THE KISWAHILI-BANTU RESEARCH UNIT FOR

 

THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE

 

Part 2

Embedded Meroitic and Bantu Cognates

 

Independently researched by FERG SOMO © 4th August 2009

 

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This is part 2 of the research on the Meroitic language which seeks to establish additional cognates between the Bantu and Meroitic languages. This work is based on the Meroitic vocabularies given by Claude Rilly’s research into the Meroitic language. Refer to:

http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-library/meroitic/rilly.htm

 

The table below lists the four set of words highlighted in green which have been shown to have cognates in Bantu languages. These were explored in part 1 of the investigation. Please refer to Part 1 of the investigation.

 

The two words under investigation are highlighted in red, -ARE and KED.

 

Claude Rilly’s table

 

ome Examples of Lexical Correspondences

Between Meroitic and North Eastern Sudanic

 

Meroitic

Proto-nes

Nara

Proto-Nubian

Proto-Taman

Nyima

are [e r]

*ar

"take"

(hind)

"take"

*aar-

"take"

ε r-

"buy"

-

dm-[d,am]

"take, receive"

*dom-

"pick up, take"

mem-

"pick up, take"

*dumm-

"pick up, take"

-

dumud-

"pick up"

hre [xar]

"meal"

*go(o)r

"eat (tough food)

-

goor

"gnaw"

-

t orom / kworom

"gnaw"

kdi [kadi]or[Kandi]

"woman"

*kari or *kandi

"woman"

kede

"sister"

*kari

"female"

-

ke r

"woman"

ked-[ked,]or[ke d,]

"slaughter"

*kod-

"slaughter"

kad-

"slaughter"

*n od-

"slaughter"

-

t ai- / kai-

"slaughter"

wle [wal]

"dog"

*wel

"dog"

(wos)

"dog"

*wel

"dog"

(*wiis)

"dog"

wtl (A)

"dog"

yer[era]or[ira]

"milk"

*er-

"milk","breast"

(sa)

"milk"

er-ti

"breasts"

(*sun)

"milk"

élo

"milk"

Apede-[e bed, e]

in Apede-mak

(mk "god")

*Ebede

"Creator God"

Ebbere

"God"

*Ebed-

"God"

-

Abidi

"Creator God"

 

The most revealing cognate that was researched in part 1 between Meroitic and Bantu was the discovery of the Bantu word KADI, a word used for a woman or wife derived from Proto-Bantu. Refer to Proto-Bantu table in part 1.

 

This is quite a significant find as the word KADI demonstrates vividly that its origin lies within Bantu languages. The discovery of this word has focussed the research to uncover further connections between cognates in Claud Rilly’s table.

 

KADI is still used in present day Bantu languages. A few examples are MU-KADI, MU- KAZI, etc. The only unaccountable cognates in Claude Rilly’s table are the words for ‘God’ and ‘milk’. However….

 

The Bantu word for milk, BERE does not have its cognate in Meroitic. This was pointed out by Alain Anselin. However BERE has its cognate in the Ancient Egyptian language, which will be analysed at a later date. There are many different words for ‘breast’ or ‘milk’ in Bantu languages.

 

THE LATEST BANTU WORD ‘IRA’ THE WORD FOR MILK

MATCHES THE MEROITIC WORD

 

The latest Bantu word IRIA, the word for ‘milk’ gives a good match with the Meroitic word YER or ERA. The word for milk in the KIKuyu-Bantu language is IRIA.

 

EXAMINING THE NARA AND PROTO-TAMAN WORD FOR MILK

The Nara word for ‘milk’ given as SA, in my opinion does not seem to be a near cognate when compared with Meroitic YER given in the table. Nor does the word SUN in Proto-Taman.

 

May I suggest that the word for milk SA could be connected to the Kiswahili-Bantu word for milk given as MA-SIWA, or MA-ZIWA. The prefix ‘MA’ denotes the plural for breast. SIWA or ZIWA is the word for a lake, pond or breast. We also have the word MA-SINI for milk in Rukwangali-Bantu and MA-SHI in Setswana-Bantu.

