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Rwandan Plant Names : Evidence for the Iconicity of Language
by Alexandre Kimenyi
Rwandan plant names, strongly support the concept of the iconicity of language. Linguistic signs are supposed to be arbitrary. This view which originates from Ferdinand de Saussure is held by the majority of linguists. Looking at the structure of Rwandan plant names, however, shows that there is an intrinsic relationship between linguistic form and meaning.
The majority of plant names belong to class 3 and 4. A lot of plant names appear in redupilcated forms. Others have human proper names. Other plant names also describe their form or function. Only a small number has opaque meanings. The majority of the scientific names are from G.Troupin. Others are taken from Coupez et all and Lestrade.
Some Kinyarwanda plant names don’t have scientific names because they are not available. They were listed, however, to show their iconic phonetic shape or their semantic transparecy.
1. Plant names with reduplicated forms
Reduplication in Kinyarwanda consists of repeating the initial syllable of the word stem or the whole stem.Plant names below appear in reduplicated foims.
umubagabaga cassia didymobotrya
imbátabáta plantago palmata/lannea edulis
umugobógobo
umufuumbafuumba rumex abyssinicus
umugweegwe euphorbia grantii
umugweegwe sanseviera dawei
urukoyokoyo pavetta schumanniana
urutiintibo alchornea birtella f. glabrata
urubuyabuya allophylus kiwuensis
uruziroziro vitex doniana
umuzibaziba mitragyne rubrostipulosa
umuvutavuta cadaba farinosa s.l.
umuvuungovuungo coccinea mildbraedii
kigelia africana
umuturuturu schefflera goetzenii
umutoratora hippocratea apocynoides
umutiti faurea saligna
umutobótobo englerina schubotziana/solanaceae/solanum sp.
umutete solanum aculeastrum
umutiritiri pancovia golungensis
umushyoshyo polygala ruwenzoriensis
umushishi symphonia globulifera
umushirashira annona senegalensis
umusheshe rhammus staddo
umushayishayi hangurana montana
umushabishabi asparagus falcatus
umusasa campylospermum vogelii
umunyegenyege aeschysomena schimperi/sesbania macrantha
sesbania div. spp.
umuunzeenze olea europea spp.africana
umuroondoroondo secamone africana/gongronema angolense
umurukuruku tephrosia vogelii
umusáasá limenia caffra
umusaasa
umusakasaka pavetta gardeniifolia s.l.
umukoyokoyo combretum collinum
umukoondokoondo canthium lactensens
rubiaceae div.spp.
umuhebehebe rhynchostigma racemosum
umugobagoba psendarthria hookeri
umugege myrica kandtiana
umugayigayi lepidotrichilia volkensii
umugaragara vernonia auriculifera
vernonia subuligera
ubugetugetu hedythyrsus thamnoideus
umubaribari tabernaemontana johnstonii
umubazibazi smithia elliotii
umubónobóno croton macrostachysus
galiniera coffeoides
ikibónobóno chassalia subochreata/psychotria div.spp.
ikibírabíra
urubuumburi dasylepis racemosa/rapanae melanophloes
igicuúnshu salva sp./ocimum sp.
umubugabuga clerodendum laxicymosum
umubuungobuungo embelia libeniana
umubwabwa clerodendrum laxicymosum
umucuucu solanum incanum
umudwedwe euphorbia grantii
ikeembekembe bethriocline longipes
umucaáca cynodon dactylon
igicumucumu bothriocline ugandensis
igiheriheri vernonia lasiopus
igishigishigi alsophila manniana
igishurúshuru triumfetta pilosa ver. nyassana
igitamatama bothriocline nyungwensis
senecio trichopterygius
ikijagajaga pavetta urundensis
ikibugúbugu senecio trihopterygius
ikibónobóno chassalia subochreata
inteembeteembe ensette ventricosum
umuteembeteembe musa entete
ikinetenete/igitenetene kalanchoe beniensis/crassulaceae
intiritiri cassipourea gummiflua
intyintyi allophyus channostachys
imvuvu canthium glabriflorum
urutaratara cyperaceae: cyperus dereilema
umuvúmovúmo vernonia div.ssp.
