Report of the proceedings of Zulu Orthography Conference held at Durban, Natal, South Africa, May 29, 30, 31, 1907

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Report of the proceedings of Zulu Orthography Conference held at Durban, Natal, South Africa, May 29, 30, 31, 1907
Conference on Zulu Orthography (Durban, South Africa)
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P. Davis and Sons
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Zulu language -- Orthography and spelling -- Congresses ( LCSH )
Temporal Coverage:
- 1911
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- South Africa -- KwaZulu-Natal -- Pietermaritzburg
-29.616667 x 30.383333

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SOAS University of London
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SOAS University of London
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This item is licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial License. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.
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Y Zulu A 55 /34813 ( SOAS classmark )
429777 ( aleph )


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Zulu Orthography Conference



MAY 29, 30, 31, 1907.

Pietermaritzburg :





Zulu Orthography Conference



MAY 29, 30, 31, 1907.

Pietermaritzburg :




Opening Address, by C. J. Mudie, Esq, Superin-
tendent of Education....................... 8

Chairman’s Introductory Address................. 14

Preliminary Business............................ 16

Reports of Committees........................... 16

Rules as drawn up by Orthography Committee ... 18

The Debate:

Rule I.................................... 20

Rule II................................... 74

Rule III.................................. 75

Rule IV................................... 78

Rule V.................................... 78

Rule VI................................... 78

Rule VII.................................. 79

Rule VIII................................. 79

Rule IX................................... 80

Rule X............................... 81 & 85

Rule XI................................ 83

Rule XII............................... t 88

Rule XIII. ........................... ‘ 91

Rule XIV.............................. 93

Rule XV................................. 94

Rule XVI.................................. 95

Rule XVII................................. 98

Rule XVIII. .............................. 98

Rule XIX.................................. 99

Proposed New Rules........................... 99

Rules as finally passed and Revised by Committee 111
Balance Sheet................................ 114


The purpose of the Conference is clearly set forth in
the admirable opening address delivered by the Superin-
tendent of Education. However, a brief foreword, by
way of explanation, is needed for those, other than Dele-
gates, into whose hands this report may come.

Every civilised language existed for centuries before
it was written or printed. Then, it was merely a spoken
language. However, in the process of time the desire
to represent the spoken language in writing led to the
discovery of the science of Phonetics, which, in due
course, led to that of Alphabetics.

In the initial stages of the written language little or
no attention was paid to the division of either sentences or
words, the science of Grammar being as yet undeveloped.
However, as this science came to be recognised there arose
the necessity of bringing the written language into har-
mony with its various branches, as:—Orthography,
Etymology and Syntax, and so represent the language on
the written or printed page as to be easily comprehended
by the eye as the spoken language by the ear. A com-
parison of the manner in which Hebrew, or even Eng-
lish, was at first written or printed, with the manner in
which it is written or printed to-day, will make this
abundantly clear.

The Zulu language, although reduced to writing
within the last 70 years only, has proved no exception to
the above process of development. And this is especially
noticeable in the writing of those Natives who have
acquired the knowledge of that art, but to whom the
Grammar of their own language is almost an entirely un-
known quantity. Indeed, it is abundantly evident in the
writing of many Europeans whose avocation requires their
using the Zulu language, but whose knowledge of its
grammatical construction is very imperfect. It will,
therefore, be readily recognised that the reading of the
written or printed page had, in the absence of a standard
system of writing, become distinctly a problem.

The Natal Missionary Conference were the first to
attempt to bring order out of the existing confusion by
appointing a Zulu Orthography Committee, to whom,
after some experience, it became evident that, they alone,
would be able to accomplish but little, and so proposed


the calling together of a Conference on the subject, at
which the various Missionary Societies, the Government,
and others concerned should be represented, and thus
unitedly seek to establish order in the direction needed by
the adoption of a standard method of writing the language
under consideration.

The proposal was adopted, and a general Conference
was called to meet at Durban on September 6, 1905.
Three days were spent in discussion of the subject, but
without definite result. Recognising the need of more
careful study of the subject, it was resolved to call a
second Conference, to meet at Pietermaritzburg the fol-
lowing year. This was duly held, and was more largely
attended than that of the previous year. Four days
were spent in discussion, but, again, without satisfactory
decisions being arrived at. Finally, a Committee, con-
sisting of twelve members of Conference, to prepare a set
of Rules to be presented to a further meeting of Delegates
for approval, was appointed. These Rules are printed
on the adjoining inset, and formed the basis of discussion
at the Conference of which this is the abridged Report.
The Rules, as finally passed, will be found at the end of
the book.

To Delegates, a word of explanation as to the late
appearance of this Report is due

The Executive Committee deputed the work of
abridgment to the Secretary; but when that work was
only partially done his health failed, and he was obliged
to drop all work and seek rest and recuperation.

Hence the delay, which is much regretted, but
caused through circumstances over which we could have
no control.


Hon. Secretary.

Durban, October, 1911.

May 29, 30, and 31, 1907.


On the motion of Mr. Blake, seconded by Mr. Wil-
cox, the report of the Executive Committee, from which
the following extracts are taken, was received: —

question as to the form in which the Proceedings of this
Conference should be issued was discussed at considerable
length, and your Committee felt that, as the work of .the
Conference was, at the present stage, so incomplete, it
would be unwise, even if funds permitted, to print them
in full. Your Committee, therefore, decided that the
matter in hand should be condensed as much as possible
and the result issued in the form of a small pamphlet for
the use of Delegates only. A small sub-Committee was
appointed to carry this into effect; but at a subsequent
meeting it was agreed, as being most satisfactory to those
concerned, if they would undertake the abridgment of
their own papers and speeches. Accordingly your Secre-
tary was instructed to send the various papers and tran-
scripts of speeches to their respective owners for this pur-
pose. This was done, and the pamphlet now in the hands
of Delegates is the result, and we trust meets with your

ENCE.—When discussing the arrangements for the pre-
sent Conference, the question of the advisability of adding
to the number of Delegates was introduced; but it was
considered inadvisable to increase the number. How-
ever, the following names were substituted for others who
were unable to attend:—Mr. Gebers, Assistant Inspector
of Native Schools, Rev. Mr. Aitchison, junr., and the
Rev. Amos Mtshali.

“The thanks of Conference are due to the Committee
of Management of the Y.M.C.A. for kindly granting the
use of this Hall, the only cost being that of lighting at
our evening sittings.—J. Stuart, Chairman; F. Suter,

Mr. Moodie, in the absence of Mr. Moe (Convener),
read the report of the Committee of Ways and Means,


dated 25th May, 1907, which was thereupon received. It
was as follows : —

“At the meeting of this Conference last year the fol-
lowing instructions were given to the Committee of Ways
and Means: —

“1. That the Committee be instructed to canvass for
contributions for the purpose of meeting the present and
future liabilities of the Conference, especially appealing
to those who take an interest in Mission work and parti-
cularly in the objects of this Conference.

“2. That the Committee be instructed to request the
various Mission Societies represented at this Conference
or those who have accepted invitations thereto, including
the Government, to make such contributions.

“Acting upon these instructions, subscription lists
were placed in the hands of the members of the Commit-
tee and various other persons who, it was thought, would
interest themselves in the objects of the Conference.

“Letters of appeal were also sent to the various Mis-
sion Societies of the Colony and to Delegates at large.

“Later, acting upon a suggestion by one of the Dele-
gates, subscription lists were sent to all the Magistrates
with a request that they might be placed in their offices
for public contributions.

“The Government was approached as instructed and
entertained the appeal for financial aid sympathetically, a
substantial sum being sent in due course in response

“On the whole, the result of the Committee's labours
may be regarded as satisfactory, although in quite a
number of cases their efforts to obtain contributions
proved unsuccessful. The contributions received from
the Mission Societies amounted to £71 13s.; the Govern-
ment contributed £20; the amounts received from Magis-
trates totalled £19 14s., and from others £25 4s. 6d., the
grand total being £136 11s. 6d. This result in the pre-
sent time of serious financial depression is gratifying.

“All contributions have been suitably acknowledged.

“It was thought that it would be best to place the
moneys in the Government Savings Bank, and all contri-
butions have been paid into that institution.

“The expenses paid up to date amount to £61 6s., £5
of which was paid by a friend and £56 6s. out of the Con-
ference funds, leaving a balance in hand (including in-
terest up to June, 1906), of £80 8s. Id.


“The best thanks are due to the Rev. A. M. Hof-
meyr, the Rev. W. R. Moodie and Miss Samuelson for
their services as members of the Committee, more espe-
cially to Miss Samuelson.

“The assistance of the Rev. R. Blake, as well as of
the Magistrates and all others who so kindly co-operated
in the efforts to obtain subscriptions is also gratefully

“In regard to the contributions, it is thought but
right to make particular mention of those received from
the Government, £20; from the Hanoverian Mission
Society, £15; from the American Zulu Mission, £10;
and from the Natal Missionary Conference, £7 10s., as
deserving of special recognition.—L. Moe.”

A letter was read from Mr. Moe resigning Convener-
ship of the Executive Committee. His resignation was
accepted with regret.

Mr. Wilcox presented the report of the Zulu Ortho-
graphy â–  Committee embodying the draft rules, printed
herein on page 18.



Delegates present: —

Astrup, Rev. J., Church of Norway.

Baker, A. W., S. A. Compounds and Interior Mission.
Blake, Rev. R., Dutch Reformed Church.

Buckner, Rev. I., Roman Catholic Church.

Bryant, Rev. A. T., Delegate at large.

Chater, Rev. J. G., Church of Province of jS.A.
Colenso, Miss H. El, Delegate at large.

Cross, J. W., Delegate at large.

Emanuelson, Rev. 0., Swedish Zulu Mission.

Eriksen, Rev. S., Norwegian Mission Society.
Goodenough, Rev. H. D., American Zulu Mission.
Hofmeyr, Rev. A. M., Dutch Reformed Church.
Jackson, C. G., Delegate at large.

Johannsen, Rev. K. J., Swedish Zulu. Mission.
Kempe, Rev. A. R., Church of Sweden.

Mayr, Rev. Pr. F., Roman Catholic Church.
Minkner, Rev. E., Berlin Mission.


Moodie, Rev. W. R., U. F. Church, Scotland.
Nilsson, Rev. H., Swedish Zulu Mission.

Norenius, Rev. J. E., Church of Sweden.

Pixley, Rev. S. C., American Zulu Mission.

Plant, R., Delegate at large.

Prozesky, Rev. C., Berlin Mission.

Reibeling, Rev. L., Hanoverian Mission.

Roach, Archdeacon F., Church of Province of S.A.
Ryff, Rev. J., Free Methodist Church.

Samuelson, R. C., Delegate at large.

Samuelson, S. 0., Government Delegate.
Samuelson, Miss, Church of Province of S.A.

Smith, Rev. C., Free Methodist Church.

Stavem, Rev. 0., Norwegian Mission Society.

Stead, N. 0. U., Delegate at large.

Stuart, J., Government Delegate.

Suter, Rev. F.,
Taylor, Rev. J. D., American Zulu Mission.

Weise, Rev. H., Hanoverian Mission.

Wilcox, Rev. W. C., Natal Missionary Conference.
Dube, Rev. J. L., Delegate at large.

Mdolomba, Rev. E., Delegate at large.

Msimang, S., Wesleyan Church.

Mtembu, Rev., Delegate at large.

Mtimkulu, Rev. A., Wesleyan Church.

Nyongwana, S., Delegate at large.

FIRST DAY, MAY 29, 1907.

The Conference proceedings were opened by prayer
from Archdeacon F. Roach.

The Secretary then called the roll, after which Mr.
J. Stuart, who occupied the chair, called upon Mr. C. J.
Mudie, Superintendent of Education, to deliver the open-
ing address.


Mr. Mudie, who was received with loud applause,
said : —I am in the position of having an honour thrust
on me in being asked to open a Conference on a subject
in which I am deeply interested, but of which I cannot
claim to have the expert knowledge possessed by the
majority of its members. The exigencies of an exacting
life in th* Public Service have precluded me from


acquiring more than a passing, and therefore imperfect,
knowledge of the Zulu language and its orthography, and
from more actively pursuing the study, begun in earlier
and more leisurely days, of the larger and more embrac-
ing science of philology; but my desire to know more
about the great Bantu family of languages, and to resume
the serious study of comparative philology, meagre and
problematical although its results on the whole have
proved, has but increased in proportion to what I feel I
have lost. My friend, Mr. Stuart, knowing my predilec-
tions in this matter, and feeling that the Education De-
partment, whose interests are so intimately bound up with
this question, should be directly represented at this im-
portant meeting, approached the Minister of Education,
with the result that my colleague, Mr. Plant, the Senior
Inspector of Native Schools, is here as the representative
of the Department to take part in the proceedings, and I
am here to address you. The Department appreciates
the honour and realises its obligations.

Articulate speech, together with the use of fire, is
said to be the most characteristic attribute of man. This
formula might be modified and extended to read thus :
'‘Articulate speech, together with the ability to use pen
or pencil, and to symbolise speech thereby, is the most
characteristic attribute of civilised man”; and, further,
"to symbolise speech in a definitely-fixed and academi-
cally-accepted form is one of the most characteristic attri-
butes of the educated man.” Defective orthography is
recognised by the majority of cultured people to be an in-
fallible criterion of the poorly educated, and many worthy
folk would rather have their character than their spelling
called in question; but, on account of the extraordinary
orthographical inconsistencies and anomalies in the Eng-
lish language, correct spelling is not a general accomplish-
ment even among educated people; and, for the same rea-
son, much valuable time is wasted in our schools in trying
to master what is after all only a means to an end, and
not a matter in itself of vital importance.

Our not very remote ancestors wrote each according
to his own fancy and the whim of the moment. They
were none too particular even with their own names ai^d
the names of the towns in which they lived, and monarchs
in this respect were no better than their subjects. The
illustrious and learned Queen Elizabeth wrote the word
“sovereign” in seven different ways, and her favourite
Leicester subscribed his own name in eight different ways.
In France, not so very many years ago, the educated


classes spelt by proxy, the press compositors holding their
general power of attorney in the matter, and thereby for-
tunately arresting the universal mobility of written speech
and congealing spelling into orthography. To spell
decently was held to be a mark of vulgarity, and to spell
abominably was not considered illiterate. Such an atti-
tude was not unknown in England, where even to-day in
certain circles, it is considered good form to drop the ter-
minal “g” in speaking words ending in “ing,” while on
the other hand, to be doubtful of the aspirate in speech is
universally held to be the attribute of the underbred.

As we all know, there is still room for vast improve-
ment in English orthography in not only simplifying the
spelling, improving it on phonetic lines, and rectifying
anomalies, but in fixing once and for all time one spelling
only for each word.

The educated English-speaking man of to-day has in
many cases to choose between two or more ways of spell-
in the same word. The danger of a little knowledge in
this regard was forcibly brought home to me only a few
weeks ago. A correspondent gravely wrote to say that a
head teacher in one of our Government schools was illiter-
ate and unfit for his post, as, in a circular issued to
parents, he had mis-spelt two words, namely, “forgo”
with an “e,” and enrolment with two “l’s.” The good
man, in his anxiety to expose the ignorance of this poor
official, and to prove his own erudition, was quite unaware
that even in his own long-crystallised and written lan-
guage many words are spelt in more ways than one.

Orthographical reformers have not been confined to
one tongue or one country. We read of them in the days
of the Roman Emperors, and during the last three hun-
dred years reforms in orthography have been proposed in
England and America; but, for various more or less
weighty reasons, appreciable headway has not been made.
It is of interest and importance to us in South Africa to
learn that a successful attempt has just been made to sim-
plify Dutch orthography, and the new spelling is receiv-
ing much encouragement. On the other hand, the latest
experiment of the President of the United States to sim-
plify English spelling met with a storm of opposition and
vituperation oh both sides of the Atlantic. Even in
Shakespeare’s day the cacographical iconoclast did not
find much favour. In “Much Ado About Nothing”
Benedick, in speaking of Claudio, voices the general
opinion of the hostile camp when he says :—“He was wont.


to speak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man
and a soldier; and now is lie turned orthographer; his
words are a very fantastical banquet just so many strange
dishes.” And the schoolmaster in "Love’s Labour Lost,"
like his confrere of the 20th Century, is loudest in his in-
vective of orthographical change. Holof ernes says: —
“I abhor such rackers of orthography as to speak dout,.
fine, when he should say ‘doubt’ det, when he should pro-
nounce, debt,—d, e, b? t, not d, e, t; he clepeth a calf,,
cauf; half, hauf; neighbour vocatur nebour; neigh abbre-
viated ne. This is abhominable, (which he would call
abominable) it insinuateth me of insanie."

The creation of an authoritative body like the French
Academy of Letters, whose business would be to control
and regulate the English language and reform its ortho-
graphy, seems to be tne only hope of ever bringing method
and order out of the present chaos, and the final solution
of this difficult question.

You are aware that a large body of enthusiasts have
gone further than your modest aspirations, and have
framed a universal language to be spoken and written on
scientific principles, a tongue for all people and all time,
which, if adopted, will solve all our linguistic difficulties,
and level for ever the Tower of Babel with the ground.

While the business of your Conference will include
neither the consideration of English nor of Dutch, and
while Esperanto will not trespass on your valuable time,
the languages mentioned, and others not referred to, with
their orthography and its guiding and governing rules,
have a bearing more or less direct on the South African
language which has brought you together, and they ought
to assist you in the deliberations you will engage in to-day
with a view of final rulings in the matter.

You have done much since you took this important
subject in hand in September, 1905. You have met more
than once in Conference and Committee, and you have
given much time and prolonged thought to the study of
Zulu and the cognate Bantu languages. At this junc-
ture, therefore, a general review of the question seems de-
sirable, and you will be good enough to consider my
remarks neither as gratuitous nor presumptuous, but as
coming from one anxious only to assist you and enable
you to arrive, if possible, at a unanimous verdict on the
disputed points.

The great authorities, from Boyce, who published his
Grammar in 1834, to Father Bryant, whose Dictionary is
not yet quite finished, and whom we are pleased to see


with us to-day, in writing in and on the language, have
each been a law to themselves. Quot homines tot sententiae.
No fixed system of orthography with well-defined and logi-
cal rules has been followed; but, broadly speaking, two
schools have evolved, and the members of the Conference
have ranged themselves on one side or the other. The
schools have been designated, but not quite appropriately,
the conjunctive and the disjunctive, the former and the
Government adopting, although not in entirety, the
orthography of Schroeder, Appleyard, and Colenso, and
the latter generally speaking that of Boyce, Grout, and
the American Bible. Your Committee, which is com-
posed of representatives of both parties, has done excel-
lent work. It has discussed in all its bearings each in-
stance in which reform was necessary, and where a case
was satisfactorily made out, it was adopted; and a pro-
visional code of rules has been submitted to you. It will
be seen from a study of these rules that both camps are
oractically of one mind on many points. For example,
in regard to the representation of the guttural sound and
the guttural click, of the aspiration of consonants, and of
the sounds ”ch” as in “church,” and “sh” as in “shall,”
and in regard to the use of the single instead of the double
“n” in many words, there are no two opinions. In the
other instances affecting letters merely, there is little or
no divergence of view, and the two parties meet on com-
mon ground. Again, both sides are conjunctivists in
agreeing that possessive particles shall be written together
with their nouns or pronouns, and that adjectival, adver-
bial and conjunctional phrases shall each be written as one
word. All agree that the verb infinitive with all the
^articles which may be included between the prefix and
the root shall be spelt as one word, that the enclitic par-
ticles shall act as suffixes, and that prefixes shall be joined
to their nouns. There is no difference of opinion in
treating the prepositions “na,” “nga,” “ku,” etc., as in
composition with the monosyllabic forms of the pronouns,
and in allowing that “w” shall alwavs be prefixed to the
pronouns “a” and “u” ; and “y” to “i” when in the accu-
sative case, and that the apostrophe should indicate the
elision of a vowel. Both sides also must and do recog-
nise that the fundamental and natural intention of spell-
ing is to phonetically symbolise the spoken language as
far as our imperfect alphabet will permit, and that it
would be unreasonable at this time of day to create a new
alphabet. And what is of the greatest importance, all


are in unison in recognising that the time has arrived to
adopt a uniform method of orthography, and end the con-
fusion which at present exists.

Prefixation, which constitute the original feature of
the languages of the Abantu, consists in placing before
the root or theme the syllable or syllables which modify
or define its meaning, and this is the salient point of
divergence between the two schools, and the crux of the,
situation. Should these syllables be treated as separate
entities, or should they be treated merely as prefixes that
cannot stand by themselves? The division of words is
the line of demarcation. The conjunctivist is strongly
of opinion that they should not be regarded as separate
words, and that they cannot stand by themselves, while
the disjunctivist just as firmly holds the diametrically
opposite view. The conjunctivist also holds that the true
value of this foreword or syllable has by degrees become
obscured, and that, as it is used merely to define and
determine the sense and to indicate the grammatical rela-
tionship it bears to the noun or verb whose meaning keeps
fulness and independence, it should therefore appear in
composition with the noun or verb. The Chinese ety-
mologists have named the independent word-root the
“full” word, and the modifying one the “empty,” $nd the
Celestial definition of Grammar is :—“A useful art which
enables us to distinguish full from empty words.” It is
round this empty word or prefix that the strife in Zulu
orthography rages; and, whether it should be written
separately or in conjunction, it is for this learned Con-
ference to decide.