 

EXAMINING THE MEROITIC WORD ‘TAKE’ --ARE [ER]

 

The Bantu word ARRA from Kuria-Bantu means, to take off from, to remove from. We also have from Shona-Bantu the word ORA, to gather and dispose, pick up several things, collect, take and dispose, also TORA means, take, fetch, accept. The Proto-Taman word ER, ‘buy’ seems to be unconvincing. So is the Nara word HIND, ‘take’.

   

EXAMINING THE MEROITIC WORD FOR SLAUGHTER –‘KED’

 

The Meroitic word for slaughter may be addressed by observing the Ancient Egyptian definition for the word ‘slaughter’. Slaughter is conceptually defined in terms of the following words:  'wounds', 'gashes', 'cut', 'cut off', 'slay', 'smash'. The knife or sword  is always seen along the words which define slaughter.

 

Consider:    ua  to smite, to slay, smash

This is given as UA in Kiswahili-Bantu, to kill or smash, cut into pieces, destroy.

 

Consider: Faulkner page 313,

dm to cut, to pierce, cut off heads. This is given in Bantu as TEMA, or DEMA, cut, hew, slash. Consonants T or D are equivalent to the glyph

 

Consider:

dm-tknife, sword, the act of cutting, killing, slaying, the edge of a sword.

 

The Shona-Bantu word derived from TEMA is DEMO, means an axe for cutting.

 

THE PROTO-BANTU WORD ‘TO CUT’ - ‘KAD’

 

Proto-Bantu Table

 

MAIN

H (V)

 

KAD

TEAR, CUT

1659

 

déchirer, couper

 

Total Distribution:

Regions: 3: NW Ce SE

Zones: 7: B C D L N P S

 

MAIN

1659

KAD

H

V

TEAR, CUT

 

C D L

DER

1660

KADUD

H

V

TEAR

B L N P S

 

 

See also:

MAIN

1657

KAD

H

V

be bitter; be sour; be sharp; be fierce

D E G J

 

MAIN

L (V)

 

KED

CUT

 

1755

 

couper

 

 

Total Distribution:

Regions: 5: NW SW Ce NE SE

Zones: 13: B D E F G H J L M N P R S

 

 

MAIN

1755

K

KED

L

V

CUT

B D E F G H J L M N P R S

 

 

 

The Proto-Bantu word KAD, KED is given in Kiswahili-Bantu as KATA and translates into the following meanings:

 

KATA = ‘cut’, ‘sever’, ‘wound’,’ hurt’, ‘cut off’, ‘cut up’, ‘cut up in pieces’, ‘bring to an end’.

 

To sever in Kiswahili-Bantu = ‘break up in pieces’, hence ‘spoil’, ‘damage’, destroy’, ‘kill’.

 

Now compare the Meroitic word for slaughter KED, from the table above. It is becoming increasingly clear in the scheme of word comparisons, the Meroitic word KED is equivalent to KATA and is a cognate of the Kiswahili-Bantu word.

 

Claude Rilly’s table below include two new words which have cognates in Bantu.

 

Please refer to the source:

 

http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-library/meroitic/rilly.htm

 

DIME = Cow

 TKE = Love, Revere

 

SOME RECENTLY TRANSLATED MEROITIC WORDS

arohe- «protect» hr- «eat», pwrite «life», yer «milk» ar «boy», are- or dm- «take, receive», dime «cow», hlbi «bull», ns(e) «sacrifice>>, sdk «journey», tke- «love, revere», We «dog»

 

EXAMINING THE WORD FOR COW

 

In the Zulu-Bantu language the word DEMA, (AMA-DEMA) refers to the hump on the neck of a cow or beast, in particular to the Madagascan cattle called the Zebu cow seen below.

 

Thus DIME in Meroitic is equivalent to DEMA in Zulu-Bantu.

 

‘DEMA’ THE ZEBU AFRICAN COW

 

 

Consider next the word for love in the table above:

Meroitic  tke- «love, revere»,

EXAMAMINING THE WORD FOR LOVE

 

The word for ‘love’ in Meroitic may be derived from the Proto-Bantu table shown as TAK towards the end of the table, highlighted in red.