umuvuungavuungo goccinea mildbroedi/kigelia africana
umuvútavúta cadaba farinosa s.l.
umuziroziro vitex doniana
igitaamataamba bothriocline nyungwensis/senecio trichoptergius
umutégeengerí dovyalis macrocalyx’
umusháabisháabi asparagus falcatus
umuseríseri dichaetanthera corymbosa
igishikashike guizotia scabra
umusoombosoombo allophyllus griseotementonus
umuseríseri dichaetanthera corymbasa
umukúukúuyu/umukóoyokóoyo
igikuyokuyo rhynchosia sublobato
rhynchosia procurrens
ikimoomo echinops amplecaulis
echinops gigantens
umukóbokóbo
ikóobokóobo
urukobekobe
umuráandaráanda vigna oblongifolia var.parviflora
umukéenjakéenja
inganigani monanthotaxis orophila/rhynchosia hirta
umubaríbari hyparrhenia cymbaria
ikigéembégéembe carduus sp.
umukárakára nuxia floribunda
umukéenkakéenja
umukizikizi
urukobekobe
umukóbokóbo
igikuubokuubo
igikubukubu
ikimoomo echinops amplexicaulis/echinops gigantens
umukóondokóondo tarenna graveolens/vangueria apiculata/bangueria volkensii
ingobagoba
umugobogobo
umugájagája musanga leo-errarae
ikigájagája pavetta urundensis
umugaragara vernonia auriculifera/vernonia subuligera
irebérebe/irebárebe
ikiyuundoyuundo
ikiribúribu ensete ventricosum
uruhóombohóombo coleus
igihérihéri vernonia lasiopus
umunyégenyége aeschynomena schimperi
umuvútavúta cadaba farinosa
umushaayishaayi hangurana montana/hangurana madagascariensis
umushyíimboshyíimbo dolichos formosus
umusoombosoombo allophyllus griseo-tomentosus
umushéeshé osyris wightiana
igiséengeséenge hermarthria
umusákasáka pavetta gardeniifolia s.l./tricalysia rwandensis/trimaria grandifolia ssp.tropica
ururoondoroondo
umuvuungovuungo
umubogóbogo
urunugunugu clerodendrum laxicymosum
umuteembeteembe
intábaatába
ikizovuzovu
umuziroziro Vitex doniana
umuzíbazíba Mitragyna rubrostipulacea
igitsinatsina
umuvúmavúmo
umuvútavúta ‘Cadala farinosa’
umusoombosoombo Allophyllus griseo-tomentosus
umushyoóshyo Polygala ruwenzoriensis
igishurúshuru Triumfeta pilosa
umuráandaráanda Vigna oblongifolia/parviflora
umureendareenda
umuribúribu Ensete ventricosum
umuroondoroondo Gongronema angolense/Secamone africana
umuryáabaryáaba
umusákasáka Trimera grandifolia subsp tropica
igiséengeséenge Hemarthia
igiseengoseengo Anthriscus sylvestris
umusháabisháabi Asparagus falcatus
umusherísheri Dichoetanthera corymbosa
umushéeshé Osyris lanceolata
igishígishígi Cythea manniana
ikinyuundonyuundo Kalanchoe marmorata
igishikashike Guizotia scabra
umushíishi Symphonia globulifera
ikinyégenyége Sesbania macrantha/diimeri/sesban var nubica/
umukárakára Nuxia floribunda
umukóondokóondo Canthium lactensens/Vangueria apiculata
igikuubokuubo
igikuyukuyu Rhynchosia procurrens subsp latisepala
umukúuyukúuyu
imáanamáana Herichrysum cymosum
umubaríbari Tabernaemontana johnstonii