The pamphlets issued as the result of the different
conferences and committee meetings, along with Mr.
Stuart’s brochure, Father Mayr’s criticisms, and the let-
ters that have appeared in the newspapers on the subject,
explain the tenets held by those most competent to know,
and they should materially assist you before this Con-
ference terminates to arrive at a modus scribendi which
will be acceptable to both parties and adopted by Govern-
ment. As a body of thinkers and scholars, confidence is
reposed in you. It lies in your power to save Zulu ortho-
graphy before it is too late, from the fate that has befallen
the orthography of many other languages, and to make it
phonetic and consistent, simple in form, easy to write,
and easy of apprehension by the eye. In your final de-
liberations you will remember that your difficulties are
few and not insurmountable, that a period of only seventy


years has elapsed since the language was first written, and
that the structure is still comparatively modern, and not
yet age-wrapt with the lichens of conservatism. It might
be possible where, as in this case, doctors disagree, to have
an eclectic system embodying the best views of both par-
ties; but, if this be impossible, and if after all your
trouble and labours there still remain a few points of
difference, it might be well to appoint, or to ask the Gov-
ernment to appoint, three or more independent literary
men to act as final arbiters.

Allow me, in conclusion, to wish you a satisfactory
consummation to your high endeavours and your great
and important task.

A hearty vote of thanks, moved by Mr. Wilcox, was
accorded Mr. Mudie for his very able and interesting


Mr. Stuart said: It gives me great pleasure to wel-
come, on behalf of the Executive Committee, all those
Delegates who have come to take part in this Conference
on Zulu Orthography. The Delegates of this Conference
are practically the same as those of last year, but each, no
doubt, brings added experience to this year’s meeting.
We also welcome heartily those of the public who have
honoured us by their presence this morning. We trust
they will be able to attend, not only this sitting, but any
or all of those that follow, and bring their friends with
them, for it is highly desirable, in the interest of the lan-
guage about to engage our attention, that everyone should
know what we are doing or, rather, attempting to do,
namely, to improve the orthography and establish a stan-
dard which will bring about uniformity in place of the
prevailing irregularity and confusion.

I am glad to inform you that the Executive Com-
mittee has been successful in obtaining the continued
friendly co-operation of the Government. Not only do
the former Delegates appointed by the Government con-
tinue to represent it, but we are fortunate enough to have
among us this year the Superintendent of Education him-
self. It was not without a good deal of persuasion that
Mr. Mudie consented to open the Conference; indeed, he
would not do it without special instructions. These in-
structions were duly issued by the Hon. Dr. Gubbins,
Minister of Education, with the result that, not only Mr.


Mudie, the head of the Education Department, is with
us, hut Mr. Plant, Senior Inspector of Native Education.
With such assistance, we feel the work we have in hand is
hound to prosper. It is essentially of an educational
character, and it is only right our deliberations should be
conducted with the full knowledge and co-operation of
that Department. Now that Mr. Mudie and Mr. Plant
have identified themselves with this movement, we hope
they will continue to do so until the difficult object in
view has been achieved.

There is no occasion for me to refer to the various
points of our discussion, for I presume that each Dele-
gate has read carefully the pamphlet in connection with
last year’s Conference, in which full information is given.
This pamphlet is, of course, the basis of the present Con-
ference, especially the rules therein contained. Some
member of the Committee will move the adoption of each
rule, after which discussion thereon will follow.

You will find in the Executive Committee’s report
one or two suggestions as to matters of procedure which
I know will have your consideration. The long discus-
sions we had last year broke up most of the ground we
have now to travel, consequently members should not re-
quire as much time for their speeches as they did last
year. Indeed, as there is much to be done, and this is
probably the last Conference that will be held, it is to be
hoped members will always endeavour to speak clearly
and concisely, and so take up no more of the time of the
Conference than is actually necessary.

Although the rules in the pamphlet are the basis of
discussion, it must be understood there are matters which,
for one reason or another, have not been provided for
therein. The Committee has only been able to meet occa-
sionally, consequently members must not think that the
rules given cover, or are intended by the Committee to
cover, the whole field. This being* so, after decisions
have been come to in regard to each rule given in the
pamphlet, the Conference will be called on to consider
various other supplementary ones, which members are at
liberty to propose. I would, however, urge that it be
clearly understood from the outset, that every motion
must be in writing, or Conference cannot take notice of
it, and suggest that motions be handed in to the Secre-
tary at any time before the subject they refer to is dis-
cussed, or during its discussion.

I feel this Conference is going to be a pleasant and a
useful one, helping one and all to understand more clearly


than before the extremely interesting problem we have
again met to discuss.

Chairman, continued :

I would like to say that Mr. Mudie, owing to many
other engagements, will, unfortunately, be unable to re-
main with us. We have already expressed our gratitude
to him for his most excellent paper, and, as I have already
stated, the fact of the Education Department being identi-
fied with our work can be only nothing except in its best

Mr. Mudie: It has given me great pleasure to come
here this morning to read my little paper. I appreciate
heartily the way in which you have received it and your
vote of thanks. I think my engagements to-day and this,
week will prevent me from attending the actual discus-
sions, but, on learning the results from your Chairman,.
I shall take as keen an interest in the whole subject as if
I were here to take part. (Applause.)



Mr. Stuart formally retired from the Chair, and did
not seek re-election.

Mr. Stavem moved the appointment of Mr. Baker as

Mr. Ericksen seconded.

Mr. Moodie moved the appointment of Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Baker seconded.

On a division, Mr. Baker was declared elected.

He thereupon took the chair.

On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr.
Bryant, Mr. Suter was unanimously re-elected Secretary.

On the motion of Mr. Emanuelson, seconded by Mr.
Rytf, Mr. Taylor was appointed Assistant Secretary.

Mr. Blake moved the reinstatement of the old Execu-
rive Committee until otherwise provided by this Confer-

Mr. Bryant seconded

Agreed to.

A Committee of Ways and Means was appointed con-
sisting of the following:—Messrs. Hofmeyr, Stead, Tay-
lor, with the last-named as convener.



It was agreed that any proposed new rules, other than
those already recommended by the Committee, be handed
in in writing.

Mr. Samuelson moved that Rule I. in the Ortho-
graphy Committee’s recommendations he discussed with-
out a time limit for speeches.

Mr. Bryant seconded.

This was carried by 16 votes to 13,

Archdeacon Roach moved, as regarded rules other
than No. I., that the proposer be allowed to speak fifteen
minutes and others seven minutes each.

Mr. Cross seconded.

Carried; in favour, 18; against, 16.

Conference unanimously passed a vote of thanks to
the Y.M.C.A. for welcome, privileges, and the use of

Mr. R. C. Samuelson asked leave to read a paper.

Miss Colenso moved that the paper be heard.

This was seconded; but, on a division, lost by 19 votes
to 17.

Archdeacon Roach moved that the Conference begin
with any rule other than rule 1. If they began with
rule 1, they would at once divide the Conference into two
hostile camps—conjunctivists and disjunctivists.

Mr. Hofmeyr seconded.

Mr. Wilcox pointed out the unwisdom of such a
course. That was the way they began at Pietermaritz-
burg, and he hoped that that experience would not be re-
peated. He moved as an amendment that rule 1 be
tackled first.

Mr. Stuart seconded, remarking that the first rule
was the crux of the whole question, and no good result
would be attained by taking the minor rules first.

The Secretary said if they did not take rule 1 at the
outset of the Conference, they would waste time and break
up without accomplishing anything. Practically the
only difference of opinion was on the first rule.

Mr. Blake thought they should take the bull by the
horns by beginning with rule 1.

A division resulted thus: For amendment, 32;
against, 3.



(As drawn up by the Zulu Orthography Committee, by
direction of Conference, 1906.)


1. The different Parts of Speech shall be written sep-
arately, except as modified by these Rules.

E.g. :—Ilanga li ya kanya; isinkwa ngi ya si
tanda; umuti u baba kakulu; abantu ba
mpofu; ba kona abantu; izwe li ka Mpande.

2. Whenever a coalescence of the final vowel of one
word with the initial vowel of the following word occurs,
as in the case of Possessive Particles, Prepositions, and
Relative Pronouns, the two words shall be written to-

E.g.:—Inja yomf ana ; u ngi tshaye ngenduku;
ukozi olupezulu.

3. Adjectival , Adverbial, Conjunctional, and Pre-
positional phrases shall be written as single words.

E.g.:—Olungileyo; ngokufanele; njengokuba;
ngapesheya, okwapezulu.

4. The Infinitive, with all the Particles which may be
included between the prefix and the root, shall be written
together as one word.

Ei.g. : —Ukutanda; ukumtanda; ukungamtandi;

5. Particles, acting as Enclitics, shall be affixed to the
words they follow.

E.g. :—Nakoke; hambani; umfula muni; u fun-
ani ? ba kulelapi ?

6. The prefix shall not be separated from its Noun.

E.g.:—Umuntu; indhlela; amabele.

7. The Reflexive Particle “zi” shall be united to the
Verb which it precedes.

E.g. :—Wa zisika ; sa zifaka ecaleni.

8. The Prepositions “na,” “nga,” “ku,” etc., shall
be written separately from the emphatic forms of the Pro-
nouns, but shall be joined to the monosyllable forms.

E.g. :—Ku yena; ku bona; kuye; ngaye; naye;
kubo; ngabo.


9. The Euphonic or Epenthetic letters, s, ng, w, and
y, shall he joined to the words they precede. W shall
always be prefixed to the pronouns “a” and “u,” and
“y” to “i,” when in the Accusative case.

E.g. :—U semfuleni; ngumuntu; ku yinkomo ;
amanzi u wa puzile; u wu bonile umuhlwa;
ka wu tandi lo muti; u yi tshayile inyoni..

10. The Apostrophe shall be used to indicate the
elision of a final vowel only.

E.g. :—Namp’ abantu; ngi fun’ ukudhla; ezami
n’ ezako; but—le nkomo ; leyo nkomo ; ku
muntu; a ngi na nto; a ku ko sinkwa; um-
fana ka Mpande.

The elision of the final vowel of the Pronoun or
Auxiliary Verb, coming before a Verb beginning with a
vowel, shall be indicated by an Apostrophe and the two-
words joined.

E.g. :—Ngi y’aka; w’enza ; u s’eze.

11. The Pronoun, Third Person Singular, Objective
Case, referring to persons, shall be written separately,,
without an Apostrophe.

E.g. :—Ngi ya m tanda.


12. The use of Capitals.—(1) The first letter of any
w’ord beginning a sentence.

E.g. Izulu l’omisile. Ilanga li balele.

(2) The first consonant of every Proper Noun.

E.g.:—Umteto ka Nkulunkulu; u hambile

(3) Where a Proper Noun begins a sentence, both its
initial vowel and the first consonant shall be capitals.

B.g. :—UTshaka no Dingane.

13. “H” shall be the sign to represent the guttural
sound in all its variations.

E.g. :—Hamba; hola ; habula; huba haha.


14. The Aspiration of consonants shall be indicated
by an “h” (following them) only where ambiguity is
likely to occur.

E.g. :—Bheka; bbala.

15. “Hx” shall represent the harsh sound known as
the “guttural click.”

E.g. :—Hxebula; ihxoha.

16. Instead of “ty,” “tsh” shall be used to represent
the sound of “ch” in “church,” “chance,” etc.

“Sh,” and not “ty,” shall be used to represent the
sound of “sh” in “shall,” “should,” etc.

E.g.:—Shiya; shuka.

17. One “n” only shall be used in words like “inja,”
“incwadi,” “inyoni,” instead of two, as found in Colenso’s
grammar and other works.

18. Foreign names, except where they have become
Zuluised, shall retain their original spelling: —

(a) In the case of persons—with the ordinary
prefix “u.”

E.g. :—UMaria.

(b) In the case of places—with the appropriate

E.g. :—ILondon; iWashington.

19. “Hl” and “s” after “n,” as in the words
“inhliziyo,” “insimbi,” shall not be substituted by “tl”
and “ts.”

E.g. :—Intliziyo ; intsimbi.



Mr. Blake said : We voted last year on the two ques-
tions, namely, whether the disjunctive or the conjunctive
method of writing Zulu should be adopted. We under-
stood that more or less the disjunctive principle was con-
tained in such works as those of Callaway, Schroeder, etc.,
and that Mr. Bryant was the leader of the conjunctivist
party. I voted with him, because I c"ould not see any
other point in a Bantu language to set off from except pro-


nunciation and accentuation. On the other hand, the
disjunctivists were pleading a principle which I could
not understand. I then challenged the members of the
Conference to give us a system, but they did not come to
any decision, hence there was nothing before us. When
we assembled in committee, I thought the very first time
we met that we were going to arrive at something which
the other people would call conjunctive. I thought we
would proceed from the one point, apparently the only
possible one—I mean pronunciation and accentuation;
but when you come to supply a set of rules it is different.
Take, for instance, the parody of these rules, drawn up
and circulated by one of the members of the Conference,
who cannot draw up rules for himself. You go and teach
this conjunctive system; you find you can’t do it. That
is the trouble I was confronted with in Nyanja. You are
not able to interpret pronunciation minutely. The ears
of the public are not honest enough for that. When you
listen to the pronuncation of the same Zulu words by
different individuals, you wonder whether your ears have
deceived you or not. I am not inconsistent, yet the
rules now put forward give us a point to start from. Why
do I agree with them? We are starting from the parts
of speech and taking the principles of grammar and syn-
tax rather than hearing; we are going right inside the
Zulu brain. We start from their thought rather than
their lips, and J say that the difficulty is that the White-
man’s ears are not honesjt enough—not capable enough;
his lips are not fit, nor is his throat. When the white-
man pronounces Zulu, do you think his ear could be
trusted? I heard of a man who said “Amazwi zingaki.”
(Laughter.) That, however, is an extreme. If you stick
only to the phonetic method, the consistent outcome is
Colenso; but Colenso is too big a mouthful; it is huge—
unteachable. If, on the other hand, you take the ultra-
disjunctivists, you find single letters standing alone, such
as “i” and “1.” I said, where is this going to end? In
my own mind, I reason this way :—I agree that synthesis,
euphony, the whole question of phonetics and accentua-
tion are very important in the Bantu languages. I have
studied only two deeply, but have compared several others
and in all phonetics play a very great part. We cannot
do away with phonetics. We cannot do away with accen-
tuation. But you have got to teach the language. You
must get at something deeper, something that will stand
on paper alone and be read easily. Therefore we must


admit the principle of syntax and grammar. There is
another element—call it a principle, or what you will.
There is a factor in this matter which weighed very
much with me, and that is utility. Co-conjunctivists, as
we were last year, let us drop the terms “con junctivists”
and “disjunctivists,” and take one thing—utility. What
system will he possible for teaching the language? I
think rule 1 is one with which you will all agree,
namely, that the different parts of speech be written
separately, as modified afterwards, that is to say, modi-
fied by the principles of euphony and accentuation, modi-
fied, if necessary, to a great extent, but kept within the
bounds of practical utility. We are not inconsistent
in these rules. We have adopted a principle. One mem-
ber of the Committee has been led by this principle
farther than the others, but for my own part I was
satisfied to accept the rules after giving due consideration
to the three principles referred to. Taking this first
rule as the basis, and noticing that modifications of the
second and other rules, I plead with you to accept it and
say it is grammatical, it is scientific. Let us all join to-
gether and say that the Bantu languages all start from the
point of the parts of speech. Let us join issue on that. Of
course I know that some people will put tremendous force
on the principle of accentual 'on. For years I myself
have been guided by that alone, and I say it is not teach-
able. I therefore plead with you to adopt this rule as
it stands with its examples. «The speaker then moved
rule 1 as follows: —

“The different parts of speech shall be written
separately, except as modified by these
rules/’ E.g.—Ilanga li ya kanya; isinkwa
ngi ya si tanda; umuti u baba kakulu;
abantu ba mpofu; ba kona abantu; izwe
li ka Mpande.

Mr. R. C. Samuelson: My address will be fairly
long, but if it is too long it can be taken over in writing
by the Secretary. It is mainly kicking the football
started rolling by Mr. Stuart, and then it makes sugges-
tions as to what should be done. I stand here in oppo-
sition to the first rule being carried as it is, although
I agree with some of the remarks made by Mr. Blake. I
shall proceed to read a criticism of the pamphlet of my
friend, Mr. Stuart, and end up with certain suggestions


as to what should be done in addition to what has been
done by Colenso.

Chairman : You will have to get the permission of
the Conference to read a paper. Is it the wish of the
Conference that he should do so?

After discussion, the Conference agreed to Mr.‘Sam-
uelson reading his paper.

I will now proceed to suggest certain points for the
correct writing of the Zulu language as I have known it
spoken and written ever since I was born. At the very
outset I say I am a C'onjunctivist, and support Dr.
Colenso’s method of writing Zulu. I am not, however,
a blind supporter of this method, and am open to fall
in with anything reasonable in the way of amendments-
of that method.

I admit that this method requires improvements,
some of which I will suggest; but in the main it is the
true, useful and natural method for the Zulu language,
used by people who think peculiarly and quite differently
to us.

The Conjunctive method recognises three guiding
principles for speaking and writing the Zulu language,
i.e., accent, enunciation, and meaning. These are the
principles underlying the orthography of all languages :
meaning is collected from accent and enunciation.

Having used the Zulu language from childhood to-
the present, colloquially and written, in and out of Courts,
of law for 27 years; having taught it in Government
school, and to many private pupils successfully; and
having been a Government examiner for nihn y years in
the language, I have no hesitation in emphasizing that
the Conjunctive method is the correct one, and that the
Disjunctivists are wide of the mark- when they state
that there would be more ease in learning the language
disj unctively written.

The Romans were allowed to incorporate their pro-
nouns with their verbs, and so inflect their verbs as;
to show in themselves voice, person, mood, tense, etc.,
e.g. : —

Amo, I love; Amas, thou lovest; Amat, he loves;
and so on.

Amavi, I have loved; Amavisti, thou hast loved;
Amavit, he has loved.

Again in Greek : —

Tupto, Tupteis, Tuptei (singular) I strike, thou
strikest, he strikes.


Tuptetori, tupteton (dual) they (two) strike.

Tuptomen, tuptete, tuptousi (plural) we, ye, they

It would have been as sensible of an orthographic
Conference to correct the languages of the Romans and
the Greeks for them as to turn the Zulu into a disjunc-
tive language. It is also argued by the Disjunctivists
that a Zulu lad will learn on Zulu principles till he
finishes Standard III., and after that learn in English.
If a Zulu lad is to be educated in English, let him be so
educated from, the beginning, and let him learn to think
in English.

There should be care in the spelling of words where
in pronunciation there is a close likeness between “G”
and “K.” I have often heard people use:—Gade a clod,
for Kade long ago; Pagade for Pakade for ever.

There should not be any tampering with the old
use of the “H” and “R,” as suggested by the Committee
of the Conference: they gave “haha” as an example,
which means to be greedy, but have not taken into con-
sideration the other word spelt the same and enunciated
the same, i.e., Ha, Ha! go ahead! Bravo!

The compound of letters should be carefully written
and correctly taught, otherwise great blunders will ensue.
I give as examples the following: —

Dhl, hl, nc, tsh, sh, ngcw, gcw, nqo, ngqo, ngx, gx.

Tshetsha, really tyetya, to slice meat.

Tshetsha, now proposed shesha, to hurry up.

Ngcwelisa, to hallow; Gcwalisa, fill.

Nqonqa, to be difficult in granting; Ngqongqa, to
be getting fully cooked.

In the case of the objective pronoun M of Class
I., it is used in this form, instead of wu, to distinguish
it from Class V. : both these classes have the inflex
UMU in the singular, and U as the pronoun referring to
them. E.g. : —

Ngiyamtanda (umuntu understood, or some other
noun of Class I.).

Ngiyawutanda (umuti understood, or some other
noun of Class V.).

There are, of course, a few exceptions, i.e., of nouns
which follow the rule of proper names of persons, which
latter are of Class I., though they are classed in the Fifth
Class. E.g. : —

Unogwaja, onogwaja, ujojo, ojojo, uboqo, oboqo.

Ngiyamtanda (unogwaja, understood).


As I have shown by the Latin and Greek examples,
the people who use those languages were allowed to
merge the personal pronoun, and had the inflection and
the necessary accent all within one word. The Zulus
elected to have words for pronouns, but for the correct
enunciation and meaning of their language, when the
pronoun came to be used with the verb and other parts
of speech, they decided to have this pronoun and its
appurtenances prefixed to the main verb.

Is it right, because we are too pressed by business
to allow us to learn a pollysyllabic Zulu language, that
we should form a new Zulu language of monosyllables,
and upset the principles on which the Zulu language
depends ?

Now why should I write:—Ngi ya hamba, instead
of Ngiyahamba, where a beginner would read ngi and
then ya with an acute accent on a, and an acute
accent on the final a of hamba, as I have often
heard spoken and read by those who do not
know the Zulu language because they have learnt it
wrongly. To read Ngiyahamba is simple and natural
and musical. I have again heard others put the acute
accent on the ngi, the grave accent on ya. and the acute
accent on the final a of hamba. This would never happen
with people who have studied conjunctively.

Ngiyakuhamba is the first person, future tense of
hamba. Why should it be written, “Ngi ya uku
hamba!” which might be enunciated as follows:—Ngi,
with acute accent; ya, grave accent; or ngi,. with grave
accent; and ya, with acute accent; and uku, with acute
accent on first or last u, and an acute accent on the
final a of hamba. E.g., Ngi ya, or ngi ya uku, or uku

Having looked through the speeches of the various
delegates to this Conference as reported in the pamphlet
headed “Printed for the use of delegates in connection
with the Conference to be held on the 29th-31st May,
1907,” I find they bulk in favour of the Conjunctive
method, and I would have been surprised if they had
not. I therefore have much pleasure in supporting the
proposition of the Rev. A. T. Bryant, which I find to
have been, viz. :—That pronunciation is the chief and
final guide as to what the Zulu mind regards as one word;
and that whatever in the Zulu language is united in one
vocal effort under one penndtimate (or ultimate accent), is
that which in the Zulu mind forms one word or complete


independent division of speech, and should, therefore, be
written together as one united whole, thus: “Ngiya-
tanda,” “bengiyakumtanda.”

This is ably supported by the Rev. A. R. Kempe, in
his pamphlet, on page 25, when he says: “To unite in
writing what in the Zulu mind is one.”

The Chairman, interrupting the reader, pointed out
that they were not there to discuss Mr. Stuart’s pamphlet.

