The Phonetics of the Zulu Language
Clement M. Doke
Until the advent of the Christian missionaries, most Bantu languages were unwritten languages and it is only in the recent years [1920s] that the task of reducing them to writing has been undertaken. However, the Roman alphabet (which was used used for this end) has its limitations, and one must realize the difficulties of adapting such a limited number of symbols to the varieties of sounds which present themselves in the Bantu languages, which posses their own wonderfully exact set of phonetical laws.
In fact, I believe that any serious study of the Bantu languages can only be successful, if one prioritises its phonetic aspects, a task which will automatically lead to a greater knowledge of its grammar. It will also give us a new handle on the proper writing of Zulu, which is not the one we might prefer to write, but the one that is correct to write. It will give us the true Zulu division into words and sentences and it will give us the true spoken punctuation of sentences, quite apart from the influence of Europaen modes of thought and European grammatical structure (adapted from the Introduction)
The Zulu Language: The Vowels, The Plain Consonants, The Explosives, The Bi-Labial Implosive, The Nasals, The Fricatives, The Laterals, The Afficates, The Semi Vowels, The Click Consonants, Phonetics in Relation to Morphology (Prepalatization, Contraction), Length, Stress and Sound-Groups, Tone in Zulu, Tonal Nuclei, Tonal Morphology, Zulu Phonetic Texts, Orthography, A New View of Grammar for Zulu
Re-edition. Originally published 1926, Johannesburg.
ISBN 9783862882847. LINCOM Gramatica 166. 310pp. 2012.