ikibaríbari Anthocleista schweinfurthii
intábatába Plantago palmata/Lannea edulis
umubázibázi Smithia elliottii
umubógobógo Cardiospermum halicacabum
umubóombobóombo Cyphostema adenocaule
ikibónobóno Psychotria palustris/Psychotria
peduncularis/Chassalia subochreata/Psychotria mahoni var.puberula/Ricinus communis/Croton macrostachus
umubónobóno Galiniera coffeoides
umubúgabúga Clerodendrum laxicymosum
umubuungobuungo Embelia libeniana
umucáaca Cynodon dactylon
igicúmucúmu Leonitis nepetaefolia/Leonitis mollissima
umudweedwe Euphorbia grantii
urugáagá Cyperus dives
inganigani Monanthotaxis orophila/Rhynchosia hirta
ikigéembegéembe Sonchu
s oleraceus/Sonchus asper/Sonchus
luxurieus
igírigíri Balanites aegypta
ingobagoba Pseudarthria hokeri
ubugobogobo
umugweegwe Agane sisalana
igihoondohoondo Dracaena steudneri
2. Plant names with proper Names
Proper names are obtained by deleting the preprefix or by adding to the word (noun, verb, adjective) the onomastic prefixes namely nya-, munyá-, mukáa-, nyirá-, sée-, s(h)á-, káa-, rwáa-,
karuungu gladiolus psittanicus
bushya dischoriste radicans
rubeerwá althea rosea
ngiingwijana rubiaceae/borreria stricta/hypodematium aff. sphaerostigma
kayogera crotalaria spinosa
kaziraruguma ageratum conyzoides
rwiiziriingá datura stramonium
bugaangabukarí asteranantha longifolia
mukurú asclepias sp.
gisaayuura acanthaceae/thunbergia alata
kazibannyo ronunculus multifidus
nyirámukó rumex bequaertii
baambubá irigeron sumatrensis
séenyamigaanda Phryganea sp.
nyirámukó Rumex bequaertii/Rumex ruwenzoriensis
nyirámutébe Yephrosia aequilata
nyirámagaándu
nyirámasaká
nyirakayogera Crotalataria incana sbsp purpurascens
nyirábutí Stendelii/Conyza welwitshii/Hedythyrsus
thamnoideus
nyirábutúumbwe
nyirábutúutú
nyirabuyugi
nyiragashuheezi
nyirágasogéreza Cleome schimperi/Cleome hirta/Cleome monophylla
nyiragashuheezi
nyirágakúryi
nyirágasaámbu Trichodesma zeylanicum
nyirábahayá
nyarisoonga Ocimum canum
nyarúbaámba
nyaruboombwe Xymalos monospora
nyaantuku Euphorbia hirta
rwiiziriingá Datura stramonium
kamaramahano Epilobium stereophyllum
kamenamaseeke Polygala luteo-viridis
kaaingáshya Oenanthe palustris/Ranunculus bequartii/Ranunculus multifudus
musaagimbéehé Cleome monophylla
mutaranuuka Helychrysum adoratissimum/Ethulia conyzoides
ndimugashaanga Lythrum rotundifolium
ndiiriyinká Elaeodendron buchananii
basyitaka Craterostigma
mahiinda Astipomoea malvaca
3. Plant names with meanings
Some of the plants listed below are either medicinal plants or plants used in certain rituals such as birth, wedding, divination, healing, initiation, burial, coronation, etc. The names describe tneir functions. Other names describe their physical features or their use.
