iziGaba zamaBizo

I am on a quest – to define and refine and redefine the inclusion criteria for each of the iziGaba zamaBizo (Noun Classes) of isiZulu. As such, I will be writing sections on each of them, looking at their different inhabitants. Please be aware that this is my personal interpretation of them – not Meinhof’s, or Doke’s, or Nyembezi’s.

To begin with, here is an overview of the Noun Classes. Below is a list of them, which has some links to blogs illustrating the practical(ish) implications of them.


amaBizo esiGaba sabaNtu – Human Noun Class

amaBizo esiGaba semiThi nemiFula – Simple Solid Noun Class

amaBizo esiGaba seLanga namaNzi – Simple Fluid Noun Class

amaBizo esiGaba sesAndla neziKhumba nesiNtu – Complex Solid Noun Class

amaBizo esiGaba sezinKomo neziNyanga – Seasonal Noun Class

amaBizo esiGaba soluJu noThando neziNwabu – Complex Fluid Noun Class

amaBizo esiGaba soBuntu nobuBi noTshwala – Essential Noun Class

amaBizo esiGaba sokuDla nokuBa nokwEnza – Verbal Noun Class

4 thoughts on “iziGaba zamaBizo

  1. Emily Franklin says:

    I’m doing a project on ideophones and sound symbolism in Zulu,
    I was wondering whether you had any recordings or anything, would be a great help!

    • Hi there! Yes, I have quite a bit of stuff. I assume you’ve seen the Ideophones section in Doke’s Handbook of Zulu Grammar? It’s awesome. I can send it to you, although you’ll need dropbox.

  2. Emily Franklin says:

    Hey! Yes, I’ve read that section of Doke’s handbook of Zulu grammar. Thank you for that! Do you think you could send me some recordings? I’d be very grateful!!

  3. Emily Franklin says:

    actually… if you could send me that section doke’s grammar then that would be great, someone else has taken it out of the library so i can’t get hold of it! My name is emily franklin, my e-mail is 535977@soas.ac.uk

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