Sotho Parts of Speech

Sotho Parts Of Speech


  • Phonology
    • Tonology
  • Grammar
  • Orthography


  • The orthography used in this and related articles is that of South Africa, not Lesotho. For a discussion of the differences between the two see the notes on Sesotho orthography.
  • Hovering the mouse cursor over most italic Sesotho text should reveal an IPA pronunciation key (excluding tones). Note that often when a section discusses formatives, affixes, or vowels it may be necessary to view the IPA to see the proper conjunctive word division and vowel qualities.

The Sesotho parts of speech convey the most basic meanings and functions of the words in the language, which may be modified in largely predictable ways by affixes and other regular morphological devices. Each complete word in the Sesotho language must comprise some "part of speech."

There are basically twelve parts of speech in Sesotho. The six major divisions are purely according to syntax, while the sub-divisions are according to morphology and semantic significance.

Parts of speech
  1. Substantives signify concrete or abstract concepts:
    1. Nouns
    2. Pronouns
  2. Qualificatives qualify substantives:
    1. Adjectives
    2. Relatives
    3. Enumeratives
    4. Possessives
  3. Predicatives signify an action or state connected with the substantive:
    1. Verbs
    2. Copulatives
  4. Descriptives describe qualificatives, predicatives, or other descriptives:
    1. Adverbs
    2. Ideophones
  5. Conjunctives introduce or join up sentences
  6. Interjectives are exclamations

As a rule, Bantu languages do not have any prepositions or articles. In Sesotho, locatives are inflected substantives and verb imperatives are treated as interjectives. The division of the four qualificatives is dependent solely on the concords that they use. Cardinals are nouns but are given a separate section below.

In form, some parts of speech (adjectives, enumeratives, some relatives, some possessives, and all verbs) are radical stems which need affixes to form meaningful words; others (copulatives, most possessives, and some adverbs) are formed from full words by the employment of certain formatives; the rest (nouns, pronouns, some relatives, some adverbs, all ideophones, conjunctives, and interjectives) are complete words themselves which may or may not be modified with affixes to form new words. Therefore the term "word classes" instead of the somewhat more neutral "parts of speech" would have been somewhat of a misnomer.

Read more about Sotho Parts Of Speech:  Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Relatives, Enumeratives, Cardinals, Verbs, Copulatives, Adverbs, Ideophones, Conjunctives, Interjectives

Other articles related to "sotho parts of speech":

Sotho Parts Of Speech - Interjectives - Imperatives
... The rules for the formation of the singular imperative are as follows Verbs with more than one syllable are used without any modification matha run! Most monosyllabic verbs may either suffix -a or prefix e- -tswa exit ⇒ etswa! / tswaa get out! The verbs -re (say), -ya (go), and -ba only use the prefix -re say ⇒ ere The imperative of the verb -tla (come) is tloo Sometimes an epenthetic h or y may be inserted between the two a's or o's for emphasis ... The negative may be formed in several ways By prefixing se- to the basic verb and changing the final -a to -e -ja eat ⇒ eja / jaa eat!, se je do not eat! By using se- with the infix -ka- with no change in the verb's final vowel -kena enter ⇒ se ka kena don't come in! A commonly used negative, although technically not an interjective (as it contains a subjectival concord) is made by employing the (inflected) Group IV deficient verb -ke in the subjunctive mood (that is, with the "auxiliary concord" prefixed to the main verb) ...

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