umugaanza ‘the victorious’
umusugí ‘the pure’
umutúurírwa ‘the unclimbable’
umuneesha ‘the winner’
umuremeera ‘the heavy’
umuruta ‘the stronger’
icyuunamyi ‘the head bower’
umukenya ‘the youth destroyer’
umuriinzi ‘the guardian’
umutaráanzá ‘the undefeatable’
umutágoká ‘the one who is immune to bad luck’
umugoboka ‘the savior’
ingurukizi ‘the one which occurs accidently’
umuhurura ‘the helper’
umukúundé ‘the one who inspires love’
umwaánge ‘the one who inspires hatred’
umugwaampóro ‘the pacifier’
nkuurimwóonga ‘the one that pulls from danger’
umuhaánga ‘the smart one’
umuhé ‘the luck carrier’
umuhiíre ‘the lucky one’
umuhiíndire ‘the pacifier’
ishyá ‘luck’
ishyóoza ‘the one which gentle’
umureémbe ‘the sick one’
kaziraruguma ‘the one which immune to wounds’
bugaangabukarí ‘strong medicine’
ikizimyamuriro ‘the one which stops fever’
kamenamaseke ‘the breaker of
umwúungabéere ‘the one that fixes breasts’
isoonga ‘the tip’
umusabanyama ‘the begger of meat’
ireké ‘leave alone’
umugóombé ‘the must’
umucyúuro ‘the one which brings back the cattle home’
rugaara ‘the large’
rurirá ‘the weeper’
umuzibuura ‘the clearer’
umubíimbafúro ‘the producer of foam’
umukúzanyána ‘the one which makes calves grow’
umuseeno ‘the polisher’
kazibannyo ‘the cover of the anus’
kamaramahano ‘the terminator of problems’
umukúbayóka ‘the folder of intestine parasites’
umwíicanzóka ‘the killer of snakes’
umuramá ‘the survivor’
umugabudásuumbwá ‘the man who is not surpassed by anybody’
musáazugóna ‘the old man who snores’
umugabutáreengwá ‘the man who cannot be passed over’
abahánampabuka ‘the punishers of Mpanuka’
umugoombooro ‘the anti-venom’
rurirá ‘the weeper’
umwaanzuranya ‘the interruptor’
imbóni ‘sight’
urubabáza ‘the one causes pain’
umubázi ‘the interrogator’
umubeérwa ‘the elegant’
uruburamajyo ‘the one which lacks clay pots pieces’
umucaáca ‘the crawler’
umucaasúka ‘the breaker of the hoe’
umucúungwé ‘the subject’
umudáhweerá ‘the irresistable to death’
indarama ‘the one which is expecting’
urudátebwá ‘the one who refuses to wait’
umufátaangwe ‘the catcher of leopards’
ifurwe ‘curse’
umugánashyá ‘the leader to happiness’
urugarura ‘the one that brings back’
ingese ‘rust’
gisabo ‘milk calebash’
gisaayuura ‘débourbeuse’
umuhoró ‘calm/cold’
umuhuúhe ‘the blower’
umwíifuuzo ‘the desired one’
impoosha ‘the calmer’
umwiitsa ‘echo’
umwiiha ‘the one that gives itself’
umukámambógo ‘the milker of buffaloes’
kamenamabuye ‘the breaker of stones’
umuhuúngwe ‘the escapee’
umuhuna ‘the somnifer’
uruheéza ‘the one which keeps people away’
umuhaanda ‘the thorny one’
umugosoora ‘the filterer’
umuhaandanzovu
umuréengarútare
mugorénamugabo ‘man and woman’
kayogera
umumara ‘the useful’
ikimara ‘the useful’
umunyágisózi ‘the one from the hill’
inyamaheri ‘la galeuse’
akanyámapfúundo
inyánzi ‘the hater’
umunyúragísaká
iraaba
urunyámavúta ‘the oily one’
irarire ‘spend the night’
ikiráaro ‘lodging’
umupfunyantoki’ the folder of fingers’
