Morphology of Zulu bird names: Old and new

DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2019.1572309
Author(s): Adrian KoopmanSchool of African Languages, South Africa, Noleen Sheila TurnerSchool of African Languages, South Africa


This paper examines the various morphological mechanical processes in a list of Zulu bird names, which was compiled as a result of five bird name workshops conducted from 2013 to 2017. The final list comprised a number of old names compiled from scouring old Zulu dictionaries as well as previous copies of Roberts Birds, together with archived lists of professional and amateur ornithologists dating back to the nineteenth century, as well as newly coined Zulu bird names. All these names were considered at the five workshops by a panel of expert Zulu-speaking bird guides together with two African language professors, who compiled a comprehensive list of all Zulu bird names specifically for the region of KwaZulu-Natal over five years through specific morphological processes. The purpose of this paper is to investigate in depth the creativity behind the processes of coinage by analysing the morphology of these names, both old and new.

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