ صـ /s/ s صَحِيبُ sahibu friend Only used in loanwords from Arabic. Most Swahili speakers pronounce it as [s].
dhadi
ضَادِ
ض ـض ـضـ ضـ /ð/ dh ضِيكِ dhiki distress Only used in loanwords from Arabic. Swahili speakers pronounce it as [dh].
tee
طٖئٖ
ط ـط ـطـ طـ /t/ t كُطَهِرِيشَ kutahirisha to purify Only used in loanwords from Arabic. Swahili speakers pronounce it as [t].
dhee
ظٖئٖ
ظ ـظ ـظـ ظـ /ð/ dh أَظُهُورِ adhuhuri noon Only used in loanwords from Arabic. Swahili speakers pronounce it as [dh].
aini
عَئِينِ
ع ـع ـعـ عـ /-/ (/ʕ/) - مَعَانَ maana meaning Only used in loanwords from Arabic. Not pronounced in Swahili. Vowel sequences in Roman orthography can correspond to this letter.
ghaini
غَئِينِ
غ ـغ ـغـ غـ /ɣ/ gh غَضَابُ ghadhabu anger Only used in loanwords from Arabic.
gaini
ڠَئِينِ
ڠ ـڠ ـڠـ ڠـ ~ ɡ/ g ڠُنِئَ gunia sack
ngaini
نْڠَئِينِ
نْڠ ـنْڠ ـنْڠـ نْڠـ /ᵑɡ/ ng مْچَانْڠَ mchanga sand
ng'aini
نݝَئِينِ
نݝ ـنݝ ـنݝـ نݝـ /ŋ/ ng' نݝٗومْبٖ ng'ombe cattle
fee
فٖئٖ
ف ـف ـفـ فـ /f/ f فِيڠٗ figo kidney
vee
ڤٖئٖ
ڤ ـڤ ـڤـ ڤـ /v/ v كُڤِيمْبَ kuvimba to swell
qafu
قَافُ
ق ـق ـقـ قـ /q/ q وَقفُ waqfu endowment Only used in loanwords from Arabic. Swahili speakers pronounce it as [k].
kafu
كَافُ
ك ـك ـكـ كـ /k/ k كُوكُ kuku large hen
k'afu
كھَافُ
كھ ـكھ ـكھـ كھـ /kʰ/ k كھُوكُ k'uku medium-sized hen Not distinguished from [k] in Roman orthography.
lamu
لَامُ
ل ـل ـلـ لـ /l/ l كُلِيمَ kulima to dig
mimu
مِيمُ
م ـم ـمـ مـ /m/ m مِيمِ mimi I (first person singular pronoun)
nuni
نُونِ
ن ـن ـنـ نـ /n/ n نَانِ nani who?
waw
وَو
و ـو و ‍~ w/
/ɔ/
/u/
w
o
u
كُوَ
مْكٗونْڠَ
كُسُڠُؤَ
kuwa
mkonga
kusugua
to be
elephant trunk
to rub
The waw has three functions: first, to be a consonant, represented in Roman orthography as [w]. Second is to indicate the vowels [o] or [u] when stressed; third, to be the carrier of the hamzah at vowel sequences.
hee
هٖئٖ
ه ـه ـهـ هـ /h/ h هَيُوپٗ hayupo he/she is not there
hamza
هَامزَ
ء ـاء
ـؤ
ـئ
ـأ
ـؤ
ـئـ
أ
إ
- - إٖنْدٖلٖئَ
كُسُڠُؤَ
مَفَاءَ
endelea
kusugua
mafaa
go on
to rub
usefulness
Hamza is used in conjunction with either alif, waw, or yee as its career as word initial and at vowel sequences.
yee
يٖئٖ
ي ـي ـيـ يـ /j/
/ɛ/
/i/
y
e
i
يَاكٗ
كٖلٖيلٖ
yako
kelele
your
scream
The yee has two functions: first, to be a consonant, represented in Roman orthography as [y]. Second is to indicate the vowels [e] or [i] when stressed.
A dotless letter yee is used as the carrier of the hamzah at vowel sequences.
nyee
نْيٖئٖ
نْي ـنْي ـنْيـ نْيـ /ɲ/ ny نْيٗوكَ nyoka snake