Mr. R. C. Samuelson : It is difficult to speak upon
such a wide subject without bringing in the writings of
gentlemen who have influenced people. Mr. Stuart’s
pamphlet has been received and read, and I consider that
it is only fair that remarks in connection with it which
bear generally on the conjunctive and disjunctive
methods should be brought forward. I cannot here pick
out from this jpaper the particular passages touching on
the question whether it should be disj unctivist or other-

The Chairman ruled that the reference to Mr. Stuart’s
pamphlet in the paper was out of order.

Mr. Goodenough: I move that Mr. Samuelson be
allowed to read his paper.

Archdeacon Roach seconded.

A vote was taken as follows: —For paper, 21;
against, 11.

Mr. Samuelson then continued reading.

The Conference adjourned for lunch at 12.30 p.m.



Mr. Samuelson resumed and completed the reading
of his paper. *

Mr. Stuart: Mr. Samuelson’s address has come as a
total surprise to me. I did not know that he had pre-
pared a paper constituting a vigorous attack on my
pamphlet. By leave of Conference I would like to reply
to it later.



Discussion followed as to whether or not Mr. Sam-
uelson’s paper should he included in the proceedings,
seeing it consisted largely of a criticism of Mr. Stuart’s
pamphlet, and was to a great extent irrelevant to the
particular rule then under consideration. It wras resolved
that the paper he handed to the Executive Committee for
abridgment, and that such abridgment he printed as part
of the proceedings.

Rev. 0. Staven: Mr. Samuelson says that we dis-
junctivists read disjunctively, but he is quite wrong. We
do not read in that way at all and although we may
write according to the American Zulu Bible, we read
according to the spoken language.

I beg once more to emphasise that the legibility of
Zulu books is a most important matter. Zulu books
should be easy to read. We must remember that these
books are read mostly by natives who have not advanced
beyond the lowest standard of education.

Now, sir, I do not think that anyone can deny that
it is much more difficult to read long words than short
ones. Consequently the conjunctive writing of the Zulu
language must be an obstacle to many poor unskilled
readers. In fact, I believe that, even readers who know
how to read fluently will sometimes stumble over these
long series of particles joined together in certain Zulu
books. Loow, for instance, at examples like these, found
in “(Jkuhamba .Kwesihambi,” by the Right Rev. J. W.
Colenso :—“Engavikuzifulatela” (page 7), “okuyakuku-
tokozisa” (page 12), “waengesabekeluto” (page 16),
“okwakungimisisibindi” (page 27), “bengasakulumisani”
(page 30), “njengengikiikumbulayo” (page 41), “usu-
vumukufulatela” (page 45).

These examples might be multiplied. (Such words
are simply accumulations of different parts of speech,
verbs, auxiliary verbs, pronouns, and all sorts of particles.
Some of them consist of nine syllables. Even longer ones
may be found. According to the conjunctive method,
why should we not write “Babekulumis’okwabahlakani-
pileyo,” fifteen syllables in one word?

Another defect with the conjunctive system is this :
sentences of various significations look quite alike in writ-
ing. You will see no difference between “u sabeka,”
meaning “he is fearful,” and “u sa beka,” meaning “he
still puts or stakes something” (conjunctively written
usabeka); “u sakala,” “lie is making fun,” and “u sa
kala,” “he is still crying” (conjunctively written usakala);


“u saduka,” “he is throwing out his legs/’ and “u sa
duka,” “he is still going astray” (conjunctively written

Only the context may help us to discern between
“ugi ya bula,” “I do beat,” and “ngi yabula,” “I am
agitated, restless” (conjunctively written ngiyabula); “a
y’aluka” (amahashi in the field), and “a yauka” (amanzi),
“breaking forth from a rock”; “u ya peza,” “he is leav-
ing off,” and “u yapeza,” “he is suddenly appearing and

Even those who are mostly writing according to the
disjunctive method have run aground on this rock. They
have not gone far enough. You can’t see any difference
between “Ngi ya ku bala,” “I shall count,” and “ngi
ya kubala,” “I am being hurt”; “ngi ya ku beka,” “T
shall put something,” and “ngi ya kubeka,” “I
stumble”; “ngi ya ku pula,” “I shall break,” and “ngi
ya kupula,” “I am pulling up”; “ngi ya ku hleka,” “I
shall laugh,” and “ngi ya kuhleka,” “I am rubbed,
brushed”; “u ya ku muka,” “he will go away,” and
“u ya kumuka,” “it (the umpini, handle) is getting

These ambiguities are hard facts; we can’t overlook
them. There is a good number of them.

We have been told that the accentuation generally
being on the penultimate, should be our guide, philoso-
pher and friend with respect to the division of Zulu wTords.
This guide, I am afraid, is not good enough. It won’t
help us to get rid of these long, unreadable words, and
the number of ambiguities will not be very much reduced.

We may overlook the fact that the accent is not
always on the penultimate. “Wa m t shay el an in <3,” for
instance, and “Kwa tula kwati nse” as well as other ex-
pressions of the same type, have a strong accent on the
last syllable of the sentence. But will not the dependence
on the accent lead to inconsistencies? What will the
rules be like ? When you say “Ngi za ku hamba kusasa,”
meaning that you will go to-morrow and not before, I
suppose conjunctivists will write this sentence in one
word. The accent on sasa is powerful enough to sup-
press the other accents. If, however, we are saying,
“Ngi ya ku Aaraba kusasa,” indicating that we shall
certainly go, but no emphasis is put upon the time “to-
morrow,” then I consider that this sentence must be
written in two words. The accent on “hamba” will be


-distinctly heard, and it will prevent further combina-

But how is it that in one paragraph we write, “Ngi-
yakuhambakusasa” in one word, and in the next, “ngi-
yakuhamba kusrzsa” in two. In the first case we shall
join together pronoun, auxiliary verb, preposition, verb,
and an adverb in one single word, and, in the other, we
shall leave out the adverb, keeping the rest of the com-
pany together?

I should also like to know whether, according to the
accent system, a sentence like this, “Angizengingapum-
putekiswa,” is to be written in one word or in two ! The
principal accent is on the penultimate of “pumputekiswa.”
But the first “ngi” is also accentuated to a certain ex-
tent. The question arises: is “angize” to stand alone
as one word? If so, what idea can be discovered in the
expression “angize” more than in the pronoun “ngi,”
which has been declared to be the bearer of no idea at all ?

It has been asserted that Natives write according to
the conjunctive method. This argument might be very
convincing if they knew the grammar of their own lan-
guage, and at the same time were, to some extent at
least, versed in other languages. But would you allow
the writing of an illiterate European to be the model of
orthography of any European tongue? Of course many
natives write their language in the most absurd way,
just as uneducated Europeans do. They spell, divide,
and compound in the most extraordinary manner. We
shall have many conjunctive and disjunctive systems if
we are going to follow them. Such arguments are, there-
fore, of very little value.

The Zulu Orthography Committee, appointed by the
last Conference, has prepared some rules. The first of
these rules says that the different parts of speech shall be
written separately. That is the leading principle. The
few modifications, which you find in the following rules,
are caused by the coalescence or elision of vowels and
other peculiarities of the language. I don’t think we
*shall be able to find any better solution of this problem.

But what is a part of speech? In other languages
pronouns are parts of speech. In the meantime we are
met with an assertion that the unemphatic pronouns of
the Zulu tongue are not really pronouns, and therefore
no part of speech. These particles have been called
pronominal prefixes; they have also been named verbal


prefixes. Like much beloved children, they have got
many names.

I still hold, sir, that ngi, n, si, ni, and the other
particles of the same description are really pronouns, in
spite of all that has been said to the contrary. And, on
this point, I ask to be allowed to give a short explanation.
At the last Conference I am reported as having said'
that “ngi could not be put before some nouns and adjec-
tives like a prefix.” This expression may be misunder-
stood on account of its shortness. What I meant was
this: you can’t put “ngi” before the root of a noun just
as you do with prefixes. You can’t say “ngi-ntu,”
“ngi-kosi,” or “ngi-tuta.” You must necessarily put the
prefix belonging to the respective classes of nouns be-
tween “ngi” and the root of the noun, saying “ngi ngu-
muntu,” “ngi inkosi,” “ngi situta.” This shows that
“ngi” and the other unaccentuated pronouns are not pre-
fixes. We cannot use these particles as substitutes for

As to the adjectives, we cannot say, “ngi-kulu,”
“ngi-ncane,” “ngi-bi,” “ngi-hle”; the correct form is,
“ngi mkulu,” “ngi mncane,” “ngi mubi,” “ngi muhle.”
It is evident that the real prefixes must be used even
between the pronouns and the adjectives. Some adjec-
tives might seem to contradict this, as, for instance, when
you say, “ngi mhlope,” “ngi mnyama.” But as the “m”
in these cases belongs to the root of the words, the prefix
won’t be heard; the “m” cannot be doubled.

I will give another proof showing that the unem-
phatic pronouns are something quite different from the
prefixes. These are combinable only with their own
classes of nouns, so we are not allowed to put the prefix
“in” before a noun, where “li” is required, or “ubu”
instead of “ulu.” But the pronouns “ngi,” “u,” “si,”
“ni” may be placed before all classes. We do not only
say, “Ngi ngumuntu,” but, if a person is not too modest,
he may express himself, “Ngi inkosi,” (ngi liqawe,” or,
•being in trouble, he may exclaim, “Ngi sihlupeki.”

It has also been said that the Zulu personal pronouns
correspond to the suffixes of some other languages. Now,
sir, we know that specially Semitic tongues, like the
Hebrew and the Arabic, have got such suffixes. But
as far as the nouns are concerned we have in the Zulu
vernacular particles which just serve the same purpose as
those suffixes. And in the Zulu words: “umtanami,”
“umtanako,” “umtanake,” “umtanetu,” “umkami,”


“umkako,” “umkake,” the possessive pronouns have be-
come suffixes like the Hebrew and Arabic ones, not only
in signification, but also in appearance. Consequently
it is not the personal pronoun, but the possessive, that we
should compare with the suffixes of these languages if
we want to make such comparisons.

Now, sir, if it should be proved to our satisfaction
that “ngi,” “u,” “si,” “ni,” and their like are not pre-
fixes of nouns, we might still ask: Are not these particles
prefixes of verbs? I do not admit that the Zulu personal
pronouns in the objective case very often correspond to
the Arabic pronominal suffixes of verbs. For instance,
“Wa m bulala” might be a translation of the Arabic
sentence, “Katala/m,” “he killed him,” the only differ-
ence being that the Arabic “hu” is suffixed, while the
Zulu “m” is put before the verb. But we must keep in
mind that these verbal suffixes are only representing
the object, not the subject, of the sentence.

If it were true that “ngi,” “u,” “si,” “ni,” and
the other personal pronouns were only prefixes of verbs
then we would have hit upon something very peculiar.
We should then have before us a language without pro-
nouns. “Mina,” “wena,” “tina,” “nina” we all know
represent pronouns only to a certain extent; they are
mostly like lines put under accentuated expressions for
the sake of emphasis. A language without pronouns!
How very strange ! But this is not so. The Zulu per-
sonal pronouns are not used only in connection with
verbs. “Si ng’abelungu”—there is no verb there; “si
namandhla,” “si namajubane,” “ku makaza,” “ubu-
kali umkonto”—all these examples are without verbs.
Consequently these pronouns are not prefixes of verbs;
like personal pronouns of other languages they are con-
nected with nouns and adjectives as well as with verbs.

At the last Conference these pronouns were com-
pared with the inflectional endings of Latin verbs. “Ngi”
was said to correspond to “o” in “amo.” But the argu-
ment is far from, being convincing.

The inflections of the verb “amare” in its sundry
voices, tenses, and moods are something very different
from the Zulu “ngi.” The consonants—the substantial
part of the pronoun “ngi”—are the same whatever may
be the voice, tense, or mood of the verb before which
“ngi” is put. The only insignificant alteration, the
vowel change of “ngi” into “nga,” in a special form of
the past tense, is most likely occasioned by the contrac-



tion of some auxiliary verb together with the pronoun,
just as the form “ngo”—future tense—is nothing but
the contraction of “ngi ya ku.” On the contrary, the
inflectional terminations of the Latin verb “amare” are
numerous and very different. In the indicative mood,
active voice, we find uamo,” “amaban,” “amavi,” “ama-
veram,” “amabo,” and “amavero.” In the subjunctive
mood, active voice, we find “amem,” “amarem,” “ama-
verim,” “amavissem.” The passive voice shows again
other forms as: “Ainor,” “amabar,” “amatussum,”

Comparisons between Aryan languages and the Zulu
are, I am afraid, as a rule bound to fail.

The old Coptic language presents an interesting
similarity to the Zulu vernacular, as far as the pronouns
are concerned. The Coptic has got pronominal suffixes.
But, besides these, it possesses two series of personal pro-
nouns. The first of these, the so-called pronomen abso-
lutum, are: “Anok, entok, entef, anon, entoten, enton.”
And we have the unaccentuated personal pronouns cor-
responding to ngi, u, si, ni. They are, singular number,
aneg (it sounds much like ngi, does it not?), entek, and,
plural number, Anen, enteten. For the third person
of these unaccentuated pronouns the demonstrative is used
both in singular and plural number just as in Zulu the
pfefixes of the different classes provide us with pronouns
for that person. The unaccentuated personal pronouns
of the Coptic language have not, however, been classified,
either as prefixes of nouns or prefixes of verbs.

Lastly, I will give an example showing a remark-
able similarity between the Zulu unemphatic and the
Coptic unaccentuated pronouns. In the Gospel of St.
John, the 8th chapter, 23rd verse, we read: “Ye are
from beneath, I am from above.” These sentences have
thus been translated into Zulu: “Nina ni ngabapansi,
rnina ngi ngowapezulu.”

The translators of the Coptic Bible must have felt—
like the translators of the Zulu Bible—that neither the
unaccentuated nor the absolute pronouns of their mother
tongue did fully cover or fully represent the Greek
“humeis” and “ego,” and therefore they have put to-
gether both pronouns, writing Enloten enteten (nina ni,
benebol hampkal (are from beneath); dnok aneg (mina
ngi), onebol Nent-pe (am from above).

In conclusion, sir, I express the belief that there is
sufficient reason to maintain that the Zulu particles ngi,


u, si, ni, etc., are really pronouns, and consequently they
are parts of speech, and therefore should be written sep-

Rev. W. C. Wilcox wished to read from a paper.

Mr. S. 0. Samuelson took exception to the papers
already read as not being to the point. He had already
had the pleasure of reading Mr. Wilcox’s paper, and it
rambled over the whole subject. (Laughter.)

Chairman : I think Mr. Wilcox should know the rules
of procedure sufficiently to confine himself to the subject
at issue.

Mr. Wilcox: In my opinion, the chief points of con-
troversy which have divided such eminent leaders as Grout
and Colenso, and arrayed their followers in hostile camps,
arise not from irreconcilable tenets, some of which are
necesarily false, but rather from the lack of a just pro-
portion in the application of principles which are right
and mutually corrective, and therefore indispensable in
a correct system of Zulu orthography.

These principles may be briefly stated as follows: —

1. The distinction of the idea by the separation of
the words.

2. Crasis op coalescence of vowels, or conjunction of
words as they occur in Zulu speech.

3. Utility or practicability.

In my opinion the division which was made at Mar-
itzburg upon the terms of conjunction and disjunction
was most unfortunate; for the terms give a false impres-
sion as to the real point of divergence. It is implied, or,
at least, so it is assumed on the part of some who use
the terms, that no consistent system is possible which does
not go to one or the other extreme, which is absurd. The
so-called disjunctivists do not deny that there may be a
union or conjunction of words, as by crasis, or a com-
pounding of modifying particle which in other languages
would be written as distinct words. On the other hand
the so-called conjunctivists separate words, at least to
some extent, according to their significance as distinct
parts of speech. Fully 50 per cent, of the words are
written precisely alike upon the principle that they are
elements or parts of speech. The only difference is as
to how far the rest of the words shall be compounded and
upon what principle.

It appears, therefore, that the first question to be
settled is: What is a word ? To this question the Com-
mittee did not feel competent to give a better answer than



is contained in our best lexicographer. The definition
given by the Standard Dictionary, which was quoted by
Mr. C. G. Jackson, at Maritzburg, is “A. vocal sound, or
combination of vocal sounds, used as a symbol to embody
and signify an idea and thought, especially a notion or
conception, and forming one of the elements of language/’

Having agreed upon this definition and upon the
principle that all modern languages which use the Roman
alphabet separate the words in writing, the Committee
was able to frame the fundamental rule of our system.
But the application of this rule is subject to some limita-
tions in accordance with the other recognised principles.

When the vowels of two words come together and
form a new vowel, separation is impossible, e.g., na is a
distinct word; ibye is another word. But when the vowels
of these two words come together it is not na-ibye, but
netye. Either ne or tye taken alone would be as unin-
telligible to a Zulu as any dislocated syllable of an Eng-
lish word would be to us. It needs both words taken
together to make a sensible idea to the Zulu mind.

Very similar to crasis is that which occurs before
vowel verbs. Take the sentence, “Ngi ya kwamkela uku-
dhla kwabantu.” In kwabantu there is a conjunction by
crasis which nobody disputes. If there is a different
kind of conjunction in kwamkela, it is certainly not dis-
tinguished in speaking. If therefore we should write
kw amkela, as some have proposed, most people would not
see why we should not write kw abantu. Thus it may be
seen that in the case of all the vowel verbs, there is an
union in speaking which should not be torn apart in
writing. But the apostrophe may be conveniently used
to show the elision of letters. We have something like
this in our colloquial, ‘‘can’t,” “don’t,” etc. “Can” and
“not” are two distinct words. But, when we write the
colloquial “can’t,” we always write it as one word, just
as we pronounce it. In the case of “itself, almost,
always, already,” etc., we have the union of two words
without even an apostrophe to show the elision of letters
which has taken _place.

Take again the infinitive, which is practically the
same as a noun having the prefix uku. That the prefix
should not be separated there is general agreement.

The prefix for the infinitive has been compared to the
suffixes of English nouns which have no meaning apart
from the nouns to which they belong. If, therefore, there
can be no separation of the prefix, because it is meaning-


less in itself, it follows that whatever may he included
between the prefix and the root of the word must all he
written as one word, according to our Rule 4.

There are certain monosyllabic particles which, like
the enclitics in Greek, lean on the preceding words and
are pronounced with them. If, therefore, pronunciation
is to be taken into account they should not he separated,
as in Rule 5.

In the contracted form of pronouns with prepositions,
as kuye, kuwe, etc., there is a manifest union of the two
parts into one word. There are such words as ku, yena,
and wena. But there are no such words as ye and we.
The union with ku is required to make a word of any
meaning. If it is said that the logic of the above is in
conflict with our fundamental rule and leads to the ex-
treme of conjunctivism, the answer is that so far as con-
junctivism does not conflict with the principle of separa-
tion of a sentence into its constituent units, we are all
at one. But the extremes which our rules do not permit
is the union of the verb of a sentence with all the par-
ticles which precede it and are needed for the forming of
its various tenses. Take the sentence, “A ngi kolwa.”
There is a radical difference between it and the noun,
“ukungakolwa.” The first is not a constituent unit of a
sentence. It is a whole sentence containing three units.
Whereas the second is a single unit. It is one part of
speech, and may be parsed, declined, and defined as one
word, e.g., “ekungakolweni,” a noun in the locative case
meaning in unbelief. In the sentence, “Ngi ngumuntu,”
the pronoun “ngi” is just as much a constituent unit as
the pronoun “I” in “I am a man.” The epenthetic “ng”
proves that it is a separate word, as it is never found in
the body of a word. In the sentence, “Ngi nawe,” it is
doubtful if the conjunctivists would have ever thought
of making it all one word, hut that to admit that “ngi”
can ever he a single word would be to knock out the
underpining of the whole system.

Mr. Mayr said that perhaps some of them might
think him very impertinent in sending out a parody of
the rules, but he supposed the rules were only provisional,
and the Conference was still at liberty to speak on them.
He saw in rule 1 it was said that the different parts of
speech should be written separately. He asked any mem-
ber of the Conference to tell him how many parts of
speech there were in the Zulu language. Were there
exactly the same number as in the English language?


They should know that, as otherwise they would not be
able to apply rule I. How could they write the parts of
speech separately if they knew nothing about the different
parts of speech? “Ngiyakuhamba,” “ngiyasitanda”
were uttered with one effort of the mouth, and were unin-
telligible to the Zulu if pronounced separately, e.g.,
“Ngi ya ku tanda.” If the different elements which were
essential in the making of the tenses and moods of the
verb were written separately the reader to group in his
mind those elements before being able to read intelligibly,
whereas by joining these elements in writing no grouping
in the mind was required. He was in favour of having
the principal verb, together with the pronouns and par-
ticles which went to make up any tense, being written
as one word. They could not break them up, because
it had not been laid down what were the parts of speech.
“Li ya” were unintelligible by themselves. They might
be parts of an intelligible form if it were held that every
syllable were a part of speech, or that every sound were
a part of speech. He asked the members of the Confer-
ence, particularly those who drew up the proposed, rules,
to define the parts of speech. In forming the different
tenses the pronouns were modified and changed, e.g.,
“ngihamba,” I go; “ngahamba,” I went; “ngohamba,”
I shall go. This fact indicated strongly that the pronoun
“ngi” (1) had no independent meaning in speech and
was intelligible only as an element of the sentence “ngi-
hamba” or “ngahamba.” Likewise the accusative cases
of the pronouns, as si, wa, wu, li, yi, were unintelligible
elements by themselves, and became intelligible by pro-
nouncing them together with another pronoun as subject
and a verb as predicate, e.g., “ngiyasitanda” (isinkwa).
Should it be necessary to emphasise the subject or object
in a Zulu sentence one had to use different pronouns from
those which were used in making up the different forms
of the verb, e.g., I go, you remain, “mina ngiyasitanda
sona” (isinkwa). The accent could never be put on any
of these elements (defective pronouns or auxiliary verbs),
but always rested on the root of the principal verb, e.g.,
“ngiyasitanda” (isinkwa). The Zulu pronouns were: —
Mina, wena, yena, Iona, yona, sona, wona, kona, tina,
nina, bona, wona, zona, yona, and mi, we, ye, lo, yo,
so, wo, ko, ti, ni, bo, wo, zo, yo, when ruled by preposi-
tions, e.g., ngami, kuye, kubo, naye, nayo.