umuréengarútare ‘the one which goes over the rock’
umurérabáana ‘the raiser of children’
umuribata ‘the foot dragger’
umuroonzi ‘the washer’
umuryáanyoni ‘the eater of birds’
umuryawábasáaza ‘the cord of old people’
rwiiziriingá ‘the trouble maker’
igishókoro ‘la colleuse’
umushoohera ‘the problem curer’
umusunuunú ‘la loupe’
umusiba ‘the eraser’
umusubyo ‘the purifier’
umushyigura ‘the mover’
umutaanga ‘the giver’
intáreyíruungu ‘the solitary lion’
urutóozo ‘l’habituante’
igitúguungúru ‘false oignon’
ubutwíiko ‘body burn’
umúunyuwíntaama ‘sheep’s salt’
umuvúgo ‘poetry recitation’
ikizíranyéenzi ‘immune to coachroaches’
ikiyuundo ‘large hammer’
umuvúmo ‘curse’
imvúrídáhitá ‘the unending rain’
umuzígangóre ‘the thing that women use for make-up’
umuseké ‘the favorable one’
umukúundé ‘the love plant’
umutágara ‘the smart one’
igitáambitáambi ‘the crawling one’
umutáraazá ‘the one that doesn’t to survive the night’
igitegamajaanja ‘the one which presents its palms’
intooroome ‘the fast growing one’
umutaanga ‘the fast one’
umutúkampuungwe ‘the one who insults mpungwe’
umutsíinduka ‘the winner’
umuzirandondwe ‘the one which hates bugs’
umuzígamfíizi ‘the one which paints bulls’
umuzígangore ‘the one which paints maternity crowns’
umuyuumbu ‘the one which grows thich’
ubwuungo ‘the one which fixes broken bones’
mutuúmbi ‘the fat one’
umutúramugina ‘the one which leaks from the ground’
umutúrabúguma ‘the one that leaks old age’
umuvúgangoma ‘the drum that speaks’
umuvúnaánka ‘the one that rescues cows’
umuzibuura ‘the one that cleans cloaged things’
umuzíbazíba ‘the one that blocks the exit’
umutsina ‘the one which cut from the bottom’
umutíma w’íisi ‘the earth heart’
umutíma w’íkimasá ‘the bull’s heart’
umutáambashá ‘the deer dancing’
umuyoora ‘the one that picks up’
umuvuvu (kuvuvagura)
umuyaza ‘the one that makes body boil’
umuviivi ‘the survivor’
umuyeenzi (kuyeenza)’
umusáangé ‘the one that joins others’umushíranyóota ‘the one that quenches thirst’
ishárankíma ‘the ugly one’
umuságaambá ‘the growing one’
umushóomorankóko
umushámarankóko
umusékera-suka ‘the one that smiles for the hoe’
seka-baazané ‘smile so that they bring (food)’
urusána-nzúki ‘the one that repairs bees’
insesa-birago ‘the one that moves straw mats’
umukuundakwaaka ‘the one which burns easily’
umucáasuká ‘the one that breaks the hoe’
umukúragícuku ‘the one which grows fast’
umuménamabuye ‘the one which breaks stones’
umuríra-ngéenda
inyoga-nyaanja
umuryáamira-bákoóbwa
ikiryaa-bashuumba
ruvug-amadáago
ruvug-amahoómbo
umuruta
urunyámavúta ‘the one with oil/fat’
umuságaambá ‘the one that grows spreading’
umunywáandé ‘who should drink it ?’ Ilex mitis
4. Names from class 3
Words in class 3 use class 4 to mark the plural. The class marker for class 3 is the prefix
-mu- and the preprefix or augment is the copy of the prefix vowel ,namely u-.
Class 4 is marked by the prefix -mi- and the preprefix i-.