Grammar

See also: Swahili grammar

Noun classes

Swahili nouns are separable into classes, which are roughly analogous to genders in other languages. In Swahili, prefixes mark groups of similar objects: ⟨m-⟩ marks single human beings (mtoto 'child'), ⟨wa-⟩ marks multiple humans (watoto 'children'), ⟨u-⟩ marks abstract nouns (utoto 'childhood'), and so on. And just as adjectives and pronouns must agree with the gender of nouns in some languages with grammatical gender, so in Swahili adjectives, pronouns and even verbs must agree with nouns. This is a characteristic feature of all the Bantu languages.

Semantic motivation

The ki-/vi- class historically consisted of two separate genders, artefacts (Bantu class 7/8, utensils and hand tools mostly) and diminutives (Bantu class 12/13), which were conflated at a stage ancestral to Swahili. Examples of the former are kisu "knife", kiti "chair" (from mti "tree, wood"), chombo "vessel" (a contraction of ki-ombo). Examples of the latter are kitoto "infant", from mtoto "child"; kitawi "frond", from tawi "branch"; and chumba (ki-umba) "room", from nyumba "house". It is the diminutive sense that has been furthest extended. An extension common to diminutives in many languages is approximation and resemblance (having a 'little bit' of some characteristic, like -y or -ish in English). For example, there is kijani "green", from jani "leaf" (compare English 'leafy'), kichaka "bush" from chaka "clump", and kivuli "shadow" from uvuli "shade". A 'little bit' of a verb would be an instance of an action, and such instantiations (usually not very active ones) are found: kifo "death", from the verb -fa "to die"; kiota "nest" from -ota "to brood"; chakula "food" from kula "to eat"; kivuko "a ford, a pass" from -vuka "to cross"; and kilimia "the Pleiades", from -limia "to farm with", from its role in guiding planting. A resemblance, or being a bit like something, implies marginal status in a category, so things that are marginal examples of their class may take the ki-/vi- prefixes. One example is chura (ki-ura) "frog", which is only half terrestrial and therefore is marginal as an animal. This extension may account for disabilities as well: kilema "a cripple", kipofu "a blind person", kiziwi "a deaf person". Finally, diminutives often denote contempt, and contempt is sometimes expressed against things that are dangerous. This might be the historical explanation for kifaru "rhinoceros", kingugwa "spotted hyena", and kiboko "hippopotamus" (perhaps originally meaning "stubby legs").[69]

Another class with broad semantic extension is the m-/mi- class (Bantu classes 3/4). This is often called the 'tree' class, because mti, miti "tree(s)" is the prototypical example. However, it seems to cover vital entities neither human nor typical animals: trees and other plants, such as mwitu 'forest' and mtama 'millet' (and from there, things made from plants, like mkeka 'mat'); supernatural and natural forces, such as mwezi 'moon', mlima 'mountain', mto 'river'; active things, such as moto 'fire', including active body parts (moyo 'heart', mkono 'hand, arm'); and human groups, which are vital but not themselves human, such as mji 'village', and, by analogy, mzinga 'beehive/cannon'. From the central idea of tree, which is thin, tall, and spreading, comes an extension to other long or extended things or parts of things, such as mwavuli 'umbrella', moshi 'smoke', msumari 'nail'; and from activity there even come active instantiations of verbs, such as mfuo "metal forging", from -fua "to forge", or mlio "a sound", from -lia "to make a sound". Words may be connected to their class by more than one metaphor. For example, mkono is an active body part, and mto is an active natural force, but they are also both long and thin. Things with a trajectory, such as mpaka 'border' and mwendo 'journey', are classified with long thin things, as in many other languages with noun classes. This may be further extended to anything dealing with time, such as mwaka 'year' and perhaps mshahara 'wages'. Animals exceptional in some way and so not easily fitting in the other classes may be placed in this class.

The other classes have foundations that may at first seem similarly counterintuitive.[70] In short,

Borrowing

Borrowings may or may not be given a prefix corresponding to the semantic class they fall in. For example, Arabic دود dūd ("bug, insect") was borrowed as mdudu, plural wadudu, with the class 1/2 prefixes m- and wa-, but Arabic فلوس fulūs ("fish scales", plural of فلس fals) and English sloth were borrowed as simply fulusi ("mahi-mahi" fish) and slothi ("sloth"), with no prefix associated with animals (whether those of class 9/10 or 1/2).