But the prefixes ngi, u, li, i, si, lu, bu, ku, si, ni,
ba, ama, (i) zi, (i) mi, zi, were identically the same as


the prefixes of the nouns, and referred to the subject of
the sentence, and stood for an auxiliary verb, and as verbs
they changed their form in the different tenses. E.g.,
in the past tenses: nga, wa, wa, la, ya, sa, wa, lwa, bwa,
kwa plural: sa, na, ba, wa, za, ya. In the future tense:
ngo, wo, wo, lo, yo, so, yo, zo, so, no, bo, wo, zo, yo.

If these prefixes were pronouns in our acceptation
of the word, this change of the vowel in the different
tenses of the verb would be unexplainable.

He could not explain why this change took place in
the tenses and the vowels. He repeated again the request
as to specifying the different parts of speech in Zulu so
as they might be able to apply the first rule.

Mr. Chater: Could you suggest something better, or
could you tell us what the parts of speech are in Zulu?

Mr. Mayr: I am in the same position as we all are,
and I am not able to tell the different parts of speech in
the Zulu language. I will give a suggestion all the same.
I should say a word, or a part of speech, is something
which is intelligible by itself; it does not give a full
meaning, but it is intelligible. We heard in the address
of Mr. Mudie this morning about the Chinese having
“full” words and “empty” words. Perhaps that might
apply in the same way to the Zulu language, but I do
not think we can call “nga” a word, because it goes to
make up so many meanings in different forms. I do not
know where to draw the line between particles and words.
1 do not mean that I am a prophet in Israel—(laughter)
—and that I am able to make rules. I have come, like
every one of us, to get enlightenment, to see what we
have to see on each side-, and do the best we can.

Replying to Mr. Moodie, Mr. Mayr said there was a
great difference between the English “it” and the Zulu
“li.” “Li” had no comparison with “it,” because “it”
was independent, being the third personal pronoun, neuter
gender, but the “li” could be anything. These pronouns
were not intelligible by themselves; they got their mean-
ing in connection with the verb. Eor example: “Ilanga
li ya kanya,” and “ilanga la kanya.”

Mr. Stuart: Your difficulty is with regard to the
“la.” According to the first rule we say that the parts
of speech should be written separately, except as provided
in the rest of the rules. That “la” is provided for in the
rest of the rules. You say “la” is the joining of the pro-
noun and the auxiliary verb, and therefore a combination
of two parts of speech?


Mr. Mayr: Yes.

Chairman.: Say you are teaching Zulu to a Zulu lad
who is learning English also. You give him “ilanga la
kanya/' and ask him to parse it in Zulu. Then you give
him “The sun shines/' or “The sun it shines" in English,
and you ask him to parse that “it” in Zulu. What dis-
tinction would you make between the “la” in parsing in
Zulu and in English?

Mr. Mayr: I am afraid there is very little Zulu
parsing going on in our schools. It is done in English.

Mr. Kempe : Has “it,” when it stands alone in Eng-
lish, not more meaning than “li” when it stands alone in

Mr. Mayr : Surely; there is a great difference between
“it” and “li.”

Replying to Mr. Wilcox, Mr. Mayr said that analy-
tically there were three parts of speech in “ngi nawe,”
but this example did not prove the disjunctive method.
In this single case, it so happened, there was no coales-
cence, no combination of any kind, but simply a plain
following of pronoun by preposition and then again a

Mr. Suter put questions as to what part of speech the
direct subject and the direct object bf the verb were when
they referred to the noun.

Mr. Mayr said that in the sentence, “Ngi ya si tanda
isinkwa,” the pronominal pronouns could not be called
pronouns in the ordinary acceptation of the word. He
was afraid they could not change the language for the
sake of the schools in order that native children might
understand the English language better.

Mr. Ryff: Does inflecting the pronoun necessarily
destroy its identity? With reference to the speaker's
statement that “li” and “la” would not be recognised
as being pronouns because one would be “li” and the
other “la,” why could we not inflect the pronoun as well
as in the English language. "Why should not “la”
be a pronoun as well as “li,” and then change it by a
simple inflexional change ?

Mr. Mayr: You cannot compare Zulu with English.
You say: “I go,” “I went,” “I shall go.” The pronoun
“I” does not change in the present, past, future, or any
other tense in English; the change takes place in the
verb. But in Zulu we say “Ngihamba,” “Ngahamba,”
“Ngohamba.” Here the change does not take place in
the verb “hamba,” but it takes place in the prefixes.


Mr. Ryff: My question was not whether the vowel
was changed or inflected, but whether inflection changed
the identity of the pronoun.

Mr. Mayr : I have explained that I recognise “li”
as a pronoun. I say “li” and “la” should he combined as
pronoun and auxiliary verb.

Mr. Buckner, speaking to the rule, said it seemed to
have been considered that several parts of speech repre-
senting several ideas ought to be written separately, but
he wanted to say that they could not separate them in
Zulu. Secondly, parsing in Zulu might have to be done
on different lines than in English and Latin.

Archdeacon Roach: I only speak now because I don’t
want the thing to come to a vote at once. I will try
and confine myself to the first rule in this report. Being
one of the Committee, it will perhaps seem that I am out
of place when I speak against the rule that the Com-
mittee has brought forward. That being so, I will con-
tent myself by saying I cannot help it. I must speak
against rule 1. I don't agree with its passing, and I hope
it won’t be passed now. It seems to me that the con-
junctivists, if I may lable myself one, are what it is
very difficult for our opponents to be, and that is con-
sistent. I think that if you take the rules that have
been submitted to you by the Committee you will say
that rule 1 is all very well if you do not look at the
other rules. As soon as you begin to go beyond rule 1,
which is distinctly disjunctive in character, you will find
seven rules which are all conjunctive. It is therefore
exceedingly difficult—impossible, I maintain—for a dis-
junctivist to be consistent. He will no sooner lay down
a rule than he will find himself obliged to depart from
it, and this is exemplified in the rules submitted to us.
I think that perhaps those who have agreed with rule 1
have been led astray by the definition of a word, upon
which they seem to have based their conclusions. A
word is sometimes not a word; that is to say, it is not
a word in this sense, namely, that it can stand by itself.
A word may be a particle, and a particle, if you look
at any dictionary, is a word which can only be used
in combination with other words. There are large num-
bers of particles in the Zulu language. That is one of
its characteristics. Those words which are called pro-
nouns I cannot admit are pronouns. They are pronominal
particles, and nothing more. As pronominal particles
they have no meaning by themselves. What meaning,


for instance, is there in “sa,” standing by itself? “Sa”
may be an adverb, it may be a pronominal particle, or it
may be a verb, as in “ukusa.” ^Standing by itself yon
have no indication what that word is. One of the argu-
ments of the conjunctivists is that anything meaningless
in itself may be joined on to something else to give it
a meaning, and therefore they join “uku” to the root
of the verb in the word “ukuhamba.” “Sa,” “si,”
“se” are equally meaningless by themselves. “Nga”
may be no less than eight different things in Zulu, pos-
sibly more, as e.g., “e nga hambi,” “ngi nga hamba,”
“nga wa hamba.” Take “nga” standing by itself. How
can you say it is a distinct word ? It can have no distinct
meaning standing by itself. It is admitted that this
language is an agglutinative language. That principle is
allowed by the disjunctivists, who lay down that where
agglutination takes place there should be no separation,
e.g., “olungileyo.” If you admit that this is an agglu-
tinative language, then let agglutination have its full
force. Agglutination does not only exist in the Bantu
languages; but the languages of the Bed Indians of
North America are also agglutinative, and in these lan-
guages they do not, because the words are long, adopt the
disjunctivist method. In the languages of the North
American Indians you get exactly what we get in Zulu,
a long word conveying a complete idea. “He caused
the water to be wine” is one word in the language of the
Chippewayan Indians, and contains twenty-two letters.
I do not see how you are going to condemn agglutination
and cast out conjunctivism. Are we to be wiser than the
old grammarians of Europe? The Latin language has
been referred to. Take the future perfect tense of the
verb “amo,” and you get “amavero.” The Latin “ero”
is more a word in itself than the Zulu “li” or “sa” or
“ku” can ever be, because it has a meaning in itself.

Mr. Norenius : Can you have anything between the
Latin root?

Archdeacon Roach : You take the whole word “ama-
vero.” “Ero” is the future of the verb “to be,” and
“amo” stands by itself as one word, but you do not cut
it off and make the future perfect “amavero.” These
old grammarians, together with the people working in
North America at the present time, believe in conjunc-
tivism. We had some illustrations brought by a previous
speaker from the Arabic language, and we are told that
the accusative particle, which is a suffix and not a prefix,


is joined. If you are going to argue from the Arabic,
then you must join “m” to the root of the verb, e.g.,
“mtanda.” It was argued just now that because “sa,”
“se,” “si,” “ngi,” “li,” etc., are not pronominal par-
ticles there are no pronouns in the Zulu language. The
pronouns in Zulu are distinct, e.g., “mina,” “wena,”
“yena,” and so on. They are not simply the emphatic
forms of pronouns, as called by some grammarians; they
are the pronouns themselves, and therefore the particles
are only representatives of those pronouns. I was sorry
Mr. Mudie did not go a little further with the Chinese
language. He referred to “full” and “empty” words,
and I rather gathered from what he said that these
“empty” words were joined on to “full” words in order
to give them their fullness. One other point which Mr.
Mudie put forward is this, and I commend it to the dis-
junctivists, that the written language should be easy of
apprehension by the eye. (Hear, hear.) You should
see that what is in front of you is a word, and not a
little bit, and that you are prepared for that word. You
are not going to talk bee be bis, and so on, but you
have got to know that it is a word, and then the accent
will come easily and in the proper place. It is my inten-
tion, before the finish of the discussion, to move an
amendment in the following terms:—“That instead of
rule 1 in the report of the Orthography Committee, the
Conference resolves to adopt the following: All particles
used in the formation of all tenses, moods, and voices,
positive and negative, shall be written together with the
verb root and adjective as one word. That all accusative,
reflexive, and adverbial particles coming between the pro-
nominal particles and the verb root shall be combined
with them in the one word.”

Mr. Bryant seconded the amendment.

Mr. Goodenough said: I have not had the advantage

of attending the other two Conferences, but I have read
the pamphlets which have been issued, and am very much
interested in the question. It seems to me that there is
a good deal assumed as fact by both sides, as, for instance,
that the division of speech into words is a necessity at
all, and that there is some natural necessity for dividing.
I suppose we will all agree with the language as it is
spoken. Writing is only a method of presenting to the
eye what is spoken. Alphabetic writing is the represent-
ing of the elementary signs, so that one who knows the
alphabet will, when he sees the signs, be able to articulate


the spoken word. The language existed before the writ-
ing ; there is no absolute necessity for dividing speech into
words at all. (Hear, hear.) For a long time Latin and
Greek were written without any division of words. There
is no necessity in the nature of the case why you should
define that a particle should be able to stand alone. Take
the sign of the infinitive in English. It happens that
the sign of the infinitive is the same as the preposition
“to.” You hear the word “to”—call it a word—and you
cannot say it has any meaning at all. It is simply the
sign of the infinitive. If it happens to be something else
besides this, with the same form as the preposition “to,”
and you saw it, you would have no idea what it meant:
If you were asked the meaning of the word you would be
asked if it was the sign of the infinitive or the preposition
“to.” It has no meaning in itself, and yet it is the sign
of the infinitive, and yet stands alone. So the sign of
the infinitive in Zulu can stand alone, and I know no
reason why it should not, except as a matter of conveni-
ence. There is a little unfairness on both sides in quoting
examples. We have a paper circulated round the room
quoting “ngi” as meaning nothing by itself, and Mr.
Wilcox brought in “itye” as having no meaning by it-
self, while in Mr. Stuart’s pamphlet (page 2) we find
such expressions as “Muntu muni .... nonyaka nje
o-dhliwa ndoda.” Take fair examples. What is spoken
together should be written together. Very well, what is
spoken separately should be written separately, e.g.,
ilanga li ya kanya. I think natives speak li and ya with
about the same emphasis, and that they do not speak
them together. An example is given in the rule where
there should be separation, viz., ba kona abantu; this
is spoken as closely together as any phrase that you
give, and yet it is written separately. I would go farther.
I agree with Mr. Stuart’3 argument with reference to
the preposition. I should write nga, na, njenga. I
should take in the initial vowel joining* on to a preposi-
tion, and let all nouns stand in the vocative case, like
theFc examples that are given. On the other hand, I
would join together as a matter of convenience. Langu-
age can be written without dividing. I should write
monosyllabic verbs with the pronouns attached for con-
venience ; but the disjunctivists are so afraid to admit that
it can be done that the other side will say, “Well, if you
do it, therefore you must go the extreme length and join
everything between the root of the verb and the pro-


nominal subject.” We cannot assume in Zulu that the
parts of speech are the exact counterparts of what they
are in English. Do you know, any of you, why the pro-
nouns, besides fulfilling the office of standing for nouns,
should not be modified to show time ? I don’t. Is there
any reason why a pronoun in Zulu should not be exactly
as it is in English, and why time should not be indicated
by modifying the pronoun as by modifying the verb?
The relative pronoun in English serves'a double purpose.
In Zulu there is no relative pronoun. What you call the
relative pronoun in Zulu is simply a particle wdiicli serves
one of the two purposes served in English by the relative
pronoun. In Zulu the form of the pronoun does not
depend upon the antecedent, as in English.

Mr. Wiese : I speak in favour of rule 1. I do not
speak in favour of the rule because I have been accus-
tomed to write in this way. Ever since I came to Natal
sixteen years ago, and have had to do with the Zulu, I
have been accustomed to write according to Colenso’s
system. We Germans are taught to write as we speak,
and because Zulus speak in the conjunctive way we were
driven to write in the conjunctive way. But now that I
see the rule here I was driven to say that it is a very
nice rule from the grammatical point of view, and it is a
very nice rule in every respect. I must say that I would
like this rule to be adopted. Perhaps I should say instead
of the different parts of speech being written separately,
that the really different parts of speech should be written
separately. If “ngi, u, ba” are really different parts of
speech, I should write them separately. If I were to
write “ngiyamtanda,” I would write it all in one word.
I would write “ngi ya buya,” because they have verbal
meanings. “Ngi ya endhlini” is another example of the
same thing. There are eight parts of speech in the Zulu
language. There are a lot of supposed particles, and
these so-called particles must be joined to the words to
which they belong. What I have to say is this: that if
this rule can effect a small alteration I should be very
glad, and I hope that members will allow some alteration.

Mr. Norenius: It has been said against rule 1 that
it mutilates and kills the native language and chops it
up into unnatural pieces. I should like to ask: is such
a course so irregular? For my own part, I say emphati-
cally No. What we do is simply this : we write separately
only the natural parts of speech, those parts which, in
the long evolution of the language, have emancipated


themselves as natural parts or words signifying a definite
idea. The Zulu language itself had resolved itself into
those parts long before ever we got to know it and study
it. What we ask is that those parts—those natural parts
—of the Zulu language should be recognised as inde-
pendent; standing by themselves. If there is any “chop-
ping up” of the language, if there is any method of doing
that, then it is the conjunctive method, because you are
asking us to join together a lot of words which have
separated themselves by different laws and recognise them
as one word. That is the “chopping up” of the Zulu lan-
guage, because you don’t recognise the nature of the divi-
sions of the language. I think that the argument
against the disjunctive method is altogether a sentimental
argument, and nothing else. It has also been said against
the disjunctive method, as emphasised in this first rule,
that it does not come near to the spoken language. I
readily acknowledge that. I readily acknowledge that
the Zulu language is spoken in the conjunctive way, and
I also read in the conjunctive way, but that does not
imply that it should be written in the conjunctive way.
If we take any language we must see that it is read
and spoken in the conjunctive way—French, German,
Latin, etc.—and regulated by the accent peculiar to the
particular language. So also in the Zulu language. But
because of that you have no right to argue that Zulu
should be, written conjunctively and that the words should
be joined together in a very artificial way. No one would
argue that English should be written conjunctively, or
the French, or any other language. It has also been
said that the disjunctive method is foreign to the native
mind. Do you mean to say the native mind has been
so confused and indistinct that it has been unable to form
a definite idea? Do you mean to say the native mind
has been so ignorant and confused that it has been unable
to find definite expression for its ideas? Do you mean
to say that the native language is so confused in itself
that everything is thrown together? You must say that
the native mind has been very acute and very sharp in
defining its thoughts and ideas and in finding adequate
expression for these ideas and thoughts. Therefore I say
there is nothing in the assertion that the disjunctive
method is against the native mind. It has also been said
against the disjunctive method that it is foreign to the
nature of the native language, because the Zulu is an
agglutinative language, and that, therefore, everything


must be written together. I do not think that is so.
What do we mean by an agglutinative language? Do
we not mean a language in which the different words arfe
so joined together that they have not lost their indepen-
dence and their own signification? I dare say one has
no right to say that an agglutinative language, because
it is agglutinative, shall be joined together in the way
you propose. I dare say, rather, that in the nature of an
agglutinative language it is best to write the words by
themselves. They still retain their independent signi-
ficance; they convey a definite idea to the mind. There-
fore I think the first rule should be accepted. There are
many other points I should like to take up, but the time
of the Conference is going. It has been argued that
pronunciation is the rule for writing the language. I
cannot understand that. I said at the last Conference
that I could not understand it, and I say so again. If
you apply that principle to any language you will be at
a loss to know what you should write. You will also find
that at one time you give one accent and at another time
another accent, and accordingly you will be writing the
same word in different ways. What we want is a prin-
ciple upon which we can go, which we can understand,
and by which we can divide in script the Zulu language
into clear and definite words, representing clear and defi-
nite ideas, and I think that cannot be done in any other
way than as indicated in the first rule.

Mr. Buckner: You say that the language being
spoken conjunctively is no reason why it should be written
artificially together. Where is the argument? Why
should the writing of it together be dubbed artificial?

Mr. Norenius: The ear is so constructed that it can,
at one hearing, take up very much of what is spoken.
The ear has the power of taking in everything at one
hearing. The eye is differently constructed. I cannot
take in what I hear at one hearing, by one glance of the
eye, and therefore I say we cannot write everything to-
gether which is spoken together. The eye must be able
to grasp what is before it at one glance, and it must do
that if we are to read in a fluent way.



MAY 29, 1907.


Chairman: Mr. A. W. Baker.

Mr. Nilsson said: I am not able, nor am I going, to
make a long speech, nor argue whether “ngi” and “li”
are pronouns or not. One thing I have in my mind. At
the first Conference I attended I heard from the last
two speakers that we were afraid of long words because
they were difficult to catch with the eye, although the
ear was able to hear. I say that that is what we are used
to. The one thing necessary is the right pronunciation.
I go out among natives with another white person. We
both speak about the same thing, but I have learned from
the American Zulu Bible and he has learned from speak-
ing. The natives at once distinguish between him and
me; I have the book language and he the spoken. Had
I got the right accentuation the natives would not have
made this distinction. The oral test has a great deal to
do with the writing of a language.

Mr. Dube: It seems to me that this Conference is
trying to make our language very difficult for us to write.
Now I notice that the Committee has adopted certain
rules which will be very difficult for ordinary Zulus to
follow at the present time. I mean that as soon as a
Zulu can learn to read he can take his pen and write a
certain system of his own. (Laughter.) I think it is
usually the conjunctive system. (Laughter.) I do not
profess to know anything about Zulu grammar. I think
I know more about English grammar than Zulu grammar.
The only reason I stand here is simply to say that I am
prepared to support a modified system of both the dis-
junctive and conjunctive methods, which could be adopted
by this Conference, and if this Conference sees its way
to adopt the rule as submitted by the Committee, I am
going to study them and adopt them in the printing of
the “Ilanga.” (Hear, hear, and applause.) I do not
think we ought to be extreme either way, because even
the Zulus, if a vote were to be taken of those who are
able to write, would probably write the conjunctive sys-
tem. Still they cannot be all regarded as wholly in favour
of the conjunctive system. There are some who write


disjunctively. It would be a pity if this Conference
were to go out of this room next Friday night without
coming to a certain uniform way of writing Zulu. I
know I have been moving about myself. I have not a
system of my own. I used to write the disjunctive sys-
tem, but then since the last Conference I have been
more of a conj unctivist in my writing, but I do not think
the two extremes seem to be coming any nearer. I wish
they would, because we want to have a system that we
can all adopt and use, and, having no knowledge of Zulu
grammar myself, I would fall in with that which this
Conference adopts. I see some difficulty in this first rule,
although I will vote for it if it is put forward. I see
some difficulty in separating the words. Take this ex-
ample : Ngi ya m tanda. Ya is one word, m another,
being object of the verb tanda. I cannot conceive “m”
standing alone as one word. But there it is—a part of
speech, because it is object of the verb tanda, and I
cannot see how it could be joined. I presume, though,
that in the discussion of the other rules some provision
can be made to allow such words being written together
with the verb. I am prepared to support what this Con-
ference considers the best way to write Zulu.


THURSDAY, MAY 30, 1907.


The Conference resumed at 9 a.m. Mr. A. W. Baker
in the chair.

The minutes of the previous day’s proceedings were
read and approved, with some slight alterations.

It was agreed to send a letter of thanks to Mr. L.
H. Moe for work on the Executive1 Committee.

It was agreed that amendments as well as new rules
be written on the blackboard.



Mr. J. Stuart desired to read a paper, which he said
was divided into two parts, the first being a reply to Mr.
R. C. Samuelson, and the second dealing with rule 1.

On the motion of Archdeacon E. Roach, seconded by
Mr. C. H. Jackson, it was agreed that the paper be heard.

