Appendix:Proto-Benue-Congo reconstructions

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Proto-Benue-Congo reconstructions from de Wolf (1971) and Blench (2004) are given below.

de Wolf (1971)[edit]

The following list of Proto-Benue-Congo reconstructions is from de Wolf (1971: 53-59).

Gloss Proto-Benue-Congo
animal/meat *-nama
arm/hand *-boko
armpit *-kpakpapa
arrow *-bano
back *-duma
bark/husk/skin *-kpaga
bee *-gwodi
beer *-kiam
belly *-bumu
belly *-mani
black *-zida
blood *-zi
blood *-luŋ
body *-bekot
body *-zudu
bone *-kupe
bow *-tas
brains *-podo
breast *-bani
buffalo *-zati
buffalo *-poŋ
calabash *-kono
calabash *-tema
calabash *-gbede
calabash *-do
canoe/boat *-kpaŋe
canoe/boat *-atumu
cat *-kpandema
charcoal *-kalaŋ
charcoal *-bide
charcoal *-tiadana
cheek *-tama
cheek *-kweŋge
chief *-kwomo
chief *-tudo
child], (boy, young man, youth) *-ŋgwana/*-bana
chin *-leku
compound/farm *-kwan
cord/rope/liana *-digi
corpse *-komon
cow *-nak
crab *-kala
crocodile *-wame
crocodile *-zibu
crocodile *-kute
day *-tien
day *-tiane
dew *-miŋ
dew *-bude
drum *-kama
drum *-bina
dust/earth/mud *-bubu
ear *-tuŋi
earth/ground *-tie
egg *-kiŋ, *-tiŋ
elephant *-ni
elephant *-zon(om)
excrements *-biŋ
eye *-lito
face/forehead *-su
fat/grease/oil *-kud
fat/grease/oil *-nai
father *-itu
father (probably with Ø-prefix) *-tata
fear *-bogo
fire *-zwuŋi
fire *-lilo (±)
firewood *-mwene
firewood *-kwoni
firewood *-tukot
fish *-sidi
fish *-kote
fly *-zin
forehead *-tini
forest/bush *-kodi
forest/bush *-kit (±)
forest/bush *-gbek
forest/bush *-dumo
fowl/chicken *-nkuba
fowl/chicken *-nono
friend *-tiende
frog/toad *-boto
gall *-zili
ghost/God/spirit *-seli
goat *-bwoni
goat *-kpeba
goat *-gbale
God *-base
grasshopper *-tadek
grasshopper *-kiuku
groundnut *-piri (±)
guest *-kena
guineafowl *-kaŋga
guineafowl *-ziŋin
hair *-godo
head *-to
headpad *-kata
heart *-temu
heavy *-tik
hide/bark/skin *-pu (±)
hoe *-gbadi
hole/pit *-bonV (±)
honey *-toŋi
horn/tusk *-tano
house *-ntabu
house *-zu
house *-tumba
hunger *-zana
jaw *-baŋga
knee *-duno
knee *-kudu
knife *-pi
leaf *-wade
leg/foot *-kudu
leg/foot *-kpel (±)
leg/foot *-bona
leopard *-kpoŋi
life *-guma
lizard *-gondol
lizard *-pame
load *-son
lung *-pupu
man *-lume
mat *-putu
mat *-kpaŋga
medicine man *-bok
medicine *-kal
milk *-mino
monkey *-bogu
monkey *-kama
month/moon *-pele
month/moon *-kondi
mosquito *-munan (±)
mother *-nina
mother (probably with Ø-prefix) *-mama
mother (your ~) *-noko
mountain *-kwol
mountain *-bal
mushroom *-gbub (±)
nail *-kiada (±)
name *-zina
navel *-kwop (±)
neck/nape *-melu
neck/nape *-toto
night/day *-tuno
nose *-zua
oil/palm oil *-nawi
pain/ache *-dane
palm tree *-tende
palm tree *-pide
palm tree *-bonu
palm wine *-tuk
part/piece *-tun
path/road *-toku
path/road *-gbenda
person *-neto
pestle *-todi
pig *-kumba
pond/pool/lake *-zugi
rain/rainy season *-bakoli
rain/rainy weather *-mbaŋ
river *-tiana
rock/stone *-tadi
rock/stone *-pandi
rock/stone *-kwata
root *-nan
saliva *-(n)tati
salt *-nunu
salt *-mu
scorpion *-nan
scorpion *-get
sheep *-gun- (±)
sheep *-tiaŋe
shoulder *-peŋga
slave *-kpan
slave *-sam
snake *-noko
snake *-kpi
spear *-kwoŋga
stick/whip *-ti
sun *-zuba
sun *-z(w)ana
tail *-zum
tail *-kila
tail *-tiad
tears *-zini
thief *-zibudi
thief *-taŋ
thigh/leg/foot *-tak
thigh *-nama
thing *-kiaŋ
thing *-goma
thorn *-zibo
throat/voice *-mado
throat/voice *-toŋo
throat/voice *-zosi
throat/voice *-kodoŋ
time *-tani
tongue *-lemi
tongue *-lake
tooth *-nini, *-nino
tooth *-sana
tooth *-gaŋgo (±)
tortoise *-kulu
tree *-titi
tree *-kwon
twin *-pata
war/quarrel *-kondu
war/quarrel *-ta
water *-izi (±)
water *-ni (±)
wife *-nianin
wind *-pepod
wing *-babaŋ, *-pabaŋ
witch *-tieŋu
witchcraft *-tieŋu
woman *-kwazi
woman (possibly the same stem as that for mother) *-nine, *-nene, *-nina
work *-tomo
work *-pone
yam *-kod
year *-zag

Blench (2004)[edit]

The following list of Proto-Benue-Congo quasi-reconstructions is from Blench (2004).

Number Quasi-reconstruction Gloss
1. #pob- roast, cook, burn
2. #du to fall (as rain)
3. #eje food, porridge, to eat
4. #eje egg
5. #yo to dance, jump
6. #bu to roar, groan
7. #-daN- fruit-bat
8. #-dul- large river
9. #ZiN red
10. #-fu[pu] handle (of tool etc.)
11. #-ka- to break, cut
12. ekãta head-pad
13. #-ka ring
14. #-kala bush, forest
15. #keNkere scorpion
16. #kí to salute
17. #-ko fist
18. #ko(no) sing
19. #-kwo soap
20. #-koo belly
21. #kpolo toad
22. #i-[k]ye[re] cereal grain
23. #-kuu seed
25. #-tiN story, riddle
26. #voN rot
27. #a-kpaNVa bridge
28. #-ba- to scold, to ridicule
32. #bi#b to slice
36. #bip- ask
52. #-fEN rat sp.
57. #-gba weaver bird
68. #gbogom- baboon
70. #kaNa roast, fry
78. #kpa to think
92. #-lo antelope
135. #wa to want, desire
145. #(n)-(g)yati buffalo
196. #rV to rot
204. #-del beard
218. #-mbal- water
226. #ta to think
230. #-bV to rot
245. #-fur- vagina
293. #dí to see, look
87. #kuS- to wash
307. #mana salt

References[edit]

  • de wolf, Paul. 1971. The Noun-Class System of Proto-Benue-Congo. Janua Linguarum. Series Practica 167. The Hague: Mouton.
  • Blench, Roger. 2004. The Benue-Congo languages: a proposed internal classification. Unpublished manuscript.
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