In the process of naturalization[71] of borrowings within Swahili, loanwords are often reinterpreted, or reanalysed,[72] as if they already contain a Swahili class prefix. In such cases the interpreted prefix is changed with the usual rules. Consider the following loanwords from Arabic:

  1. The Swahili word for "book", kitabu, is borrowed from Arabic كتاب kitāb(un) "book" (plural كتب kutub; from the Arabic root k.t.b. "write"). However, the Swahili plural form of this word ("books") is vitabu, following Bantu grammar in which the ki- of kitabu is reanalysed (reinterpreted) as a nominal class prefix whose plural is vi- (class 7/8).[72]
  2. Arabic معلم muʿallim(un) ("teacher", plural معلمين muʿallimīna) was interpreted as having the mw- prefix of class 1, and so became mwalimu, plural walimu.
  3. Arabic مدرسة madrasa school, even though it is singular in Arabic (with plural مدارس madāris), was reinterpreted as a class 6 plural madarasa, receiving the singular form darasa.

Similarly, English wire and Arabic وقت waqt ("time") were interpreted as having the class 11 prevocalic prefix w-, and became waya and wakati with plural nyaya and nyakati respectively.

Agreement

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Swahili phrases agree with nouns in a system of concord but, if the noun refers to a human, they accord with noun classes 1–2 regardless of their noun class. Verbs agree with the noun class of their subjects and objects; adjectives, prepositions and demonstratives agree with the noun class of their nouns. In Standard Swahili (Kiswahili sanifu), based on the dialect spoken in Zanzibar, the system is rather complex; however, it is drastically simplified in many local variants where Swahili is not a native language, such as in Nairobi. In non-native Swahili, concord reflects only animacy: human subjects and objects trigger a-, wa- and m-, wa- in verbal concord, while non-human subjects and objects of whatever class trigger i-, zi-. Infinitives vary between standard ku- and reduced i-.[73] ("Of" is animate wa and inanimate ya, za.)

In Standard Swahili, human subjects and objects of whatever class trigger animacy concord in a-, wa- and m-, wa-, and non-human subjects and objects trigger a variety of gender-concord prefixes.

Swahili noun-class concord
NC Semantic
field
Noun
-C, -V
Subj. Obj. -a Adjective
-C, -i, -e[* 1]
I (mimi) ni-
we (sisi) tu-
thou (wewe) u- ku-
you (ninyi) m- wa-
1 person m-, mw- a- m- wa m-, mwi-, mwe-
2 people wa-, w- wa- wa wa-, we-, we-
3 tree m-, mw- u- wa m-, mwi-, mwe-
4 trees mi- i- ya mi-, mi-, mye-
5 group, AUG ji-/Ø, j- li- la ji-/Ø, ji-, je-
6 groups, AUG ma- ya- ya ma-, me-, me-
7 tool, DIM ki-, ch- ki- cha ki-, ki-, che-
8 tools, DIM vi-, vy- vi- vya vi-, vi-, vye-
9 animals, 'other',
loanwords
N- i- ya N-, nyi-, nye-
10 zi- za
11 'extension' u-, w-/uw- u- wa m-, mwi-, mwe-
10 (plural of 11) N- zi- za N-, nyi-, nye-
14 abstraction u-, w-/uw- u- wa m-, mwi-, mwe-
or u-, wi-, we-
15 infinitives ku-, kw-[* 2] ku- kwa- ku-, kwi-, kwe-
16 precise position -ni, mahali pa- pa pa-, pe-, pe-
17 imprecise position -ni ku- kwa ku-, kwi-, kwe-
18 internal position -ni m(u)- mwa mu-, mwi-, mwe-
  1. ^ Most Swahili adjectives begin with either a consonant or the vowels i- or e-, listed separately above. The few adjectives beginning with other vowels do not agree with all noun classes since some are restricted to humans. NC 1 m(w)- is mw- before a and o, and reduces to m- before u; wa- does not change; and ki-, vi-, mi- become ch-, vy-, my- before o but not before u: mwanana, waanana "gentle", mwororo, waororo, myororo, chororo, vyororo "mild, yielding", mume, waume, kiume, viume "male".
  2. ^ In a few verbs: kwenda, kwisha

Dialects and closely related languages

This list is based on Swahili and Sabaki: a linguistic history.