Mr. Stuart then read his paper, on conclusion of
which Conference resolved that the paper be handed to the
Committee for the abridgment of those portions which did
not refer to the rule under discussion.

Mr. (Stuart’s reply to Mr. R. C. Samuelson’s criticism.

Rule 1 attempts to deal with the crux of the whole
problem of Zulu orthography. What is the starting-
point of our system to be? The conjunctivists urge that
it should be accentuation, on the ground that euphony
is the leading characteristic of the whole language. We
have been urged to take as our guide the word as it is
spoken, whatever that “word” may be found to contain.
We are told, moreover, that when we come to examine
these “words” as they are spoken, and, governed as they
are, for purposes of euphony, by an accent that is always
to be found, we see them composed of elements that
are of the nature of pronominal prefixes. For instance,
ngiyatanda and bengiyakumtanda are spoken together
under the stress of one accent, hence as each is “united
under one vocal effort,” it should be written as one
word. The fact of being spoken together, as a Zulu
speaks them, is then the capital reason for the position
taken up by our good friends. But, may I ask, if we
are to have a true starting-point, why we do not go
back further? Shall we say language originates in the
mouth or vocal chords, or in the mind? There can be
no denying the fact that each spoken word, whatever it
may be, is first created in the mind, and as these spoken
words are intended to convey meaning, meaning and not
pronunciation, not accent, not euphony, is their first and
truest characteristic, the true cause of their coming into
existence at all. Conjunctivists may, therefore, say what
they like, they may refuse, owing to feelings of self-
satisfaction with their position, but if they will not recog-
nise that meaning or the intention and effort to convey
meaning lies at the back of every spoken word, whatever
its form, time only is necessary to force them on to a
more logical basis.

Similar to the process that goes on in the mind as


regards the spoken word is the process that is found
operating as regards the written one. The reason for our
writing is to convey meaning. It is not to put the
syllables uttered by the mouth in such a form as to repre-
sent words as they are spoken. That is not the intention
of script. Its intention is simply to convey a picture of
the thoughts in our minds in the most practical method
available. That, however, does not for a moment mean
that we must write words as they are spoken, for the pur-
pose is simply to convey meaning. There are no essential
limitations imposed on us when we begin to write, we can
please ourselves so long as we convey meaning.

Further, as soon as we come to writing we have to
consider above all things the needs of the eye. When
words are merely spoken, only the needs of the ear are
considered, that is, they must be spoken and pronounced
correctly, they must be spoken loud enough, not too
quickly, and so forth, and just as there are conditions
necessary under which they are conveyed to the ear of
the person listening, so, in script, there are conditions—
not those referring to the ear (which is a different sense)
—conditions that are necessary whereby the particular
object in view will be attained in the best manner pos-
sible. Hence the real purpose of script should be better
recognised by conjunctivists than it is, and they should,
it seems to me, cease to maintain that its purpose can be
no other than to represent words as they are spoken, i.e.,
under the stress of accent, because, however much accent
may be a condition of the spoken word, it is not, from
what has been said, the dominant condition of script.

This is a definition of my own standpoint. It is
from this standpoint, radical as it is seen to be, that
disjunctivisfs start off to frame their system. That
system may be characterised as inconsistent; but, in re-
gard to its primary principle, there is at least conviction,
and though the rules may seem to contradict the principle
they do so merely as exceptions thereto, which for various
reasons that will be explained it has seemed necessary
to provide for. Whatever may be thought of these excep-
tions, the starting-point which lies behind them naturally
claims our first attention.

There seems to be much confusion as to the meaning
of the principle of agglutination. I took the trouble in
the pamphlet Mr. Samuelson has criticised to collect the
leading definitions, in each case quoting my authority.
Archdeacon Roach said yesterday it was admitted Zulu


is an agglutinative language, and, if agglutination is-
admitted, it should be allowed to have its full force. He
went on to say that the long words disjunctivists complain
of are long because they are agglutinative. What I would
much rather have had him do was to define the precise
limits of agglutination in the language, and set out the
reasons therefor. That is a point which seems to have
escaped the conjunctivists, but it will, sooner or late, have
to be dealt with methodically, not only in this but other
Bantu languages. We would have thought that as con-
junctivists make so much of agglutination, they or one
or other of them would have attempted to go into the
matter and show disjunctivists, through indisputable
principles of agglutination, how they cannot separate
words (or word elements as they call them), as they do.

On the foregoing grounds I maintain that rule 1 is
sound and logical, and therefore worthy of being adopted
by this Conference.

Mr. Plant temporarily took the chair while Mr. A.
W. Baker joined in the debate.

Mr. A. W. Baker said: I should be very sorry if any
acrimoniousness comes into our discussion. I was sorry
to hear even the question asked by our coloured brethren
as to whether this thing was to help the native or the
white. I was sorry such a suggestion should come into
the Conference for a moment. All of us, more or less,
are partial; we all have our predilections, and no matter
how we dissociate ourselves we cannot rid ourselves of our
predilections. The tendency is to hold on to the last
before yielding up that which we have stood for and
asserted over and over again, but we ought,. I think, to
use our best endeavour for the benefit of the language
in as far as possible devising uniformity. There have
been three parties in the Conference. I think there are
only two parties now, and possibly there are not two. I
feel that the conjunctivists have not yielded one iota, but
I feel that they are willing to yield. The disjunctivists
have shown by their rules that they are willing to meet
the conjunctivists and bring in rules which are modifica-
tions of both systems, and in so doing they have been
charged with being inconsistent. I do not think that
the charge is right or fair, but we will leave that alone.
In discussing this question I may have to refer to the
works of some persons who write conjunctively, but I do
not wish to do so in any carping spirit or in any spirit to


ridicule. I hold in my hand here a book which I com-
mend to you. It is an excellent Zulu book, translated
by Miss Samuelson, and I have recommended it in Johan-
nesburg to my natives there who are able to read. It is
understood to be written in the conjunctive system. I
do not say so by way of ridicule, but I point out that this
book shows that you cannot hold the theory which has
been again and again insisted on so emphatically by the
conjunctivists in this Conference, and at the same time
be consistent, and that conjunctivism is the only one right
system to go on, and that the other parties have no system
whatever. I want to quote something from this book to
show you who hold to the conjunctive system, who say
that you must write the language as it is spoken, that
even the conjunctivists are forced to disjunct. It is held
that missionaries who learn from grammar are not autho-
rities in writing this language, and that being tied to
grammar they are bound to get into the habit of reading
disjunctively. It is held that they are not the proper
authorities, but that those persons who have grown up
among the natives are the people who are to be put for-
ward as authorities as being able to show how to write
and read the language as it is spoken. But that is not
so, because when they come to write the language they
find that it is necessary to disjunct certain words. I
only want to show you that a person who supports the
conjunctive system finds it necessary to resort to disjunc-

The speaker then referred to the following on the
blackboard, being a quotation from Miss Samuelson's
book before referred to : —

A lwenzi olubi,

ba kw amkelukudhla kwa abantu,

ba l'enza iqiniso,

b'onile abantu,

ku onile ukudhla,

besa libele

sezawa fukamela

zawa camusela


uku ndiza ndiza

Archdeacon Roach asked: Was that written by Miss
Samuelson, or was it a want of knowledge on the part of
the printer?


Miss Samuelson: This book was printed in Eingland,
and I had no chance of looking through it.

Archdeacon Roach: That establishes my point.

Mr. A. W. Baker : Can any of you read the second
last line at a glance? (Cries of “Yes.”) The English
printer must have been a peculiar individual who would
of his own accord separate the Zulu in the way that it
is separated here and not make a mistake. Why, it is
written in the disjunctive method! Do you mean to tell
me that an English compositor would separate the last
line in the way it is done here? (Cries of “No.”) A
British printer would be a phenomenon who would take
up a manuscript with all these words joined together, in
fairly good handwriting I have no doubt, and set them up
separated in this way. Now, I refer you to another
sample of Zulu writing by a conjunctivist, and I do so
to show you how impossible it is for a conjunctivist who
fights for a principle to carry it to a legitimate conclusion
when it comes to reducing the language to print. The
example as follows : —


Bonke abantu abase Tekwini bayaziswa ukuba Imali
yama Kande itelwa Enkantolo yase Tekwini nonyaka;
nokuba bonke abantu abamelwe ukutela lemali, okoti
kupela usuku lwama tshumi amatatu nanye lwe nyanga
ka May be be nga ka teli, ba ya ku jeziswa ngendhlela
emiswe u Mteto Wama Kanda owa punywa ngo nyaka
owelanywa ulo ofileyo.

Mr. Baker (continuing): I only want to point out
that the Government favours the conjunctive system. This
notice has been written by a Government official; it is a
public official notice, and therefore ought to be a standard
authority on the conjunctivist system. Yet look at that
notice! The only reason I put it on the board is this:
that the person who is understood to have written it is,
I believe, one of the authorities who has not learnt Zulu
from a grammar, as the missionary does, but has grown
up amongst the natives, and is a supporter of the con-
junctive system. Consequently, when he writes, he has a
predilection to the conjunctive system, and when he does
not pause for a moment to consider whether people will
be able to read it, he writes conjunctively. But why did
he write some of these words disjunctively? Did he
write them carelessly? Certainly not. He writes them


so as the Zulu people may read. He did not intend to
plead for the disjunctive system; he is a conjunctivist.
But he wants the people to grasp the thing, and instinc-
tively—he can't help himself, knowing that the ordinary
native does not take in a long word at a glance—he
breaks it up. To my mind this is an absolute demonstra-
tion from the opposite camp of the futility of the conjunc-
tive method, and shows that when they want the native
himself to read they must write disjunctively.

Mr. Bryant: Your example shows imperfections in

Miss Colenso : Where was that taken from ?

Mr. Baker’: From the Courthouse in Durban. It

proves that when the writer wishes to make himself intelli-
gible to the common people he must shorten his words
and cut them into their component parts. I am claiming
that the conjunctivist must support this rule in his prac-
tice, whatever his preaching may be. He must either
change his practice, or he must admit that that is the
rule we follow. Archdeacon Roach said that the disjunc-
tivists are inconsistent because the first rule is disjunctive
and the others not. I claim this is not inconsistent. We
all want a compromise; Father Bryant himself suggests it.
We claim that we are consistent in trying to meet all
parties and to make a system which all will- be able to
agree to and to write. We claim it is not consistent to
stand to a theory simply because it is a theory when
modification would be better for all concerned. Arch-
deacon Roach said that “ngi” was not a pronoun, and
that “mina,” “wena,” etc., were the real pronouns.
Have you anything in English like it? Would the “I”
be represented in English by “mina,” or “myself” bv
“mine.” (Voice: “I myself,” and cries of “Ho.”) Then
if that is so, that contention is absolutely exploded. I
go on and take up another attitude occasioned by a remark
from Mr. R. O. Samuelson, a remark I wish absolutely
to deny adherence to, and to say it is an absolutely wrong
principle. Mr. Samuelson said the Zulu people must
think and learn Zulu in Zulu, and they must think and
learn English in English. That I absolutely contest. If
you are going to have Zulu merely for antiquarian pur-
poses, if it were a dead language like Latin, you might
leave it in the conjunctive system. But if it is to be sub-
ject to the stress and competition of the world—as Zulu
undoubtedly is—then it must be allowed to go through
some process of evolution as other languages. When


you bring Latin in you give your case away. W'e have
had “amabo” quoted to us, but that is quoting a language
not possible of modification. You use “je” in French
separated from the verb, and that is a language derived
from the Latin. The English language is ridiculed also,
as if the philologists were all idiots. I think we do right
in comparing the Zulu language with the English because
then we take the one language we ought to take. You
are not educating the Zulu boy to stand to Zulu the
whole of his life and to get no further. You are not
educating him for Zulu purposes only. The Zulu has to
meet the white man in a Colony governed by Europeans,
and therefore he must have a knowledge of English. You
are insisting on the Zulu child learning disjunctively in
what you say is a conjunctive language. The object
of your teaching the Zulu language is to get him to con-
vey thought correctly, and then you lead him on to Eng-
lish ; you want to modify Zulu so as to bring him on to
English and have no break. You must have pronouns
in the two languages as nearly the same grammatically
as possible. I do not see why you should not parse Zulu.
Ngi is a pronoun in English and not a pronoun in Zulu,
it is said, and when the Zulu student asks you why that
is so, he is told he must think Zulu in Zulu and English
in English. If people are willing to be convinced, I do
not see how such an argument can fail to convince them
if they desire to act on behalf of the people, and not of
one’s own particular system. We ought to find out the
easiest way of educating the native youth, and on that
principle alone I think the question ought to be decided
in favour of this rule, which is a combination of both
systems and no breach of any principle.

Mr. Buckner: Do I understand the speaker aright
that wherever the Zulu pronouns wena, mina occur they
are to be translated into English by the emphatic form of
the pronoun?

Mr. Baker: Possibly not; there may be exceptions.
“Mina” means in English “I myself.”

Mr. Buckner: Would you kindly show us how the
second last line in the first example given should be
written according to the disjunctive system?

Mr. Baker: There are differences amongst the dis-
junctivists. I would write it as follows :—“Zi ya zi ndiza
ndizela.” I don’t say it is the disjunctive system. The
meaning is, “They fly about of themselves.”


Replying to Mr. Minkner, Mr. Baker said he would
write, “Se za wa fukamela” in the above example, but he
would not mind meeting the conjunctivists by joining
wa on to the last word.

In answer to the same questioner, the speaker said
that if “ndiza” and “ndizela” were the same verb, they
should be written together.

The Secretary pointed out that “zindizandizela”
was all one word, and the disjunctivists would never think
of writing it any other way.

At this stage Mr. Baker resumed the chair.

Mr. Moodie: It seems to me we have overlooked the
fact that last year the Conference almost agreed upon a
set of rules, but we have just got back to where we were
before we came to that point, and are now repeating the
same arguments. At last Conference we found that after
three days’ debate we had two elements in the Conference,
which, any way, were not agglutinative. The majority of
the Conference agreed, under these circumstances, to ac-
cept a compromise. They appointed a Committee to draw
up a set of rules to be submitted to this Conference, which
we hoped would be acceptable. That Orthography Com-
mittee was composed of extremists on both sides, with
a fair number of moderates thrown in; but it seems to me
that the moderates have disappeared and we are just
back to where we were. I was delighted to get this set
of rules from that Committee, but I was surprised when
we were asked to come down for three days to debate
them. Now we are told that the extremists on one side
took little or no part in the deliberations of the Com-
mittee, and that they now take up the same attitude as
they did before. It seems to me we should attempt to come
to some understanding and report progress.

Mr. C. G. Jackson : I emphasise the last speaker’s
remarks in regard to the spirit of compromise which I
urged in the last Conference. I was very pleased to see
the set of rules brought out, because they seemed to me
to reflect the spirit of compromise. I personally favoured
the disjunctive system, but I tried to make clear that I
would give up all my own ideas on the subject in order to
secure uniformity. I do think we are nearer uniformity
on both sides. I do think that the extremists are merging'
together. I would ask all those who hold extreme views
to still further modify these views. The rule cannot be
modified any further; on all the other rules I think it is
the disjunctivists who have given way pretty well all


through. The question has been raised as to a certain
amount of vagueness in rule 1, because the parts of
speech are not sufficiently defined. It would, perhaps,
have been advisable to prefix a rule, and made it rule 1,
to the effect that pronouns, pronominal prefixes, and
auxiliary verbs should stand as parts of speech.

Mr. Wilcox: That is explained in the last rule.

Mr. C. G. Jackson : Yes; the last rule does explain it.

Mr. Moodie: I am afraid you have not made matters
quite clear as regards this rule. You say the rules follow-
ing rule 1 are a modification of the first rule, in deference
to the wishes o fthe conjunctivists. We have, however,
compromised on the first rule.

Mr. Jackson: I should have made it clear that the
examples given in the first rule are not, to my mind,
possible of any modification.

Chairman: A good deal has been said of the letter
“m” standing separately as a word. Do you notice in
rule 4 how the letter cfm” comes in? ”m” does not
there stand separately.

Mr. Jackson: No.

Chairman: Will you look at the last rule? Would
it not be possible to modify the last rule in any way you
like ?

Mr. Jackson: I should think that people who pass
rule 1 do not necessarily pass “m” standing alone.

Mr. Goodenough: Can the subsequent rules be
amended ?

Chairman :Yes.

Mr. Goodenough: I give notice of the following new
rule:—“Compound pronouns formed by the double use
of the present or past forms of the pronouns compounded
with the verb ‘be,’ followed by the participial form of the
pronouns, shall be written as one word, viz., bengi, ubu,
ube, ngangi, wau, wabe, etc. When the particle “se”
is combined with the above forms, all shall be written as
one word. The auxiliaries ‘ya,’ ‘za,’ ‘nga,’ and the nega-
tive particles ‘a,’ ‘ka,’ ‘nga,’ shall be kept separate from
the pronouns and from the verb/’

Chairman: I think the one rule should be pitted
against the other.

Mr. Blake: Mr. Wilcox and myself, as moderates
in the Committee, had to go in on this point together,
and we agreed that we should accept words in the sense
that the parts of speech can be determined and analysed.
We are satisfied with the analytical and grammatical


basis rather than the conjunctive basis. The general rule-
must be that the parts of speech stand alone.

Mr. Wilcox : There were several of these rules that
were passed afterwards, and we passed the first rule on
the understanding that the subsequent modifications could
be made.

Mr. R. Blake: We understood really that this first
rule only settled the question between the verb and its
component parts. You will notice from the examples
that we are taking only examples where the particles are
full, e.g., li, ya. The understanding is clear that this
only determines the question of the verb.

Chairman: If this first rule is passed, the other rules
may be amended and new rules may be added.

Mr. Taylor : I feel myself a Benjamin in this com-
pany. I believe the whole question of orthography is a
question of arbitrariness, that is, the way in which we
write our thoughts must be arbitrary. What grounds
have we for representing the sound “z” by the sign that
stands for “z”? I am one of those who wish to reach
some system of uniformity by which we can all stand
together. It seems to me that we have, in the proposals
made by the so-called disjunctivists, an advance on their
part towards a willingness to arrive at such a system.
We have heard this morning from Father Bryant an ex-
pression of willingness to go in the same direction. If I
were to join a school I would join a disjunctive school.
We have heard from Father Bryant that he would be
willing to compromise if we keep within the bounds of the
conjunctive system. I do not know what the bounds of
the conjunctive system are. Why should we not have a
similar proposal from the disjunctivists? I wish that the
Chairman's proposal that representatives of the two
schools meet during the noon hour were agreed to. I
suggest that Father Bryant and those associated with him
as conjunctivists should lay before us the extent they are
willing to go in the direction of compromise. For in-
stance, they can take some of the big words that have
been pointed out to us in the Colenso Testament and tell
us in what way they should be broken up. I am afraid
it was the ability to read long words in Zulu correctly
that led me at one time to congratulate myself that I was
a conjunctivist. The questions directed at each speaker
have been with a view to bringing out the strength of the
position; but in my own mind I have not got any nearer,
in this discussion, to a system which we could adopt as a


uniform system. Will the conjunctivists not be willing
to present to us their ideas of modification of their system
in the same way as the disjunctivists have done with
theirs ?

Mr. Jules Ryff: Is it possible to make any compro-
mise as far as rule 1 is concerned? Is it possible to have
anything else as far as the different parts of speech are
concerned ?

Mr. Taylor: My reason for saying I am willing to
accept the rule as it stands is because I don’t think it is
possible to put that rule in any other shape than the
shape in which it stands. It seems to me that our diffi-
culty is very largely with the verb; we can agree as to
the other parts of speech. I do not believe we can get
a system upon which we can agree in regard to the verb
in any other way than to take the verb arbitrarily, and
to decide what we shall write together and what sep-

Mr. Bryant: In regard to our position, I think as
far as the conjunctivists are concerned we are practically
united on all the other rules, saving No. 1. In regard to
No. 1, I think I am also right in stating that the con-
junctivists are willing to make as much concession as the
disjunctivists, which is nothing. (Laughter.) The dis-
junctivists make no concession in that rule; if is merely
a statement of their principle. As against that rule we
are content to accept Archdeacon Roach’s amendment.

Mr. Chater: Rule 1 says that the different parts of
speech are to be written separately; you say it expresses
the system of the disjunctivists?

Mr. Bryant: Yes, it embodies their ideas.

Mr. Chater: They don’t, as a matter of fact, read the
parts of speech separately; they read the parts of speech

Mr. Bryant: I don’t know whether they do or not.

Mr. Moodie: I suggest that Mr. Taylor’s suggestions
be put as a proposition.

Mr. Chater: I suggest that the Conference go into
Committee for that purpose.

Mr. Taylor: I give you this one word: ningenjen-
gabangahlakanipile. May I ask Father Bryant to what
extent the conjunctivists would be willing to go towards
the disjunctivist camp in dividing up that word?

Mr. Bryant: Personally, I would not be willing to
divide it at all


Mr. C. G. Jackson: How would the earnest student
of Zulu look for the word in his dictionary?

Mr. Bryant: You don’t look for a compound word
of that kind in a dictionary. In all primitive languages
you look for the root and not for the compound form of
the word.

Mr. Jackson: Do all those particles appear in your
dictionary ?

Mr. Bryant: Yes; I follow the usual custom, of
course. In this dictionary there are root stems. Of
â– course all dictionaries of this description give root stems.

Mr. Jackson: Do you admit that a student of Zulu
would be able to interpret this word if written in the
conjunctivist system?

Mr. Bryant: You would find all the different roots
in the dictionary; you must know those if you are to find
them in the dictionary. The dictionary will never teach
you how to divide up words.

Mr. Chater : Could you not give us some explanation
as to what the system of conjunctivism is?

Mr. Bryant: I explained that last year in two hours.
The system is based on the native mind. I study the
native speech, and I find in that speech a certain division
of speech, and I find my guiding rule to be the division
of speech by accentuation. The native divides his thought
first in the mind, and in giving utterance to it he divides
it by his method of pronunciation. Without pronuncia-
tion we should not know how to divide his thought. Each
division of thought we may regard as one complete entity.
At the end of one concrete thought he puts the penulti-
mate accent. Whenever you come to the penultimate
accent you take it that the native has completed his
thought. I always look for this penultimate accent, and I
make a division.