umunyinyá Acacia abyssinica subsp calophyllia/Acacia sieberana var vermoesenii
umunyúra Dodonaea viscosa
umutárishóonga Cluytia abyssinica
umutaráma Gardenia ternifolia,subsp jovis-tonantis
umutánuuká Dichrocephala bicolor
umutaanga Lagenaria dv.spp
umuteembe Rorippa cryplantha
umuteekampengeri Mentha aquatica
umutáambashá Magnistipula butayei
umutágara Grassocephalum multicorymbosum
umutabana Indigofera roseo-caerulea
umutoryi solanum melongena
umutsina Sporobolus pyramidalis
umutooyi Chrysophyllum gorungosanum/Aningeria adolfi-
friderici
umusurí Beilschimiedia rwandensis/Oxynthus speciosus subsp stenocarpus/Garcinia volkensii
umusuumbarukeenke Panicum maximum
umusiibyarugeendo Apodytes dimidiata
umushoshwe Hibiscus ludwiigi/Abutilon angulatum
umuraangara Croton macrostachyus/Croton megalocarpus
umusagávu
umusakávu Fagara sp
umusámanzúki Hypercum revolutum
umunyamabuye Fadogia ancylantha
umunyakayuumbu Psychotria
parvistipulata/Macrotylomaaxillare/Tephrosia elata/Diospyros
gabonensis
umunyákabáruká Hymenocaria
umunége Croton megalocarpus
umugóombé Chenopodium ugandae
umusíine Peddiea rapaneoides/Peddiea
orophila/Vaccinium stanleyi
umusáduká Hibiscus aethiopicus
umusagára Rhos longifer
umusaande Urera cameroonensis
umusaandi Cassia mimosoides
umusáangé Entada abyssinica
umusaángu Haronga madagascariensis
umusáraba Crotalaria vallicola
umusárabátemye Ryrigynia kivuensis
umusáareendá Triumfetta cordifolia
umusáasá Nuxia congesta/Nuxia floribunda/Olinia
rochetiana/Campylosperum vegelii var.poggei/Ximenia caffra/Rhamnus prinoides/Polygala ruwenzoriensis/Dodonaea viscosa
umusásankwáaré Hyercum revolutum
umusé Urera cameroonensis/Urera hypselodendron
umusebéya Albizia grandibractea/Albizia adianthifolia/Albizia
gummifera
umuseké Phragmites mauritianus
umusekera Pittosporum spathicalyx/Macaranga
kilimandscaria/Ximenia caffra/Platostoma denticulatun
umuseena Ficus asperifolia/
umuseene Ficus
umuséengesi Myrica mildbraedii/Myrica salicifolia/Rapanea
melanophloeios/Balthasarea schlibenii
umushábarará Rytiginia bridsonii/Rytiginia Kigeziensis/Rytiginia
kivuensis/Rytiginia beniensis/Canthium ruwenzoriense
umushámi Haplocoelum gallaense
umushaanga Adhatoda engleriana
umusháranyóota Lannea humilis
umushaariita Cyphostemma adenocaulis
umusháashi Cripophyllum rwandense/Canthium sp./Bridelie
micrantha/Hippocratea goetzei/Salacia erecta
umushaayishaanyi Harungana madascariensis
umushiba Rhynchosia resinosa/Eriosema nutans
umushírabwíiko Vaccinum stanleyi
umupfúurankwáavu Tephrosia aequilata
umupfunyantpke Eriosema
psoraleoides/E.scioanum/E.montanum
umunyerére
umunyéreéri
umunyarugabo Helichrysum odoratissimum
umunyárugéerá Acacia moberana var kagerensis
umunyárugoóndo Rhamnus staddo
umunyáruhehá Ranunculus stagnalis
umunyareenda Acalypha manniana
umunyarubaanda Cleome monophylla
umunyarubobi Trimeria grandifolia subsp tropica
umunyáanzíigirirá Commicarpus plumbagineus
umunyana Thunbergia mildbraediana
umujugurira Boerhavia diffusa/Cammicarpus plumbagenius
umukaanja Ochna schweinfurthiana
umukaragata Embelia schimperi
umukárara Agauria salicifolia
umukeenke Hyparrhenia div.sp./Themeda trianda
umukérakéenja Pennisetum trachyphyllum
umukéreko Newtonia buchananii
umukéreenké ozoroa reticulata
umukeéri Rubus div.sp.