Dialects

Modern standard Swahili, written in Latin, is based on Kiunguja, the dialect spoken in Zanzibar City.[74]

Swahili literature and poetry, traditionally written in Swahili Ajami, is based on Kiamu, the dialect of Lamu on the Kenyan Coast.[75][64]

But there are numerous other dialects of Swahili, some of which are mutually unintelligible, such as the following:[74]

Old dialects

Maho (2009) considers these to be distinct languages:

The rest of the dialects are divided by him[citation needed] into two groups:

Maho includes the various Comorian dialects as a third group. Most other authorities consider Comorian to be a Sabaki language, distinct from Swahili.[82]

Other regions

In Somalia, where the Afroasiatic Somali language predominates, a variant of Swahili referred to as Chimwiini (also known as Chimbalazi) is spoken along the Benadir coast by the Bravanese people.[83] Another Swahili dialect known as Kibajuni also serves as the mother tongue of the Bajuni minority ethnic group, which lives in the tiny Bajuni Islands as well as the southern Kismayo region.[84][85]

In Oman, there are an estimated 52,000 people who speak Swahili as of 2020.[86] Most are descendants of those repatriated after the fall of the Sultanate of Zanzibar.[87][88]

Pidgins and creoles

There are Swahili-based slangs, pidgins and creoles:

Swahili poets

Swahili sayings

Fuata

nyuki

ule

asali.

[91]: 478 

Fuata nyuki ule asali.

Follow the bee so that you may eat honey.

Baada

ya

dhiki

faraja.

[91]: 477 

Baada ya dhiki faraja.

There is no trouble that lasts forever.

Mgaagaa

na

upwa

hali

wali

mkavu.

[91]: 482 

Mgaagaa na upwa hali wali mkavu.

The one who busies himself with work will not miss a meal.

Loxodonta africana elephants frolic in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, 2012.

Two sayings with the same literal meaning of Where elephants fight, the grass is trampled or figuratively speaking, when those with power fight, it is those below them who suffer:[92][93]

Wapiganapo

tembo

nyasi

huumia.

[94]

Wapiganapo tembo nyasi huumia.

Fighting elephants damage the grass.

Ndovu

wawili

wakisongana,

ziumiazo

ni

nyika.

[95]

Ndovu wawili wakisongana, ziumiazo ni nyika.

Where two elephants argue, the grassland is damaged.

Mwacha

mila

ni

mtumwa.

Mwacha mila ni mtumwa.

The person who abandons his culture, is a slave.

Sample text

Swahili[96] English[96]
Kifungu cha 26.

1) Kila mtu ana haki ya kuelimishwa. Elimu yapasa itolewe bure hasa ile ya madarasa ya chini. Elimu ya masarasa ya chini ihudhuriwe kwa lazima. Elimu ya ufundi na ustadi iwe wazi kwa wote. Na elimu ya juu iwe wazi kwa wote kwa kutegemea sifa ya mtu.

2) Elimu itolewe kwa madhumuni ya kuendeleza barabara hali ya binadamu, na kwa shabaha ya kukuza haki za binadamu na uhuru wake wa asili. Elimu ni wajibu ikuze hali ya kueleana, kuvumiliana na ya urafiki kati ya mataifa na kati ya watu wa rangi na dini mbali-mbali.Kadhalika ni wajibu iendeleze shughuli za Umoja wa Mataifa za kudumisha amani.

3) Ni haki ya wazazi kuchagua aina ya elimu ya kufunzwa watoto wao.