Mr. Chater : Do you think there is any possible hope
of our coming to such a principle?

Mr. Bryant: If one grasp the principle of penultimate
accentuation and its meaning, then I think we could come
to some understanding. The word ends with one penulti-
mate accent and goes on to the next. There is only one
penultimate accent.

Mr. R. C. Samuelson: Do you think that that word
•on the board can be divided into two?

Mr. Bryant: On the conjunctive system I am quite
willing to compromise. I shall have no objection at all
if the majority of conjunctivists were in favour of dividing


a word up in any shape or form, being all agreed on the
conjunctivist principles. Personally, I should not divide
it, but if I found any other conjunctivist explaining a
reason for dividing it I should be quite willing to com-

Mr. R. C. Samuelson : Are there not two penultimate
accents in that word?

Mr. Bryant: I should say there was only one penulti-
mate accent myself, but I shall have no objection to agree-
ing that there were two if the majority considered there

Mr. R. C. Samuelson : I would divide the word in
this way: Ningenjeng abangahlakanipile.

Mr. Stead: Do you think- it would be possible for
even the best linguists, in reading such a long word, to
pronounce it without hesitation?

Mr. Bryant: That will occur in every language. You
find exceptional cases where everybody will stumble. In
most languages you will find exceptional words, such as
that one on the board.

Mr. Stuart: I can give you other words equally as;
long from Colenso’s Testament,

Mr. Bryant: You may find about a dozen more in

Mr. iStuart: I can give you 10,000 more. (Laughter.)-

Mr. Bryant: If you go into the Asiatic languages you
will find such long words the whole book through.

Mr. Norenius: How would you write “ba ya emful-
eni” and “ba funa ukwazi”?

Mr. Bryant: According to the pronunciation, guided
by the penultimate accent. We must not mix up the
sentential accent and the penultimate accent. The two
are quite different things. A number of examples have
been quoted to the Conference with the sentential accent.

Chairman: How would you write “usalele, u sa
lele” ?

Mr. Bryant: In one word, because it all comes out
under one accentuation. It all depends upon the pronun-
ciation of the natives; that is my guide. My claim is that
we should write as the language is spoken.

Chairman: The disjuncted forms would be read just
as rapidly as spoken.

Mr. Bryant: If you divide up words you give them
another accentuation whether you intend it or not. The
accentuation of words separated and the accentuation of
words joined together are never the same. If you divide


up what the native joins together it no longer retains the
same accentuation.

Mr. Stuart: You said that as regards that long word
ningenjengabangahlakanipile, you would he prepared to
go in for compromise. That indicates a certain amount of
doubt in your mind. Are the Conference to understand
that this doubt is likely to occur in this case? Is it to
be taken that your principle is at stake? Is it that you
are in doubt of your principle ? Supposing you separated
this word and found there was a penultimate, where would
you end off?

Mr. Bryant: I don’t say I should be willing to com-
promise upon this particular word, but if the majority
of conjunctivists thought that “ningenjenga” carried the
penultimate accent, I would be willing to give in. I am
quite liable to make a mistake regarding the penultimate

Mr. Stuart? Not if you were talking to a native,
which you are bringing forward as an infallible guide?
Are you then likely, when you do take the words down
as spoken, to go wrong sometimes?

Mr. Bryant: It is a matter of detecting the penulti-
mate accent. If his idea is not sure or is uncertain,
the native will not always be sure in his accentuation, and
I would not be sure in my detection of that accentuation,
because I am not a native, but it is not often I would
make a mistake.

Secretary: How many penultimate accents are there
in that word?

Mr. Bryant: One, on the “pile.” You must not call
everything an accent; there are intonations or length of
vowels. There are no particular accents in the remainder
of that word; there may be the length of the vowel. There
is no accent on the second syllable; there might be a
stress on the first syllable. Each stem has an accentua-
tion of its own if it is polysyllabic.

Secretary: How many penultimate accents are there
in ‘ ‘nj engakutembisavo ?”

Mr. Bryant: Only one.

Secretary: Is it not better to write this word so that
the natives can read it at once ?

Mr. Bryant: How would you divide it?

Secretary: Would you adopt a system of accentuation
:such as the acute, the grave, and the circumflex accents?

Mr. Bryant: Certainly not in writing.


Secretary: How is the native to know himself what
the meaning of this word is when it is capable of several
different translations?

Mr. Bryant: That occurs in all languages. You
gather from the context and other things what is the
meaning of different words.

Secretary: How many penultimate accents has,
“bamehlisa” ?

Mr. Bryant: Only one. There is no dispute about the
different accents. The conjunctive system* is based on the
penultimate alone. The penultimate occurs in the native
language, and wherever the native puts it there I place it.

Mr. S. 0. Samuelson: Has “bamehlisa” only one
meaning ?

Mr. Bryant: Only one meaning, but it might be in
different tenses, the same as in the disjunctive system
also. It might be past and it might be present tense,
and how would you make a difference in the disjunctive
system? These things will occur in any system.

Mr. S. 0. Samuelson hereupon gave a different pro-
nunciation to the word.

Mr. Bryant: You will have to find out from the
context what is the meaning of the word.

Mr. Taylor : What is the object in writing in any
way the Zulu words?

Mr. Bryant: The object is to express native thought,,
and when I come to write 1 want to divide up his speech
in a certain manner. I want to find the manner in which
the native mind divides up that speech.

Mr. Taylor: Is the reduction to writing in order
that the natives may be able to read?

Mr. Bryant: To represent their thought as closely as
possible. The penultimate accentuation is always occur-
ring, and I ask myself why, always, here and there, there
is this kind of accentuation, and I find it corresponds with
my idea of things that in the native mind it marks one

Mr. Tayor: Is this theoretical?

Mr. Bryant: Yes, theoretical.

Mr. Taylor: I ask from the natives whether words-
written like these long words upon the board are easy for
them to read.

A Native Member: Yes, it is easier for me.

Mr. Kempe: I think we should be clear upon the aim
of our Congress. Yesterday we heard that the chopping
up of the language was spoiling Zulu, and killing it, and


doing I don’t know what harm. Some were trying to
make out it was making it a Hottentot language, and
some say we are trying to Anglicise the language. I am
quite sure that we have a real interest in the development
of this movement, just as much as any conjunctivist. We
do not spoil the language in any way. For my part I am
rather annoyed to see how the natives themselves spoil
their own language by introducing hybrid words. When
the natives and other people say that we are spoiling the
language, it has nothing to do with the present question,
because, whether written in the disjunctive or conjunctive
way, the language is the same and it is there. We can
never alter the language by the way in which we write it.
The aim before us is to reduce the language to writing.
Some of our friends say that the language must be written
as it is spoken. Then I may ask, firstly, is any other lan-
guage written as it is spoken? I should very much like
to know that, in order to be able to compare results and
see what they will lead to. Another thing is this, that
I think there is only one way of writing a language as it
is spoken, and that is by a gramophone—(laughter)—but
I should pray not to have my eyes troubled by reading a
gramophone; the thing is recorded there in order to be
heard and not to be seen. If you could write a language
just as correctly as a gramophone does, it would be all
right. But now we have to read the language, and we
have to take into consideration the structure of the eye.
We find the structure is different to that of the ear. It
has been said that if you write a language as you speak
it, then the thing is very easily settled. I hear one of
the conjunctivists say that there might be a very great
difference of opinion as to how they shall write. They
seem, every one of them, to be a law unto themselves.
(Laughter.) I am quite sure that if they try to frame
a set of rules it would be a very easy thing to criticise
them, but we have never seen a set of rules presented.
They are only presenting generalities, and it is most diffi-
cult to criticise generalities than if they had put some-
thing practical on the table.

Archdeacon Roach: May I say I did put something
practical on the table in the way of an amendment?

Mr. Kempe: That amendment would not in any way
tell me how I am to write “ngi namandhla.” How is
it that formerly they used to write everything together
and that nowadays they cut it up? Must not we take



into consideration a little of what we are taught by his-
tory? Some people here who are advocates of the con
junctive system have spoken about Chinese and about the
Indian languages in America, and they have spoken about
Latin and Greek. Are they to frame the writing of this
language upon these languages, or should we not take
into account languages which are more up-to-date? We
disjunctivists are not satisfied to have the Zulu language
written just as Chinese is written, or the North
American Indian languages and the Latin and
Greek languages are written. No; we wish to
give the Zulus the best up-to-date method. It is
curious to note how arguments are sought to be
drawn from Latin. They say that in the Latin we have
the pronoun joined to the verb, e.g., amavo, amavem,
amavarem. Which is the pronoun? The people of
Europe would be quite willing to take the settlement of
the question from people here who know. (Laughter.)
Many things in French are being compared to Zulu.
There is “je,” for instance. You never find this standing
by itself—you say “moi,” quite the same as in Zulu,
“ngi.” You wish to call different parts of speech words,
which can stand by themselves, but there are many words
in Zulu which cannot stand by themselves. For instance,
in English we take “my.” Can you make that stand
alone? You say “my horse,” “the horse is mine.” This
proves that “my” must be connected with the following
word. It is with this thing just as in ordinary life.
Take, for instance, “me.” Here am I standing as a man
whose services might be of some advantage in solving
this question. But if I got into the desert what use am
I there ? A man is a magistrate in Durban; when he
gets to England he is not a magistrate because he loses
connection with his surroundings. The question is
whether we shall be allowed to write Zulu in a barbar-
ous way or in an intelligible way, that is to say, if we
are going to write Zulu as old peoples wrote their langu-
ages, uniting everything, or if we are going to have an
intelligible writing of it. When you say that the thought
is first, and then the word, I think that is correct and
nobody will dispute it. A sentence consists of thoughts,
which are put in a line, and then the different words
get to bear their meaning in bringing about that sen-
tence. It has been said, also, that “li” changes. For
instance, you have “li,” “la,” “lo.” “Li” does not
change at all, according to my opinion. You have “li”


in. the past tense, and then you have the auxiliary word
“a,” and you have elision there, just the same as in the
future you have “lo,” the contraction of “li yaku.”
Take, for instance, Uuma ngi ya m tanda.” If you put
one accent to the front you lose sight of all other accents.
For instance, Father Bryant in his dictionary has “belisa-
dukile.” Of course it differs very much; there are two
meanings, he says, in his dictionary, but he says you are
to bring into operation the secondary accent. How can
anybody know when to put any secondary accent on.
You have destroyed the secondary accent by bringing the
penultimate accent to the front.

Mr. Bryant: That is one instance which you can
only understand by the context.

Mr . Kempe: You might get things which the con-
text won’t make clear, and that is so in many cases.

Chairman : What context have you in the dictionary
for this word?

Mr. Bryant: The context will give it meaning.

Mr. Kempe: Here you have another of the same
peculiarities—kuy opigazi.

Mr. Bryant: There is only one penultimate as it
stands there. It is all connected.

Mr. Kempe : And you therefore read it as one word.

Mr. Bryant: Certainly. You have forgotten the sec-
ondary accent again.

Mr. Kempe: No, no; the secondary exists alongside
the penultimate.

Mr. Bryant then referred to different accentuations.
He said a man made his own combination, and that every
penultimate was the requirement of the mind.

Mr. Johannsen: The natives should not be so selfish
in wanting to write the conjunctive system. They should
think of white people who have got to read their letters.

The Conference adjourned at 12.SO p.m. until after




MAY 30, 1907.

The Conference resumed at 2 p.m., Mr. A. W. Baker
being in the chair.

Mr. J. W. Cross: At this late hour I do not propose
to keep you long, hut as one in whom the natives say they
find no foreign accent in his Zulu I think I can speak
with some authority. I do that as the result of experi-
ence, and the natives themselves say that the conjunc-
tive method is best. We are met here as a Conference
to reduce the language to a writing. Zulu had never
been written until we came to the country. We have,
a new field before us. As to what has already been written
the natives favour the conjunctive mode. If it is more
suitable to the native, not only in writing but in reading,
why not perpetuate that system? Let us favour that
side which is best for the native. We don’t want the
language for ourselves; we want it for the natives. If
they are in favour of that system, why should there be
any opposition to our perpetuating what is most suitable
to the language itself ? I see that according to rule 1 the
examples “ilanga li ya kanya,” “isinkwa ngi ya si
tanda” are given. Those words are disjointed. Do they
profess to be written as spoken?

Mr. J. Stuart: No.

Mr. Cross: Well, I say they are wrong. I should
put “ilanga li ya kanya” in two words; I would put
“ngivasitanda” in one word. I can take in the word as
one in the reading of it, but written disjunctively the
eye has to stop to take in the whole meaning. Let us
agree on some system. This is the third Conference, and,
like the marriage declaration, the last time of asking.
The Isixosa language, with which I am also acquainted,
is written, as Mr. Mdolomba said, conjunctively. I ear-
nestly and conscientiously ask this Conference to adopt
a system which is most suitable to the natives and to the

Mr. Staven: Do you think that all natives are of
the same opinion?

Mr. Cross : I will not say all natives, but I think
that if a vote was taken in the Colony the majority would
be in favour of the conjunctive system.

Mr. Kempe: Do you think that the natives are in a
position to judge properly about the writing? They can


judge about the speaking, but are they in a proper position
to judge bow the language should be written?

Replying to Mr. Chater, Mr. Cross said: I do not
think we ought to pass rule 1 as it stands with examples
given there, except you modify them. I have not been
able to study the other rules, but from previous speakers
I gather that the definite language of rule 1 is modified
in the subsequent rules.

Mr. Stuart: The disjunctivists propose to take a3
their fundamental rule that the different parts of speech
shall be written separately, except as modified by these
rules. You say that the proper system to adopt is the
conjunctive one. Being long used to speaking the lan-
guage, would you tell us what rule you write by?

Mr. Cross : Principally as the word is pronounced. I
am guided by the way the word is pronounced.

What is your guide?—In the different accents put
on, and stops.

What is your guide as to when to come to an end
of a portion of speech when a man speaks? Where must
you end and begin another word ?

Mr. Cross: Give an example.

Mr. Stuart: Nga puma endhlini ngaya ngapandhle.

Mr. Cross : I would write that in two words—ngapu-
maendhlini and ngayangapandhla.

Mr. Stuart: Why do you join nga on to puma end-
hlini ?

Mr. Cross: Because there is no stop there in the
spoken language.

Mr. Stuart: And your reason for that is because they
are spoken together ?

Mr. Cross : Yes.

Mr. Stuart: It does not matter what the different
elements are ?

Mr. Cross: Where there is a stop I separate.

Secretary: Would you write what the native speaks
according to the manner in which he speaks it ? Suppos-
ing a man spoke quickly, would you write all his words
together, and a man who spoke deliberately, would you
write his words separately?

Mr. Cross : When he speaks in that way he is either
not well—(laughter)—or does not think that the listener
is able to grasp his meaning unless he speaks quietly and
deliberately, but that is not his ordinary mode of speaking.

Secretary: We would have a particular kind of
written language for natives who are not well, and ano-


ther for natives who are better, and another for those
that are particularly well. (Laughter.)

Mr. Norenius: Do you recognise in Zulu the differ-
ent class of words found in other languages, such as
nouns, adjectives, pronouns, etc ? In every language we
find these different parts of speech. Do you find them
in the Zulu language ?

Mr. Cross : I think they will be found there.

Mr. Notrenius: Because they must be; because they
are in the minds of all human beings ?

Do you not think, then, they ought to be written sep-
arately, as in other languages, like monuments of thought
in the written language ? Do you think they ought to be
written separately in the Zulu?

Mr. Cross : I do not; they are not suitable to this
particular language.

Mr. Norenius: But they have moulded themselves
out as monuments of separate thoughts and ideas in the
Zulu mind.

Mr. Cross: The difficulty in Zulu, in being guided by
those rules, is the emphasis to be placed on different
vowels in the sentence and sometimes in the word. They
drop the last letter often, or it is scarcely sounded at all.

Mr. Norenius : You say that in the Zulu language we
ought to be led by the penultimate accent? Do you not
think that if you take any language on earth you will
find in it accentuation and modulation of words and sen-
tences, as in Zulu ? Don't you think that every language
has its peculiar accentuation of word and sentence ? Have
you found any other language brought down to writing
in which accentuation has been made the basis as to
what is to be written together or what not? Why should
we go from a common law of old languages and make a
new one for the Zulu or Bantu languages ?

Mr. Cross : Because it is most suitable to the Zulu

Mr. Stead : Don’t you find that the majority of edu-
cated natives, in using this so-called conjunctive method,
really do so to excess, inasmuch as in the majority of
instances you find whole letters without a single division ?

Mr. Cross: I think you find that in natives who are
not educated, but just beginners.

Mr. Stead: Do you not think that each native seems
to follow a method of his own?

Mr. Cross: Not when really educated.

Mr. Stead: I notice that in pronouncing these


examples in rule 1 you give the correct accent. Did
you do that instinctively or by following the different
parts of speech as written? I noticed you had no diffi-
culty when reading them in placing the accent on the
correct syllable.

Mr. C. G. Jackson: You are not wedded to the con-
junctive system? If these rules are in the main adopted,
will you throw in your lot with us and put aside your
own personal prejudice?

Mr. Cross: If we are to be of any service, I think
we should adopt what is most practicable, and that, to my
mind, is the conjunctive system.

Mr. Jackson: Assuming that these rules are passed,
are you willing, as a conjunctivist, to abide by the deci-
sion of the majority of the Conference?

Mr. Cross: I can’t bind the others.

Mr. Pixley: Let me give you some of my experience.
Fifty years ago my attention was called to this language.
There was placed before me the Isixosa Bible. That was
one way of writing the language. I had as teachers such
men as Rood and Grout. I saw the word “ngiyahamba.”
Why do they write that all together? I ask the ques-
tion then: Why not write this as we write English ?
From that day to this I have never seen an answer to
the question why we should not write it as the English
write “I am walking.” Fifty years’ experience here
has shown me that there is no reason why we should not
write that sentence in the English style. They say this
language is peculiar. "Where is the peculiarity about it
in that sentence? I can’t go into the particulars now,
but I want to specially emphasise that part of my experi-
ence in reading, writing, and speaking Zulu, of which,
I think, I have had probably as much as anyone here. I
have noticed the writing of letters. A good many of the
natives’ letters that are written to me I can’t read, even
now, to make any sense of them. I go to somebody else,
but it makes no difference, and the reason why is be-
cause they are written all together, with no marks to
show the divisions. Their universal way has been, with-
in the past year or two, to write in this conjunctive
method; I grant that. They write sometimes a whole
thought or sentence, but some of them are beginning
to see the utility of having sentences, and it must be
that they will begin to see there must be some way
of indicating stops. Since I commenced writing the
language I have analysed words and sentences. In one


of the first weeks of my residence here in Natal I heard
a good Zulu speaker, and for the life of me I could not
tell, when he was speaking, where his sentences began
and ended. He ran on smoothly, and I said it was a
very nice language to speak, and I wondered how I was
going to learn. But I soon began to find that the dis-
tinction that is made is made in emphasis by way of the
penultimate and other accents. I learned the language
in that way. One or two of our speakers have emphasised
about the origin of words and the philosophical method
of writing. It carries me back to the old college times,
with the question as to whether Adam was given the
perfect language to start with.

Mr. Wilcox: We are not getting any new light.
We are going over the same ground continually. I think
we ought to hear the closing speech.

Chairman: We should not put the closure on with-
out hearing all the speakers who wish to speak.

Miss Colenso, appealed to by the Chairman, said: I
have not changed my mind since last year, and I vote
that we hear the leaders in reply.

Mr. Blake, replying to the debate, said: There has
been little new light shed. We did not accept this rule
in committee because we found it necessary to decide be-
tween the merits of the two systems. That was left to
the Conference. We were a committee to carry out the
wishes of the Conference as expressed in Mr. Jackson’s
resolution at last Conference. That resolution was: —
“That in view of the wide disagreement between the
extreme advocates of the conjunctive and disjunctive
methods, and, having regard to the fact that on neither
side are there well-defined and recognised rules upon
which uniformity can be secured, this Conference is of
the opinion that a modification of the two systems be
adopted under rules to be subsequently decided upon.”
Well, then, here we are again. Perhaps we have not
the same parties, but we have got the same elements.
The fact is that this rule was not adopted at once. These
few words, “The different parts of speech shall be written
separately, except as modified by these rules,” took a
great deal of discussion, and then they were passed by
seven votes to two. I plead with those who are in favour
of that modification on the board (Archdeacon Roach’s
amendment) to withdraw it, because we gain nothing by
it. I hoped that our conjunctive friends would come here
to-day to show us a middle way. Let us agree for practi-


cability’s and utility’s sake. The Conference voted a com-
promise by 27 votes to 19, and yet you come here to fight
all the whole battle over again. Eighteen years ago,
when I first learned the Isixosa language, I read Cra-
shaw’s “First Kafir Course.” The only teaching I had
was with this book and an old Kafir. He told me how
to “fold my tongue” and how to “snap it up again.”
You will find Crashaw’s book divided up, but Crashaw
is just as much biassed as any of us. Crashaw says he
divides it up, and he teaches us a sort of disjunctive
method as to the roots, but his other parts of speech are
conjunctive. With the verb he takes the very minutest
trouble. When we tried to make spelling sheets in
Nyanja we found it very difficult. But in the Zulu
language we are very wise, I think, in trying to have
an arbitrary system, if you may use the term. In
Zulu it may be difficult to determine the parts of speech,
but when they are found we stick to them. The great
thing is that by these rules we have not put subject and
predicate into one word, nor subject and object. It has
been questioned what the parts of speech are in the Zulu
language. There is no getting over it that there are
such words as nouns—names of things—and such w’ords
as verbs, which express verbal ideas, adjectives, adverbs,
prepositions, etc. Every man who has to write a gram7
mar, Colenso included, has got to find names for his
parts of speech. Objection has been made to the change
of pronoun in the tenses. Why should not the pronoun
change if it likes to? Why should not the pronominal
prefix change i£ it likes ? It does not make any difference
if you write it separately. I claim we have not got a
clear idea yet of a word. The dictionary says a word is
a spoken sign, a sign of expression. “A word is also
a constituent part of a sentence.” The constituent part
of a sentence in Zulu is swallowed up in one word. One
of the speakers made a great impression with the phrase
that agglutination is a very serious matter. Rule 2 will
show you that the Committee has had due regard for
agglutination, but agglutination is not the most serious
question. I think grammar and syntax have got more
to do with it. Here we have the Basutos, however, who
have modified their conjunctive system. The verb gives
them the trouble, but they have not got to the end of
the disjunctive idea. We have not seen any definite
authority to say that Isixosa is settled as to writing. Mr.
Dube had a difficulty as to a system for ordinary natives.


