I seem to recall hearing the term kaba-so used in Bamako to describe a house made of stone (as opposed to bogo-so for a mud house, or siment-so for a concrete house). Can anyone confirm this, and does anyone know the etymology linking kaba to stone?
I ni ce, Bruce!
I don’t have a direct memory of people saying kabaso or the other variants regularly (we need to talk to a mason), but they 100% make sense and would fit into Bambara grammar.
It is a compound noun between kaba ‘stone’ and so ‘house’, etc.
There’s not much more to report in terms of etymology that I can think of.
PS - Keep in mind that the correct spelling would be bɔgɔso (< bɔgɔ ‘mud’).
Hi Bruce! I’ve heard something different than “bogoso” - “kabasu,” which is soft mud (farasu) that softens and then dries to become a structure. I’m unsure about “kabaso,” but what you and Coleman have written makes sense. Go well!
Fara is also a word that means ‘stone/rock’, so the same etymology would apply there too.
(Though did you mean to write “su” or “so”?)
I’ve heard “su”
It’s definitely possible. In some Maninka varieties, there are only 5 vowels and they systematically have
u in place of Bambara’s