Article 26

1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

See also

References

  1. ^ Thomas J. Hinnebusch, 1992, "Swahili", International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, Oxford, pp. 99–106
    David Dalby, 1999/2000, The Linguasphere Register of the World's Languages and Speech Communities, Linguasphere Press, Volume Two, pp. 733–735
    Benji Wald, 1994, "Sub-Saharan Africa", Atlas of the World's Languages, Routledge, pp. 289–346, maps 80, 81, 85
  2. ^ a b Swahili at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Congo Swahili at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Coastal Swahili at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Makwe (?) at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Mwani (?) at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
  3. ^ Nurse, Derek; Spear, Thomas (10 June 2017). The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800-1500. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 50. ISBN 9781512821666.
  4. ^ "Sadc Adopts Kiswahili as 4th Working Language". European Commission. 30 August 2019. Archived from the original on 18 October 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  5. ^ Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online
  6. ^ Mugane, John (21 June 2022). "The Story of Swahili" (PDF). Center for International Studies, Ohio University. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  7. ^ "World Kiswahili Language Day". UNESCO. 5 November 2021. Archived from the original on 23 May 2022. Retrieved 4 November 2023. Kiswahili is one of the most widely used languages of the African family, and the most widely spoken in sub-Saharan Africa. It is among the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with more than 200 million speakers.
  8. ^ a b c "'It's time we move from the coloniser's language'". BBC News. 17 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Swahili language". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  10. ^ Mazrui, Ali Al'Amin. (1995). Swahili state and society : the political economy of an African language. East African Educational Publishers. ISBN 0-85255-729-9. OCLC 441402890.
  11. ^ Prins 1961
  12. ^ "Development and Promotion of Extractive Industries and Mineral Value Addition". East African Community. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  13. ^ a b Press Release on EAKC
  14. ^ Sobuwa, Yoliswa (17 September 2018). "Kiswahili gets minister's stamp to be taught in SA schools". The Sowetan. Archived from the original on 18 September 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Botswana to Introduce Swahili Language in Local Schools". 12 October 2020. Archived from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Pandemic disrupts Kiswahili adoption plans". Archived from the original on 5 December 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
  17. ^ "AAU to Start Teaching Kiswahili Language – Ethiopian Monitor". 9 February 2022. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  18. ^ Mbamalu, Socrates (13 March 2019). "Tanzania to send Kiswahili teachers to South Sudan". This is africa. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  19. ^ Nurse and Hinnebusch, 1993, p.18
  20. ^ Nurse and Hinnebusch, 1993
  21. ^ "UNESCO declares July 7 World Kiswahili Language Day". unesco.org. 24 November 2021. Archived from the original on 30 July 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  22. ^ Derek Nurse, Thomas J. Hinnebusch, Gérard Philippson. 1993. Swahili and Sabaki: A Linguistic History. University of California Press
  23. ^ Derek Nurse, Thomas T. Spear. 1985. Arabic loan words make up to 40% of the language. The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800–1500. University of Pennsylvania Press
  24. ^ Thomas Spear. 2000. "Early Swahili History Reconsidered". The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 257–290
  25. ^ Polomé, Edgar (1967). Swahili Language Handbook (PDF). Centre for Applied Linguistics. p. 28. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  26. ^ Ali, Hassan O. "A Brief History of the Swahili Language". Swahili Language & Culture. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  27. ^ "1. Loanwords in Swahili", T. Schadeberg, in Tadmor, Uri. Loanwords in the World's Languages: A Comparative Handbook. Germany: De Gruyter, 2009.
  28. ^ Baldi, Sergio, Arabic Loans in East African Languages through Swahili: A Survey Archived 30 March 2021 at the Wayback Machine, Folia Orientalia, 2012, PAS Journals Repository
  29. ^ Nurse and Hinnebusch, 1993, p. 321