umukíindo Phoenix reclinata
umukiingabagabo Tephrosia elata/Tephrosia pamila
umukíryi Virectaria major
umukó Erytrina abyssinica
umukómagoré Grewia similis
umukoondo Isoglossa laxiflora/Mimulopsis solmsii
umukóongwá Dombeya bagshawei/Hibiscus calyphyllus
umukoni Synadenium synadenium grantii
umukoonji Acacia senegalensis
umukoonjoro Piper capense
umukóre Dombeya rutindifolia/Dombeya kirkii
umukorokoombe Capparis sepiaria/Capparis tomentosa
umukúbagwá Psorospermum febrifugum
umukúumbugurú Clerodendrum johnstonii/Clerodendrum
buchholzii
umuruundambaazo Markhamia tusifolia/Alangium chinense/Ehletia
cymosa/Grewia mildbraedii
umukúundé Cajanus cajan
umukuúngeri Abutilon mauritianum
umukúraazo Vernonia hochstetteri
umukurú Pachycarpus schweinfurthii/Raphionacme
madiensis/Xysmalobium heudoletiatum/Staphmostelma peduculantum
umukurura Capparis fascicularis/elaeagnoides
umumara Pseudosabisea arborea subsp bequaertii
umuména Pappea capensis
umuméno Maerua angolensis
umumeéyu Albizia petersiana
umumuúna Lannea schimperi
umumuri Olea europea var africana
umunaaba Triumfeta cordifolia
umunanira Jaundea/Rhamnus prinoides
umunaniranzovu Solanum aculeastrum/Jaundea pinnata/Milletia
psilopetala/Albizia amara sbsp. sericophala
umunaáyo Brillantaisia cicatricosa/Mimulopsis
solmisii/Dicliptera colorata
umunazi Parinari curatellifolia/
umwáahuro Periploca linearifolia/Rhyncostigma racemosum
umwaamirangabo Hymenodictyon floribundum
umwaamiya Alangium chinense
umwáanyá Neoboutonia maqcrocalyx
umwaasa Pentadesma reyndersii/Zanthoxylum mildbraedii
umwaasha Balthasarea schliebenii
umwáatashyári Trimeria grandiflora subsp tropica
umubaánga Schrebera elata/Pericopsis angolensis
umubáruká Pavetta gardenifolia/Tricalysia
ruandensis/Cantium schimperianum
umubázi Monechna subsessile/Dyschoriste
clinopodioides/Ruellia patula
umuberánya Typha angustifolia
umubíimbafúro Helinus mystacinus/Gouania
longistipicata/Vernonia pogosperma
umubiriizi Vernonia amygdalina
umuboómbo Cayratia gracilis
umububá Albizia versicolor
umubugú Salacia erecta
umubúunda Casuarina equisetifolia
umubyáazamásekérume Maerua triphylla var johannis
umucuundura Erythrococca fisheri/Waltheria indica/Triumfetta
rhomboidea/Triumfetta tomentosa/Maesa/lanceolata/Hibiscus
berbedifolius/Sida div.spp.
umucúungwé Celosia anthelmintica
umucyúuro Cassia didymobotrya/Oreosyce
africana/Momordica foetida
umudáhaandá Orthosiphon suffrutescens
umudáhweerá Commiphora madagascariensis/
umudóboóri Trema orientalis
umweena Satureja pseudosimensis
umweenya Ocimum suave/Ocimum urticifolium
umufátaangwe Mezoneuron angolense/Caesarlpinia
decapelata/Pterolobium stellatum/Harrisonia
abrusinica
umufú Podocarpus usambarensis
umufuumba Rumex abyssinicus
umufuumbageshi Rumex usamberensis
umufúunzo Cyperus papyrus
umufúura Boehmeria nivea/Laportea ovalifolia
u
mugabudásuumírwa Carduus nyassanus/Carduus leptacanthus
umugabudásunikwá Oxalis latifolia
umuganáshya Cussonia holstii/Peucedonum nyassicum
umugaango Pergularia daemia
umugano Arundinaria alpina
umugaanza Ocotea michelsonii