 

The Kiswahili-Bantu word TAKA, or SAKA in Luvale-Bantu, mean ‘want’, ‘wish for’, ‘desire’, ‘have a passion for’, ‘love’. This is a clear reflection on the Meroitic word given in Claude Rilly’s table above labelled ‘Some recent Meroitic words’. 

 

PROTO-BANTU ‘TAK’ desire, want, love

Proto-Bantu

 

 

L (V)

desire, wish; search for

418

CAK

désirer, souhaiter; chercher

 

Total Distribution:

Regions: 5: NW SW Ce NE SE

Zones: 13: A B C E F G H J K L N P S

 

MAIN

418

CAK

L

V

desire, wish; search for

A B C E F G H J K L N P

DER

427

CAKAN

L

V

play

H S

DER

428

CAKUD

L

V

choose

G K L S

DER

9630

CAKI

L

V

desire

C

INC

419

 CAK

L

V

search for

 

VAR

9606

*TAK

L

V

*desire, lack

ACG

 

 

PLENARY

 

The new Meroitic cognates examined in this study are for the following words, which have equivalent Bantu forms.

 

‘TAKE’, ‘SLAUGHTER’, ‘COW’, ‘LOVE’ and some cognates were compared to their Proto-Bantu forms.

 

The Bantu word for milk given as BERE has been revised to give the word IRIA, derived from the KiKuyu-Bantu language. This is in line with its Meroitic cognate given as YER or ERA.  The word for boy was examined and its near Bantu cognate was given in Part 1 as ARA, ‘the son of’ or MO-RA, son.

 

The Meroitic word for God has still to be resolved. This is the next piece of work I shall be exploring in Part 3 of the investigation.

 

Judging from the vocabularies under consideration there appears to be a high proportion of Bantu words embedded within the Meroitic language. I hope the new discoveries explored in this paper will lead to new research in the field of Meroitic vocabulary.

 

Claude Rilly’s table now looks as shown below with known Bantu cognates highlighted in blue.  

 

Some Examples of Lexical Correspondences

Between Meroitic and North Eastern Sudanic

 

Meroitic

Proto-nes

Nara

Proto-Nubian

Proto-Taman

Nyima

are [e r]

 

BANTU ‘ARRA’

 

*ar

"take"

(hind)

"take"

*aar-

"take"

ε r-

"buy"

-

dm-[d,am]

"take, receive"

BANTU ‘DUMA’

 

*dom-

"pick up, take"

mem-

"pick up, take"

*dumm-

"pick up, take"

-

dumud-

"pick up"

hre [xar]

"meal"

BANTU

 ‘HURA’

 

*go(o)r

"eat (tough food)

-

goor

"gnaw"

-

t orom / kworom

"gnaw"

kdi [kadi]or[Kandi]

"woman"

BANTU

‘KADI’

 

*kari or *kandi

"woman"

kede

"sister"

*kari

"female"

-

ke r

"woman"

ked-[ked,]or[ke d,]

"slaughter"

BANTU:

 ‘KATA’

 

*kod-

"slaughter"

kad-

"slaughter"

*n od-

"slaughter"

-

t ai- / kai-

"slaughter"

wle [wal]

"dog"

BANTU:

‘WA’

 

*wel

"dog"

(wos)

"dog"

*wel

"dog"

(*wiis)

"dog"

wtl (A)

"dog"

yer[era]or[ira]

"milk"

BANTU KIKUYU

‘IRIA’

 

*er-

"milk","breast"

(sa)

"milk"

er-ti

"breasts"

(*sun)

"milk"

élo

"milk"

Apede-[e bed, e]

in Apede-mak

(mk "god")

*Ebede

"Creator God"

Ebbere

"God"

*Ebed-

"God"

-

Abidi

"Creator God"

 

The tables used are from:

 

http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-library/meroitic/rilly.htm

 

Please feel free to analyse and criticise this investigation. Any references to the Bantu input of the work should include the source of the research, Ferg Somo, The Kiswahili-Bantu Research Unit for the Advancement of The Ancient Egyptian Language.

 

  | Email Me | References | Back to Contents |

 

Independently researched by FERG SOMO © 4th August 2009