  30. ^ Spear, Thomas (2000). "Early Swahili History Reconsidered". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. 33 (2): 257–290. doi:10.2307/220649. JSTOR 220649.
  31. ^ "A Guide to Swahili - 10 facts about the Swahili language". Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  32. ^ Juma, Abdurahman. "Swahili history". glcom.com. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  33. ^ Alpers, E. A. (1975). Ivory and Slaves in East Central Africa. London: Heinemann. pp. 98–99.
  34. ^ Vernet, T. (2002). "Les cités-Etats swahili et la puissance omanaise (1650–1720)". Journal des Africanistes. 72 (2): 102–05. doi:10.3406/jafr.2002.1308.
  35. ^ "Baba yetu". Wikisource. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  36. ^ "Swahili". About World Languages. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  37. ^ Mdee, James S. (1999). "Dictionaries and the Standardization of Spelling in Swahili". Lexikos. pp. 126–27. Archived from the original on 28 October 2019. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  38. ^ Nurse & Thomas Spear (1985) The Swahili
  39. ^ Kharusi, N. S. (2012). "The Ethnic Label Zinjibari: Politics and Language Choice Implications Among Swahili Speakers in Oman". Ethnicities. 12 (3): 335–353. doi:10.1177/1468796811432681. S2CID 145808915.
  40. ^ Adriaan Hendrik Johan Prins (1961) The Swahili-speaking Peoples of Zanzibar and the East African Coast. Ethnologue
  41. ^ "Zana za Uhakiki za Microsoft Office 2016 - Kiingereza". Microsoft Download Center. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  42. ^ a b c d "Salama". 77.240.23.241. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  43. ^ "Helsinki Corpus of Swahili 2.0 (HCS 2.0) – META-SHARE". metashare.csc.fi. Archived from the original on 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  44. ^ Hurskainen, Arvi. 2018. Sustainable language technology for African languages. In Agwuele, Augustine and Bodomo, Adams (eds), The Routledge Handbook of African Linguistics, 359–375. London: Routledge Publishers. ISBN 978-1-138-22829-0
  45. ^ "The Failure of Language Policy in Tanzanian Schools". Archived from the original on 16 July 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  46. ^ "Vision and Mission of The National Kiswahili Council". The United Republic of Tanzania National Kiswahili Council. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  47. ^ a b "Uganda finally adopts Kiswahili as official language". The East African. 5 July 2022. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  48. ^ "CHAKITA:Chama Cha Kiswahili Cha Taifa". chakita.org. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  49. ^ "CS Matiangi: Kiswahili to remain compulsory in new curriculum". Kenya Broadcasting Corporation(KBC). Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  50. ^ "The variability of Kiswahili In Bujumbura". Retrieved 4 September 2023.
  51. ^ "Kiswahili language compulsory in primary, secondary schools – Cabinet". The Monitor. 5 July 2022. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  52. ^ "The Federal Republic of Somalia Provisional Constitution of 2012".
  53. ^ Henderson, Brent. Chimwiini: Endangered Status and Syntactic Distinctiveness (PDF) (Report). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2022.
  54. ^ Nurse, Derek. "When northern Swahili met southern Somali" (PDF). Contemporary African Linguistics.
  55. ^ Scharrer, Tabea (16 June 2018). ""Ambiguous citizens": Kenyan Somalis and the question of belonging". Journal of Eastern African Studies. 12 (3): 494–513. doi:10.1080/17531055.2018.1483864. hdl:21.11116/0000-0001-F64C-5. ISSN 1753-1055. S2CID 149655820.
  56. ^ Weitzberg, Keren (25 July 2017), We Do Not Have Borders: Greater Somalia and the Predicaments of Belonging in Kenya, Ohio University Press, pp. 181–182, doi:10.2307/j.ctv224txv2.16, S2CID 240478166, retrieved 19 January 2022
  57. ^ Mushungulu at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  58. ^ "Glottolog 4.5 - Northeast Coastal Bantu". glottolog.org. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  59. ^ a b Contini-Morava, Ellen. 1997. Swahili Phonology. In Kaye, Alan S. (ed.), Phonologies of Asia and Africa 2, 841–860. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.
  60. ^ a b Swahili Language Handbook (PDF) (Report), archived (PDF) from the original on 27 November 2020, retrieved 12 September 2019
  61. ^ Modern Swahili Grammar East African Publishers, 2001 Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed p. 4
  62. ^ a b Lodhi, Abdulaziz Y. (2003). "Aspiration in Swahili Adjectives and Verbs" (PDF). Africa & Asia. 3: 157. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 July 2020.