I have seen one native, a woman, writing fairly correctly.
She reads her Bible and takes her grammar from it.
iSome of the Boers write very correctly, tanght by imi-
tating the Dutch Bible. Imitation is teaching them, and
yon cannot hold a candle to the natives in the way of
imitation. One thing the ordinary native needs, and that
is a consistent system—a consistent Bible. I beg every-
body in this Conference to take rule 1, and do not con-
sider that they accept it in the name of one faction or
the other, but as the basis on which we can all go forward
together in the future, and we can make the work of this
Conference settled to such an extent that it will be work-
able and revisable. We want the writing of the language
to be based on grammar and syntax, so as we may be able
to revise it.

Mr. Wiese, seconded by Mr. Beibeling, moved the
following amendment: —

“llule 1 to read : The proper (undisputed) differ-
ent parts of speech shall be written separ-
ately, except as modified by these rules,
e.g., Haul lomfana omncane .utanda kakulu
ukuya ensimini yami.”

In speaking to the amendment, Mr. Weise said: I
say “proper (undisputed) different parts of speech/’ I
say a noun is a proper undisputed part, even in the Zulu
language, although members of the Conference may write
some nouns in different ways. The adjective is a proper
undisputed part and also the verb, but not the preposition
or the conjunctions, because they are changed by the
words to which they belong. So also the so-called pro-
nominal prefixes, or, as some members say, pronouns.
Sometimes it is “ngi,” sometimes “nga,” sometimes “ngo.”
It is not the same in English, German, and some other
languages. There the pronouns are unchangeable in every
way. The conjunctions and prepositions in the Zulu lan-
guage are sometimes changeable. I add interjections to
the unchangeable parts of speech in Zulu. If a conjunc-
tion, a preposition, an adverb is of one syllable it is
joined to the word to which it belongs. If it has two or
more syllables it stands by itself, such as “ngomfana,”
“ngendhlela.” Conjunctions, prepositions, and adverbs
should be written separately if of more than one syllable,
but if they are of one syllable, and change about accord-
ing to the word to which they belong, they should be


Mr. Bryant: How would you propose to write u ya
hamba ?

Mr. Weise: One word.

Father Bryant: Which do you consider the verb?
Mr. Weise: I consider “hamba” as a verbal noun,

and “u” and “ya” as particles.

Secretary: What do you mean by saying that the

verb is an undisputed part of speech, but not these “so-
called pronominal particles” ?

Mr. Weise: The so-called pronominal particles are
only particles to help the verb. They are only auxiliary
to the verb, and therefore are to be connected with the

' Secretary: Your amendment is exactly the same as
Archdeacon Roach/s amendment.

Mr. Weise: Yes, but it is not an amendment to
rule 1.

By consent, Mr. Weise withdrew his proposition.

Archdeacon Roach then moved the following amend-
ment, of which he had given notice: —

“That in place of rule 1 in the report of the
Orthography Committee, the Conference re-
solves to adopt the following: ‘Pronominal
particles used in the formation of all tenses,
moods, and voices, positive and negative,
shall be written together with the verb root
or adjective as one word. All accusative,
reflexive, and adverbial particles coming
between the pronominal particles and the
verb root shall be combined with them in
one word? ”

A division resulted as follows: —

For motion (recommendation of the Orthography

R. Blake.

J. G. Chater.

Carroll Smith.

J. Ryfl.

K. J. Johannsen.

F. Suter.

Rev. J. L. Dube.

J. Stuart.

C. G. Jackson.

N. O. H. Stead.

A. W= Baker.------23.

Rev. J. D. Taylor. Rev.
Rev. H. D. Goodenough. Rev.
Rev. S. C. Pixley. Rev.
Rev. W. C. Wilcox. Rev.
Rev. A. R. Kempe. Rev.
Rev. J. Astrup. Rev,
Rev. 0. Emanuelson. Rev,
Rev. A. M. Hofmeyr. Mr.
Rev. W. R. Moodie. Mr.
Rev. J. E. Norenius. Mr.
Rev. 0. S tavern. Mr.
Rev. E. Ericksen.


For Archdeacon Roach’s amendment: —

Archdeacon F. Roach.

Rev. Father A. T. Bryant.
Rev. Father F. F. Mayr.
Rev. I. Buckner.

Rev. H. Weise.

Rev. L. Reibeling.

Rev. E. Minker.

Rev. C. Prozesky.

Mr. R. Plant.

Mr. S. 0. Samuleson.

Mr. R. C. Samuelson.

Mr. J. W. Cross.

Miss H. E. Colenso.

Miss Samuelson.

Rev. A. Mtimkulu.

Rev. S. Msimang.

Rev. Mtambu.

Rev. E. Mdolomba.

Mr. S. Myongwana.-----19.

Rule 1, as recommended by the Orthography Com-
mittee, was then declared carried.


Mr. R. C. Samuelson moved rule 2, as recommended
by the Orthography Committee : —

“Whenever a coalescence of the final vowel of
one word with the initial vowel of the follow-
ing word occurs, as in the case of possessive
particles, prepositions, and relative pro-
nouns, the two words shall be written to-
gether. E.g., Inja yomfana; u ngi tshaye
ngenduku; ukozi olupezulu.”

Mr. Goodenough: I should like to see some excep-
tion made with reference to the possessive particle. I
object to writing that as it is here. The preposition I
should prefer to be separated, as suggested by Mr. Stuart
in his pamphlet, especially the long word “njenga.” I
would like to know from the Committee what they mean
when they say there is coalescence when they speak of
the relative pronoun. They give the example “olupe-
zulu”; that is an adjective and an epithet. I think that
the word “prepositions” should be struck out.

Secretary: you show the adjective to be a
epithet in Zulu?

Mr. Goodenough: It is inflected.

Secretary: How do you inflect it ?

Mr. Goodenough : I inflect it by prefixing the adjec-
tive to the pronoun and connecting it then to the word
whieh is to be qualified by a relative connective.

Secretary: Don’t you count that as a relative? You
can’t call it anything else in any other place.


Mr. Goodenough: Yes, I can. Take the sentence,
“mina e be ngi kn tanda.” The relative connective there
is “e,” and not the pronoun.

Mr. Blake: Where the preposition is followed by a
nonn and the initial vowel of the noun and the final
vowel of the preposition come together and become one
letter it is not an elision: it is the two letters becoming
one. In the case of the relative we took it for granted
that there is such a thing as a relative “a” in most
Bantu languages, in some languages it is very strong.
In Zulu it is weaker and almost loses its identity. For
the purpose of this rule we have agreed that the vowel
relative is always “a.” When it appears as “e” you must
take it that there is something coalesced with it. Do you
want to have your relative pronouns standing by them-
selves ?

Mr. Stuart quoted from his pamphlet as to how pre-
positions should be treated (pp. 11, 12, 13), and moved
as an amendment:—“Wherever crasis takes place between
a preposition or possessive particle and the initial vowel
of a noun, in the singular or plural, such preposition or
possessive particle, in its modified form, should be written
apart from the noun.”

Mr. Kempe seconded the amendment.

Mr. C. G. Jackson: As one who favoured the dis-
junctive system, I should naturally wish to uphold Mr.
Stuart’s amendment. I find myself unable to do so. I
am prepared to abide by the rule as given here, thereby
sacrificing one of my own principles. I think that the
lucid examples given by the Committee in preparing this
rule are such as can be adopted. I second Mr. Samuel-
son’s motion.

The motion was carried, only three voting for the
amendment. The rule as it stood was accordingly declared


Mr. R. C. Samuleson moved the adoption of the third
rule recommended by the Orthography Committee : —

“Adjectival, adverbial, conjunctional, and pre-
positional phrases shall be written as single
words. E.g.: Olungileyo, ngokufanele,
njengokuba, ngapesheya, okwapezulu.”

Mr. Astrup seconded.


Mr. J. D. Taylor moved as an amendment the fol-
lowing :—“All words that can be parsed as adjectives, ad-
verbs, conjunctions, or prepositions shall be written to-

Mr. H. D. Goodenough seconded.

Archdeacon Roach: I think we are stultifying our-
selves. We should hear the grammarians.

Mr. Stuart: I propose that consideration of rule 3
stand over until the sitting this evening.

Mr. C. G. Jackson seconded.

At this stage Conference adjourned until the evening

MAY 30, 1907.

Mr. A. W. Baker, Chairman.


Mr. Taylor withdrew his former amendment and sub-
stituted the following: —

“Phrases which have become so closely bound
together as to be used as a single part of
speech—adjective, adverb, conjunction, or
preposition—shall be written together.”

Mr. Stuart mtfved the following amendment: —

“Simple adjectival, adverbial, conjunctional,
and prepositional phrases shall be written as
single words.”

He said that in grammar one always found the words
“simple” and “complex” contrasted, and therefore the
use of the word “simple” in this case would be intelligible
at once.

Mr. Goodenough seconded.

Mr. Taylor: May I ask what Mr. Stuart would say
to the phrase “njengengikubonileyo”?

Mr. Stuart: I would call that complex.

Mr. Taylor: How would you divide that according to
rule 3 P

Mr. Stuart: I would look upon that clause as not
provided for under rule 3 at all, Rule 3 I would confine
to simple phrases.

Mr. Taylor: Under what rule in these rules should
we have to look for direction as to how to write these
clauses? How would we apply the rule?

Mr. iStuart: There is no provision at present except
you adopt something. I think such a clause as that was
not intended by the Committee to come under that rule,
and therefore it should be met by some more efficient

Mr. Taylor: Should we not know by the rules how
to write such a phrase as that?

Mr. Stuart: I think so. A phrase like that I would
leave out to be specially dealt with. I do not see how
you could bring it under rule 3, because the intention of
the Committee in providing for that rule was obviously
to have only words of a simple nature. I would call
“simple” a word consisting of a relative and one other
part of speech.

Archdeacon Roach : I don’t think the terms “simple”
and “complex” are applicable to phrases. They are
applicable only to sentences. If you use the words
“simple phrase” they mean that there is another kind
of phrase, which I suppose is a “complex” phrase. ‘ I
should like to have an example of a complex phrase, if
there is such a thing. “Njengengikubonileyo” is a sen-

Mr. Kempe: I would write “njeng’ engi ku boni-

Mr. W. R. Moodie: We are making much ado about
nothing. If a word has the fore? jf a sentence, it is a
sentence and not a phrase.

Mr. R. Blake: We have not got a rule for breaking
up a big word, and I feel there is a vagueness which some
day we will have to fill up.

Chairman: Provided we make an attempt to meet
this and similar exceptions, would Mr. Taylor withdraw
his amendment?

Mr. Taylor: Yes.

Mr. Taylor’s amendment was accordingly withdrawn.

A division then ensued as follows: —

For Mr. Stuart’s amendment, 7; against, all others.

The amendment was declared lost, and the rule as
recommended by the Orthography Committee was carried.



Mr. Blake moved the adoption of Rule 4, as recom-
mended by the Orthography Committee, as follows: —

“The infinitive, with all the particles which
may be included between the prefix and the
root, shall be written together as one word.
E.g., Ukutanda; ukumtanda; ukugamtandi;

The mover said that the infinitive, in all languages,
had something of the nature of the noun about it, and
it took its own concord, and as they were forced to accept
huge things in the Zulu language they should be pre-
pared to swallow this huge thing.

Mr. Bryant seconded.

Mr. Kempe said that while he felt quite the same as
Mr. Blake, he should like to make the following addi-
tion to the rule as it stood : “But in the future tense “Ku”
should be separated from the following verb.” The
speaker did not press for this addition.

Mr. Stavem agreed with the rule as it stood.

Mr. Stuart said that according to many “uku” should
be joined by a hyphen to tanda.

It was agreed that the rule pass as it stood.


Mrt R. C. Samuelson moved the adoption of rule 5,
as recommended by the Orthography Committee, as fol-
lows : —

“Particles, acting as enclitics, shall be affixed
to the words they follow. E.g., Nakoke;
hambani; umf ula muni ? u funani ? ba kule-

The rule was carried unanimously.


Mr. Stuart moved the adoption of ruled, as recom-
mended by the Orthography Committee, as follows: —

“The prefix shall not be separated from its
noun. E.g., Umuntu; indhlela; amabele.”


Mr. Cross seconded.

.Without a division the rule was adopted.


Mr. R. 0. Samuelson moved the adoption of rule 7,
as recommended by the Orthography Committee, as fol-
lows : —

“The reflexive particle ‘zP shall be united to the
verb which it precedes. B.g., Wa zisika;
sa zifaka ecaleni.”

The mover held that the “zi” was part and parcel of
the verb and could not be separated.

The rule was carried.


Mr. Kempe moved that rule 8, as recommended by
the Orthography Committee, be passed, as follows: —

“The prepositions na, nga, ku, etc., shall be
written separately from the emphatic forms
of the pronouns, but shall be joined to the
monosyllable forms. E.g., Ku yena; ku
bona; kuye; ngaye; naye; kubo; ngabo.”

Mr. Norenius seconded.

Mr. S. Msimang moved the following amendment: —

“That the prepositions Ku, liga, na, be joined
to both the monosyllabic and emphatic
forms'of the personal pronouns.”

Mr. R. C. Samuleson seconded.

Mr. Kempe explained why the Committee adopted
the rule.

The Secretary said that the monosyllabic forms were
never used except in combination with these prepositions,
and therefore they should be joined, just in the same way
as the possessive forms of the pronouns were only used in
combination with the possessive particles. The emphatic
forms were never combined with these, but neither could
they have “na” or “nga” preceding emphatic forms. It
was only “ku” that preceded either of these, and “ku”
might be joined to monosyllabic forms of the pronoun,
but not to the emphatic form of the pronoun, nor to a
demonstrative pronoun.


Mr. Kempe did not tliink that the amendment was
necessary. They would be fully entitled to write
“kimina” as one word.

Mr. Taylor suggested the introduction of the word
“unaltered” in the rule—unaltered prepositions.

Mr. Stuart moved the following amendment: —

“The unaltered forms of prepositions shall be

written separately from the emphatic forms
of the pronouns, but shall be joined to the
monosyllabic forms.”

Mr. Blake seconded.

Mr. Moodie said that if prepositions were only altered
by coalescence, this rule, as regarded prepositions, was
altogether unnecessary, being covered by the first rule.

Archdeacon Roach suggested the addition of “njen-
gaye” and “ngangaye” to the examples under the pro-
posed rule.

Archdeacon Roach’s suggestion was agreed to.

The Secretary moved the following amendment: —
“The prepositions na, nga, ku, njenga, nganga

shall be joined to the prepositional forms of
the pronoun, but ku, when preceding the
emphatic forms, shall be written separately.”

Archdeacon F. Roach seconded.

The Conference voted as under: —

For Secretary’s amendment, 4; against, all others.

Amendment lost.

For Mr. Stuart’s amendment, 19; against, 13.

Amendment carried.

For Mr. Msimang’s amendment, 14; against, 18.

Amendment lost.

For motion (original rule), 2; against, all others.

Motion lost.

For Mr. Stuart’s amendment as substantive motion,
25; against, 9.

This became the finding of the Conference.


Mr. Kempe moved the first section of rule 9, as
recommended by the Orthography Committee, as follows:

“The euphonic or epenthetic letters, s, ng, w, and
y shall be joined to the words they precede.”

(With examples.)


Mr. Norenius seconded.

This was agreed to, 27 voting for the motion, and
none against.

Mr. B. C. Samuelson moved that the second part of
rule 9, as recommended by the Orthography Committee,
be adopted, as follows: —

“ W’ shall always be prefixed to the pronouns
‘a’ and ‘u,’ and ‘y’ to 4/ when in the
accusative case.” (With examples.)

Mr. Blake seconded, and the motion was agreed to
without a division.

The examples cited in support of rule 9, and included
in the motion, were : —

U semfuleni; ngumuntu; ku yinkomo; amanzi
u wa puzile; u wu bonile umuhlwa; ka wu
tandi lo muti; u yi tshayile inyoni.

RULE 10.

Mr. Blake moved the adoption of the first part of
rule 10, as recommended by the Orthography Committee,
as follows: —

“The apostrophe shall be used to indicate the
elision of a final vowel only. E.g., Namp’
abantu; ngi fun’ ukudhla; ezami n5 ezako;
but le nkomo; leyo nkomo; ku muntu; a
ngi na nto; a ku ko sinkwa; umfana ka

In speaking to the motion, Mr. Blake said they must
allow an apostrophe when a letter in such an example
as “namp’ abantu” was elided. They could not help
using the apostrophe here. But with many writers ,the
apostrophe was also used to indicate the dropping of
initial vowels in nouns, and they looked very ugly in a
book. When they came to look into the initial vowel
of the noun it was found to be a very loose element. In
either of the Northern languages, where the prefix was
very much modified, they had no initial vowel left at all
hardly. In “leyo nkomo” there was no coalescence, but
there was an elision, it not being necessary, however, to
put in an apostrophe. In a book written for scientific
purposes apostrophes were all very well, but in the
translation of the Bible and in the writing of school
books they tried to avoid them. When a man wrote


deliberately for scientific purposes lie would put in the
apostrophe, but it was no use in ordinary writing. It
might be used in poetry, but they were not making rules
for poetry, and poets were eccentric people. (Laughter.)

Mr. Kempe seconded the motion.

Mr. Goodenough said it seemed to him that the apos-
trophe was used to indicate the dropping of a letter,
whether in the middle of a word, at the beginning, or at
the end. He agreed with all Mr. Blake said about putting
in an apostrophe for the vocative case, or when a demon-
strative came before the noun, but he held there was no
elision and that the word stood without any initial vowel
in those places. He moved the deletion of the words
“final” and “only,” his amendment being as follows: —

“The apostrophe shall be used to indicate the
elision of a vowel.”

Mr. Bryant seconded. He agreed with Mr. Blake
that there was an elision, but it was a matter of opinion
where elision occurred. If Mr. Goodenough did not
consider there was elision he would write the word differ-
ently from him (the speaker), but the amendment suited
them both.

Mr. J. Stuart criticised the amendment. The amend-
ment proposed that the words “final” and “only” should
be struck out, leaving the apostrophe to indicate the
elision of a vowel. But Mr. Goodenough had given them
an illustration of where “k” was left out, as “ngi yau-
hamba.” Therefore, if Mr. Goodenough desired always
to mark an elision ought he not, instead of having the
word “vowel,” to have the word “letter”? They had to
deal in this case with consonants as well as vowels.

A division ensued as follows : —

For amendment, 9; against, all others.

The amendment was lost.

For motion (rule as it stood), 22; against, 1.

The motion was declared carried.

The second part of rule 10, as recommended by the
Orthography Committee, was moved as follows : —

“The elision of the final vowel of the pronoun
or auxiliary verb, coming before a verb be-
ginning with a vowel, shall be indicated by
an apostrophe and the two words joined.
E.g., Ngi y’aka; w’enza; u s’eza.”

Mr. Stuart drew attention to the style of printing the
apostrophe. In the first part of the rule there was a
space after the apostrophe before the next word began. In


the secohd part of the rule there was no such space, the
word following the apostrophe being printed close up.

Mr. Blake moved an amendment that the word “not”
be inserted between “shall be” in the second part of rule
10 and that “but the two words shall be joined” take the
place of “and the two w’ords joined.” The amendment
would read as follows : —

“The elision of the final vowel of the pronoun
or auxiliary verb, coming before a verb be-
ginning with a vowel, shall not be indicated
by an apostrophe, but the two words shall
be joined.”

Mr. iS. Nyongwana seconded.

Secretary: If you take away the apostrophe how
would you distinguish the tenses ?

The amendment was carried by 25 votes to 4.

Mr. J. Stuart registered his protest.

Rule 10 was then declared to be carried as amended.

RULE 11.

Mr. Goodenough moved that rule 11, as recommended
by the Orthography Committee, be adopted, as follows : —
“The pronoun, third person singlar, objective
case, referring to persons, shall be written
separately, without an apostrophe. E.g.,

Ngi ya m tanda.”

Mr. Blake seconded.

Mr. R. C. Samuelson held that there was no word
in the Zulu language that was simply a consonant. “M”
was not a word, and it was most extraordinary that any-
body could suggest that it should stand alone. There
was not even a syllable in it, and they could not spell it.
He moved the following amendment: —

“That ‘m’ be joined to the following word.”

Mr. Buckner seconded the amendment.

Mr. Stuart said that “m” represented “mu.” The
“u” had been elided, that was all. Everybody knew ex-
actly what it meant.

The Secretary said if they joined “m” to the verb
it would not be consistent with rule 1, which stated that
different parts of speech should be written separately.
“M” was part of a pronoun.


Mr. R. C. Samuelson pointed out that the first rule
specifically provided that that rule could he modified by
subsequent rules.

Mr. Blake maintained that “m” in the Bantu lan-
guages was a sign which was easier to pronounce than
many others.

Mr. Kempe thought the objection rather strange. In
•other languages they found consonants standing to indi-
cate a word and an idea. French and Latin were in-
stances. In French, for instance, they had “je t’aime,''
the “t" standing for thee. He did not see why they
should not be able to have it in Zulu.