  63. ^ "A Guide to Swahili – The Swahili alphabet". BBC. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  64. ^ a b Mutiua, Chapane. “Swahili Ajami: An Introduction.” Hypotheses, October 7, 2020. https://ajami.hypotheses.org/1089 (Archive.
  65. ^ a b c d e Omar, Y. A., & Frankl, P. J. L. (1997). An Historical Review of the Arabic Rendering of Swahili Together with Proposals for the Development of a Swahili Writing System in Arabic Script (Based on the Swahili of Mombasa). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 7(01), 55–71. doi:https://doi.org/10.1017/S1356186300008312
  66. ^ Jan Knappert (1971) Swahili Islamic poetry, Volume 1
  67. ^ a b Donnelly, K. (2015). Writing and transliterating Swahili in Arabic script with Andika. http://www.fluxus-editions.fr/grafematik2020-files/donnelly-document.pdf (Archive)
  68. ^ "Kevin Donnelly – CorCenCC – National Corpus of Contemporary Welsh".
  69. ^ Ellen Contini-Morava (1994) Noun Classification in Swahili.
  70. ^ See Contini-Morava for details.
  71. ^ See pp. 83-84 in Ghil'ad Zuckermann (2020), Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond, Oxford University Press Archived 25 November 2020 at the Wayback Machine ISBN 9780199812790 / ISBN 9780199812776.
  72. ^ a b See pp. 11 and 52 in Ghil'ad Zuckermann (2003), Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew, Palgrave Macmillan Archived 12 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine ISBN 9781403917232 / ISBN 9781403938695.
  73. ^ Kamil Ud Deen, 2005. The acquisition of Swahili.
  74. ^ a b H.E.Lambert 1956, 1957, 1958
  75. ^ a b Mulokozi, Mugyabuso M.; Sengo, Tigiti S. Y. (1995). History of Kiswahili Poetry, A.D. 1000-2000: A Report. Institute of Kiswahili Research, University of Dar es Salaam. ISBN 9789976911220. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  76. ^ Mathieu Roy (2013). KIAMU, archipel de Lamu (Kenya): Analyse phonétique et morphologique d'un corpus linguistique et poétique (French ed.).
  77. ^ a b "SOAS Swahili manuscripts". SOAS Swahili manuscripts. varia. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  78. ^ SACLEUX, Charles (1909). Grammaire des dialectes swahilis. Paris: Procure des PP. du Saint-Esprit. p. IX.
  79. ^ KNAPPERT, Jan (1979). Four centuries of Swahili verses. London: DARF PUBLISHERS.
  80. ^ Maho, Jouni Filip. "The online version of the New Updated Guthrie List, a referential classification of the Bantu languages" (PDF). brill.com. Brill. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  81. ^ "SOAS Swahili manuscripts". SOAS Swahili manuscripts. varia. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  82. ^ Derek Nurse; Thomas Spear; Thomas T. Spear (1985). The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800–1500. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780812212075. Archived from the original on 30 March 2021. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  83. ^ Swahili language at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  84. ^ Swahili language at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  85. ^ Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2007). Kenya: identity of a nation. New Africa Press. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-9802587-9-0. Archived from the original on 23 March 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  86. ^ Swahili language at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  87. ^ Fuchs, Martina (5 October 2011). "African Swahili music lives on in Oman". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  88. ^ Beate Ursula Josephi, Journalism education in countries with limited media freedom, Volume 1 of Mass Communication and Journalism, (Peter Lang: 2010), p.96.
  89. ^ "Alamin Mazrui". Poetry Translation Centre. Retrieved 21 December 2023.
  90. ^ "Kithaka wa Mberia". Poetry Translation Centre. Retrieved 21 December 2023.
  91. ^ a b c Baraza la Kiswahili la Zanzibar (2010). Kamusi la Kiswahili Fasaha (in Swahili). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-573618-2. OCLC 800802371.
  92. ^ www.oxfordreference.com When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Consulted on 13 June 2021.
  93. ^ New York Times 26 March 1936
  94. ^ howafrica.com Animals - 27 Fascinating African Proverbs About Elephants, One of the Big 5 Animals 17. When elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. ~ Kikuyu Proverb. Consulted on 13 June 2021.
  95. ^ afriprov.org Nov. 2001 Proverb: ” When elephants fight the grass (reeds) gets hurt.” – Swahili ( Eastern and Central Africa ), Also Gikuyu ( Kenya), Kuria ( Kenya/Tanzania), Ngoreme (Tanzania). Consulted on 13 June 2021.
  96. ^ a b "Swahili Reading". mylanguages.org. Retrieved 21 December 2023.

Sources