Mr. J. Stuart said the rule emphasised the absence of
the apostrophe, and it was not a question whether “m”
was to stand alone or not.

Archdeacon Roach moved that rule 11 be deleted on
the ground that it was covered by rule 1. He contended
that the example “ngi ya m tanda” should be added to
rule 1.

Mr. Moodie seconded.

The Conference, without a division, accepted Arch-
deacon Roach's amendment, and rule 11 was accordingly
struck out.

On the motion of Mr. Norenius, seconded by Mr.
Taylor, it was agreed, by 23 votes to 3, that “ngi ya m
tanda’' be added to the examples in rule 1.

The time was extended till 9.55 p.m. to permit of
the accomplishment of the foregoing business, and the
Session adjourned at that hour.



FRIDAY, MAY 31, 1907.

Chairman, Mr. A. W. Baker.

The Conference resumed at 9 a.m., the Rev. A. M.
Hofmeyr opening the proceedings with prayer.

The minutes of the previous day's sittings were read,
and, after some slight alteration, confirmed.


RULE 10.

Mr. Stuart asked if it would be in order to move the
rescinding of the second portion of rule 10 as passed on
the previous day.

The Chairman replied it would not be in order with-
out the special permission of the Conference, as otherwise
there would be motions rescinding every single rule

Mr. J. Stuart said he was prepared to give special

Mr. Wilcox said that by the rule of every Society
with which he was acquainted anyone who voted
on the winning side had the right to move reconsidera-
tion. As he voted on the winning side in this case he
moved reconsideration.

The Chairman thought that a very extraordinary pro-
cedure. In most Societies a two-thirds majority was

Mr. Stuart said he would have to get permission, he
understood, to move the rescinding of the rule. It would
depend on the reasons he was prepared to give whether
that permission was granted or not. He asked permission.

Archdeacon F. Roach and Rev. R. Blake supported
the application.

A vote ’was taken as follows:—For permission, 14;
against, 14.

The Chairman gave his casting vote in favour of the


Archdeacon Roach gave notice of the following
motion : —

“Since the penultimate accent is of so much im-
portance in the correct enunciation of the
Zulu sentence, the Conference should adopt
some method of indicating where, in a series
of disjointed particles and verbs, each pen-
ultimate accent falls.”

Mr. R. C. Samuelson gave notice of the following
motion: —

“This Conference is of the opinion that in view
of the clear divergence of opinion in regard
to the writing of the verb in its various


voices, moods, tenses, etc., this question
shall not be further discussed by the Con-
ference at its present sitting, but shall be
delegated to a Special Committee for the
purpose of drawing up special rules to pro-
vide under this heading, which rule must
be submitted to a further Conference to be
finally decided upon.”



Mr, J. Stuart, availing himself of the permission
granted by Conference, spoke upon rule 10, second part.
He did not think that sufficient consideration had been
given by the Conference to the rule in its amended form.
A negative had been inserted in the second part of the
rule, but the force of this insertion had not been suffi-
ciently considered. He thought that the rule as passed
was premature. There were many vowel verbs in Zulu,
and it was quite conceivable that there would be instances
where some apostrophe might be required in order to
indicate the sense, and until Conference had had an
opportunity of considering that rule at greater length,
and of considering all the possible cases which they could
not bring to mind at the moment, the rule should not
be passed. This was quite apart from the fact that the
rule was purely negative in character and unnecessary,
all the other rules being of some positive utility. He
was not talking for the disjunctivists or the conjunctiv-
ists, but simply on the question of the apostrophe. He
moved that the second part of rule 10 be rescinded.

Mr. Kempe seconded the motion. The rule, he said,
was something new to him. He had been present at the
Committee meetings, and he did not know where the
second part 'of rule 10, as carried on the previous day,
originated. He had not spoken on it the previous night
because he thought that it would naturally follow, from
the first part of the rule, that the apostrophe would be
used. He was very much surprised when he saw so many
vote for Mr. Blake’s amendment. The reason for having
this apostrophe would have been clearly shown had there
been an opportunity of speaking to it.


Mr. Blake explained that he had agreed privately,
after the previous night’s meeting, that the matter should
be reconsidered. To meet the case he moved the follow-
ing amendment: —

“That the word ‘shall,’ in the amended form of
the second half of rule 10, be changed to
‘need,’ that part of the rule then reading
‘need not be indicated by an apostrophe.’ ”

He owned that the word “shall” was too strong. It
was like as in the English words “o’clock” and “can’t,”
which were nowadays written as much without the apos-
trophe as with it; but if a man desired to insert' the
apostrophe he need not be penalised. They could or need
not insert the apostrophe, as desired.

Mr. R. C. Samuelson seconded the amendment. He
supported the argument of Mr. Blake. He could not
see why Mr. Stuart objected to write the form prescribed
in the previous day’s rule, when in his own pamphlet
he advocated the joining of short particles to the verb

Mr. Norenius said he voted against Mr. Blake’s
amendment on the previous evening, but he did not think
there was any sufficient reason at all for putting in any-
thing of what Mr. Blake’s amendment implied. He
thought that those verbs beginning with a vowel ought to
be indicated as self-standing and independent parts of
speech by having their auxiliary verb, or whatever it
might be, separated from them by an apostrophe. He
should be disappointed if they wrote them together, be-
cause in many cases it would lead to ambiguity and would
not be at all scientific. In so imperfect a form as
“w’enza” they would not know where they were if they
did away with the apostrophe.

Chairman : As both parties are apparently reconciled,
Mr. Blake’s amendment, it appears to me, would meet
the case.

Archdeacon Roach : Would you join up those words,
“leyo nkomo” ?

Mr. Blake: I stick to the first part of rule 10, and
I refer only to the single letters of the second part of
rule 10.

Mr. Stuart: I would rather agree that the rule stand
as passed last night than that it should be made permis-
sive, because if anything requires to be absolute it is
a rule.


A short discussion ensued as to whether the apos-
trophe indicated that the word was ‘‘joined.”

The Conference divided as follows:—For amend-
ment, 26; for motion, 6.

Mr. Blake’s amendment was then declared to be the
second half of rule 10, the vote standing 26 for, no one
voting against.


Archdeacon Roach pointed out that the wording of
the first rule was ambiguous. He suggested that the rule
should read as follows : —

“The different parts of speech shall be written
separately, but this rule shall be subject to
the following exceptions.”

Mr. Stuart rose to a point of order.

The Chairman thought that verbal alterations in the

rules should be left to a Committee.

This was agreed to.

RULE 12.

Mr. C. G. Jackson moved the adoption of section 1
of rule 12, as recommended by the Orthography Com-
mittee, as follows: —

“The use of capitals.—(1) The first letter of any
word beginning a sentence. E.g., Izulu
l’omisile. Ilanga li balele.”

Carried without a division.

Mr. Taylor moved the second section of rule 12, as
recommended by the Orthography Committee, as fol-
lows : —

“The use of capitals.—(2) The first consonant
of every proper noun. E.g., Umteto ka
Nkulunkulu; u hambile uMalambule.”

This was duly seconded.

Mr. Hofmeyr moved the following amendment: —

“That the first unchanging letter of every pro-
per noun be capitalized.”

Mr. Moodie seconded.


Mr. Stuart asked what was meant by “first unchang-
ing letter/’

Mr. /Stuart was then catechised as to the method of
capitalizing proper nouns. He said he would write
uZinto, uMakubalo, amaZulu, etc.

Mr. C. G. Jackson pointed to the changing of the
“i” to “e” in the locative case.

Mr. Bryant observed that the only rule that would
work satisfactorily was where the first letter of the root,
remained unchanged.

Mr. Pixley said that which ever way they took it
with regard to capitals they would afterwards want to
take the other way.

Mr. Kempe said that with regard to “nkandhla,”
one party said the root began with “n,” and the other
that it began with “k.” He thought the easiest way
was to capitalize the first letter in every proper noun,
and in the case of crasis, which very seldom happened,
to capitalize the next one.

Mr. Blake thought they must after all revert to the
rule as it stood.

The Chairman said one would like, for the sake of
simplicity, to take the first letter, but then it would
seem so absurd to capitalize a prefix in a man’s own
name and not give the name in a capital. That would
be simple for everybody, but it would not be very philo-

The Secretary did not think the question of
philology arose in the mere writing of a capital letter.
He agreed with what Mr. Kempe said. They must con-
sider simplicity, because they were not making the
orthography of this language for themselves, or for the
Missionaries or Government officials, but for the natives.
Certainly the simplest way would be to capitalize the first
letter of a proper noun whether it was in the vocative
case or not. What would Zulu children know about the
prefix of a noun except in speech? It would create no
end of difficulty to children in school in knowing where
to place the capital if the first letter was not to be
capitalized. If they could not take the first letter they
ought to take the first consonant.

Mr. Blake : I wish to make it plain where all proper
names begin with “u.”

Secretary: Yes, in the nominative case.

Mr. Blake quoted from a letter received from a
native, in which the writer thought that “U Tshaka”1


should he written with the “TJ” separated, because, said
this correspondent, it looked so unfamiliar to have “UT”
standing together in the word as capitals.

Additional amendments were tabled as under: —

By Mr. Mayr, and seconded by Mr. Bryant: —

“That the first letter of the root be capitalized.”

By Mr. Kempe, seconded by Mr. Stuart: —

“That the first letter of proper nouns in the case

in which it stands be a capital letter.”

By Mr. R. C. Samuelson, seconded by Mr. Stead: —
“That all proper names have their first letters
as capitals, and when used in the vocative
case then the first letter of that vocative

shall be capitalized.”

The Conference divided as follows: —

Mr. R. C. Samuelson’s amendment.—For, 8; against,



Mr. Kempe’s amendment.—For, 9; against, 18.

Mr. Mayr’s amendment.—For, 5; against, 26.


Mr. Hofmeyr’s amendment.—For, 3; against, 32.

For motion (rule as it stands).—For, 32; against, 1.
The rule (section 2), as presented by the Committee,

was then declared carried.

Mr. Stuart moved the adoption of the third section
of rule 12, as recommended by the Orthography Com-
mittee, as follows: —

“The use of capitals.—(3) Where a proper noun
begins a sentence, both its initial vowel and
the first consonant shall be capitals. E.g.,
UTshaka noDingane.”

This was seconded.

Mr. Goodenough said that the object of having a
capital at all was to make the proper name stand out,
but this object was destroyed if they had a word begin-
ning with two capitals close together. He contended that
“uJesu” stood out more prominently than “UJesu.” He
moved the following amendment: —

“That only the first consonant be capitalized.”

Mr. Nyongwana seconded the amendment.

A division resulted as follows:—For amendment, 3;
against, 31.

The rule as it stood (section 3) was then put and
carried by 35, no one voting against.


RULE 13.

Mr. Blake moved the adoption of rule 13, as recom-
mended by the Orthography Committee, as follows: —

“ shall be the sign to represent the guttural
sound in all its variations. E.g., Hamba;
hola; habula; huba; haha.”

There was no seconder.

Mr. Msimang moved, and Mr. Moodie seconded, the
following amendment: —

“The letter ‘r’ should be used to represent the
guttural sound existing in such words as
rola, rara, etc/’

Mr. Kempe said this rule was recommended by the
Orthography Committee because it was almost impossible
to say whether they should have “hi” or “r” in many
cases. Take the case of “hamba!” They found that
that word was spoken in every shade of voice, from the
harsh guttural down to the English “h,” and it would
create confusion if they were allowed in one part of the
country to write with “h” and in another part with “r.”
The sound of “h” in many languages had come down
from the harsh sound to a soft one, and the process of
evolution in Zulu tended towards the softening of this
sound. They had not found “hamba” spelt with “r,” and
it might create confusion if it were allowed to be.

Mr. Wilcox also explained the Committee’s reason
for recommending the rule.

Mr. iStuart said he was a member of the Orthography
Committee, but when this matter came up for considera-
tion he opposed it because he did not think they could
possibly do better than follow here the example set by
Dr. C'olenso. Tie had Dr. Colenso’s latest edition in his
hand, and he found, roughly speaking, three hundred
words spelt with the letter “r.” If they were going to
take all that batch and throw them into the letter “h”
it would be unduly swelling that portion of the dictionary.
Not only that, but words written like “rola,” “ruba”
had been spelt that way, and it had been the custom to
spell them in that manner, and the change would create
endless confusion. Mr. Wilcox had cited foreign names
as a strong reason for keping the “r” to foreign names
for the sake of the Zulu. But foreign names only came
to the knowledge of the natives when they became edu-
cated, and when they got as far as that then the teacher
would correct them.


Mr. R. C. Samuelson: Absolutely, you must have*
“r” and “h” in their two different places.

Mr. Buckner: I understand there is a guttural sound
distinct from the aspirate in Zulu, and that is why we
want the two sounds distinguished by two different letters.

Mr. Bryant: I have not discovered one single word
that could not be actually pronounced with a soft sound..

Mr. Dube: I support Mr. Bryant. In almost all
these cases you hardly find that harsh sound in words such
as “rulumeni.” I think that “h” would simplify matters,
very much.

Archdeacon Roach: There is as much difference be-
tween the aspirate “h” and the guttural as there is be-
tween the aspirate and no aspirate at all. They may not
be pronounced on the Coast harshly, but I think if you
go up-country or into Zululand you will find they are
so pronounced there. I would represent the emphatic
aspirate by double “h”—“hh.”

Mr. Stead said they did not wish to kill the guttural
sound in the Zulu language. They wished to keep this,
sound. The sound occurred very frequently in proper
names, and it had been fouid in the Courts that natives,
frequently would not answer their names if the aspirate
instead of the guttural sound were used. He had found
that people who were not properly conversant with the
language used a soft “h” instead of the harsh “h.”

Mr. Stuart moved, and Mr. R. C. Samuelson sec-
onded, the following amendment: —

“That the letter “r” continue to be used as in
Colenso’s dictionary, to express the guttural

Archdeacon Roach moved, and Mr. Wilcox seconded,,
the following amendment: —

“That double ‘h’ be used to represent the harsh
guttural sound, as in hhuba.”

The Conference voted as under : —

For Mr. S. Msimang’s amendment.—For, 21;.

against, 15.


For Mr. Stuart’s amendment.—For, 18; against, 20..

For Archdeacon Roach’s amendment.—For, 3;.
against, 30.


Mr. Msimang’s amendment was then put as a sub-
stantive motion, and, being carried by 22 to 13, became^
the finding of the Conference.


RULE 14.

Mr. C. G. Jackson moved Rule 14, as recommended
by the Orthography Committee, as follows: —

“The aspiration of consonants shall be indicated
by an Ti’ (following them) only where am-
biguity is likely to occur. E.g., Bheka;

Mr. R. C. Samuelson seconded.

Mr. Stuart moved the following amendment: —

“That the aspiration of consonants shall be indi-
cated by the sign ‘ (following them) where
ambiguity is likely to occur.”

In speaking to the amendment, Mr. Stuart said this
.sign was used in the sister Colony, and he did not see
why they should not use it in Natal. They often found
in Zulu a word derived from a word which had a soft
breathing, but when used in a compound word they
found a hard breathing on it. He meant by hard breath-
ing, aspiration. The soft breathing was inspiration. The
word “beka” was an illustration. If the first letter be
aspirated “bheka,” the meaning was completely changed.
He looked upon this as a very important point, and one
he had brought forward at the very first Conference.
There was nothing at present to mark inspiration. It
very frequently happened, especially in “isibongo,”
that they found some very peculiar words, words in which
poetic licence had been used, and it was necessary some-
times to indicate the breathing. Mr. Stuart then dwelt
on the necessity of marking both inspiration and expira-

Mr. Ericksen seconded the amendment.

Mr. Dube maintained that all possible combinations
could be provided for by “h.” If members of the Con-
ference had anything to do with the printing of the lan-
guage they would realise the amount of work that would
be entailed were Mr. Stuart's suggestion adopted. Spe-
cial founts would have to be found to provide these sounds.
In writing letters, to say nothing of printed matter, Mr.
Stuart's new sign would always be mistaken for the dot
of the “i.”

Mr. Blake admitted there were certain words where
the accent was required to avoid ambiguity, but otherwise
Mr. Stuart’s mark would be an ornament that should be
used very sparingly. There were certain philological rules
which governed Bantu languages which in time would


provide for a great deal of what was at present aspirated
being done away with.

The Secretary said Mr. Stuart’s sign would cover
the page with little dots. He did not think the Committee
had gone out of its way in adopting “h” as representing
the aspirate. The use of the sign for the Greek rough
breathing would simply mean the filling of a page with
marks like an apostrophe. The use of an “h’ ’to indicate
aspiration was not peculiar to the Zulu language, as it
was used, he believed, in the Indian languages written
in Roman characters.

Voting took place as follows : —

Mr. Stuart’s amendment.—For, 6; against, 31.


For rule as recommended.—For, 29; against, 2.

The rule as recommended was declared carried.

RULE 15.

Mr. Kempe, seconded by Mr. Wilcox, moved the
adoption of rule 15, as recommended by the Orthography
Committee, as follows: —

“ ‘Ilx’ shall represent the harsh sound known as
the guttural click. E.g., Hxebula; ihxoba.”

Mr. R. C. Samuelson moved the following amend-
ment : —

That ‘kl’ with a mark through it, thus H",
be used for the guttural click. E.g.,
Ixloba, uklemkleshe.”

Mr. Buckner seconded Mr. Samuelson.

Mr. C. G. Jackson moved as an amendment the fol-

lowing, and Mr. Stead seconded: —

“That ‘kl’ represent the harsh sound known as
the guttural click.”

Mr. R. C. Samuelson withdrew his amendment.

A division took place as follows: —

Mr. Jackson’s amendment.—For, 18; against, 20.

For motion (rule as recommended).—For, 22;
against, 14.

The rule as recommended was then declared carried.


RULE 16.

Mr. Stuart, seconded by Mr. Blake, moved the adop-
tion of rule 16, as recommended by the Orthography
Committee: —

“Instead of 'ty/ 'tsh’ shall be used to represent
the sound of 'ch’ in ‘church,’ ‘chance,’ etc.
'Sh/ and not 'ty/ shall be used to repre-
sent the sound of 'sh’ in 'shall/ 'should/
etc. E.g., Shiya; shuka.”

Mr. Msimang, seconded by Mr. Kempe, moved the
following amendment: —

“That the sounds of ty, sh, and tsh be retained.
E.g., Ngetyeleke ishumi ngi zo tshetsha
ngi li buyise. Umuzi wa kwa Mtyekula no
wa kwa Tshabalala.”

Mr. Bryant said he would like them to pronounce
the inspirated “t” existent in the word “tetema.” First
of all, to produce the inspirated “t,” there was always
the “t” in this particular sound in conjunction with a
“y,” as, for instance, in the word “ibantyi.” An Eng-
lish person got very near it when he said “ibanchi.” If
they gave that “t” the expirated sound and not the in-
spirated sound they got nearer still.

Mr. Wilcox said the reasoning as to what the sounds
of these letters were in English had nothing to do with
what may be given them in Zulu. They heard English
people say Inhambane. The Portuguese had the same
spelling, but they pronounced the word Inyambane.
“Ty” was not used in the Zulu for any other sound, and
therefore there was no liability of its being mistaken. Mr.
Bryant was correct in his contention that there were two
distinct sounds in the Zulu, and he (the speaker) thought
that the natives in that Conference would bear that out.
There was never any mistake between them. One of
these sounds, however, had two variations. Sometimes it
was spoken softly, e.g., “fushane,” with a multitude of
other words in the same way. If they used “tsh” it
would bring confusion—just the confusion found in Col-
enso’s dictionary all the way through. C'olenso used the
“tsh,” but not correctly. Mr. Bryant used “tsh” for
an entirely different sound, viz., an extremely sharp
sound, whereas Colenso used it for all sounds.

Mr. iStuart thought that their rules, whilst being
decisive, ought to be simple. If they were going to hunt
up all the peculiarities of the Zulu language and express



them in script it would cause endless confusion. At
present the rule simply said they were to use “tsh” for
sound of “ch,” as in the words “church," chance,” etc.,
and “sh” for the sound of “sh,” as in “should.” Suppos-
ing they did have this sharp sound, this inspirated “t,”
there was nothing remarkable in that. That was no rea-
son why they should cause complexity by bringing in a
totally different form of “ty.” “Tsh” could surely do
duty for both the inspirated and expirated sounds. On
the grounds of simplicity alone no other forms except
those of “tsh” or “sh” should be introduced.

Mr. Kempe favoured the adoption of the three signs,
“sh,” “tsh,” and “ty.” They had instances in Zulu
where one was rather encouraged to write “tsh,” as, for
instance, in “itye.” They had a different thing in “tyela,”
“shela.” It was considered improper to write “tj” in
Zulu, and because of that the letter was taken to corres-
pond with “j” in German and cognate languages, and so
they got “ty” instead of “tj.” He thought that was the
origin of “ty.”

Mr. Goodenough did not think that in the use of
“ty” for the sound of “ch” in “church” they were draw-
ing on their imagination. Take the English word
“tune.” He had heard people pronounce that as if it
were spelt “tyune.” In the effort to pronounce “t” and
then “u” it came almost to “tune,” but if they sounded
those two letters together rapidly they got “tyune,”
“Tsh,” the speaker said, had become very popular; it
was used by the natives and newspapers, and he favoured
its adoption by the Conference.

Archdeacon Roach thought that they were all agreed
that they could not distinguish more than two sounds,
which were represented by these letters, or combination
of letters. There were only two main sounds, and the
others were modifications. If they began distinguishing
them they would have to take other letters into considera-
tion. There was the distinction made by many speakers
in the sound between the sound of “k” and the sound
of “g,” as in Tugela, and in the sound between the
sound of “t” and the sound of “d.” If they began split-
ting up and analysing sound too much it would create
endless confusion. He did not think that mistakes made
in the English pronunciation should be an argument for
Zulu. He supported the rule of the Committee.

Mr. Blake said “tsh” was a pet aversion of his, but
he seconded Mr. Stuart's motion because in Committee

Full Text




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