umugaanzacyaaro Harrisonia abyssinica/Ziziphus abyssinica
micronata
umugarura Ammania baccifera/Acollanthus repens
umugasá Scutia myrtina
umugeendajoro Cassipourea gummiflua, var
ugandensis/Lepidotrichilia volkensii/Maytenus undata
umugéengé Acacia hockii
umugeeti Hagenia abyssinica
umugeyo Pterolobium stellatum/Mimosa pigra/Acacia
brevispica
umugiímbu Bridelia brideliifolia/Bridelia micrantha
umugiingo Psychotria mahonii/Psychotria buyoyensis var
rugensis
umugomera Fagaropsis angolensis/Cantium vulgare
umugónampíri Acalypha villicaulis
umugoóte Syzigium parvifolium
umugú Acacia polyacantha
umuguunga Acacia gerrardii
umugwáampóre Ficus glumosa/Trema orientalis
umuhagatangimaCissus humertii
umuhaánda Casearia runsorica/Stephania abyssinica
umuhánurankúba Phyllanthus nummulariifolius
umuhárakuukú Lablab purpureus/Rhynchosia hirta/Vigna
parkeri/Rhynchosiakilimandscharica/Rhy nchosia sublobata/Rhynchosia minima var prostrata/
umuháshya Monanthotaxis orophila/Dalbergia lactea/Leptoderris harmisiana
umuháati Dracaena afromontana
umuháto Astripomoea grantii
umuhaátu Pavonia patens/Abutilon asiat5icum
umuhatura Abutilon angulatum
umuheengeri Lantana trifolia/Geniosporum rotundifolium
umuhíihí Echinochloa colunum
umuhokó Phytolacca dodecandra
umuhoróro Premna angolensis
umuhótorá Jasminum fluminense/Jasminum dichotomum/Jasminum, schimperi/Xymalos,
monospora/Mikaniopsis
umuhuba
umuhuúhe Croton dichogamus
umuhuumbo Ficalhoa laurifolia
umuhúunga Aeschynomene schimperi/Kotschya africana var
bequaertii/Kotschya aeschynomenoides
umuhúuriizi Podocarpus milanjianus
umuhurura Achyrantes aspera
5. Plant names from other classes
isáandi Blepharis integrifolia
igikákarúbaámba
ishyóongoóshyo Thunbergia mildbraediana
ubushyírahámwe Capsella bursera-pastoris
ishóki Blepharis maderaspatensis
igishókoonkoro Cynoglossum lanceolatum
igishókorampoongo Crassophalum sp./Emilia coccinea
ishoombosho Trachomeria macrocarpa
iraáriire Senecio cydoniifolius
uburyóoheramfíizi Dyschoriste perrottetii
ikiryooheramuhoro Annona senegalensis/Galiniera coffeoides/Psychotria
lauracea/Tricalisia rwandensis/Psychotria miahonii/Psychotria palustris/Psychotria
pedunculoris
isagara Pentas decora
isakara Oldenlandia herbea
igisámutóbwe Mimulopsis arborescens
isaanda Trichodesma zeylanicum
isaánzu Ochna afzeli/Vepris stolzii/Chrysophyllum
pruniforme/Eugenia capensis sub sp
nyassensis/Anisepalum humbertii
isaayuura/igisaayuura Allophylus rubifolius
uruseende Solanum nigrum
akanyamwiiga Dychnostachys coerulea
igishéhe Chrysophyllum rwandense/Ardista kivuensis
inshiingati Stapfiella urugurica/Stapfiella lucida
icyooganyaanja Dissotis senegambiensis/Suffrutex Bothriocline
longipes
akanyarubira Peperomia blanda var.Leptostaschya
inyaanzi Tephrosia interrupta sbsp mildbraedi
ikinyáankúrwe Clerodendrum formicalum/fuscum/johnstonii
ikinyamucuucu Hypercum revolutum
ijoojwe Asytasia gangetica/Asytasia schimperi/Justicia
striata/Justicia uncinulata/Justicia
flava/Hypoestes forskalei/Phaulopsis imbricata
injugúshu Nephrolepis undulata
injuujú Evolvulus alsinoides
inkabukira Coryza bonariensis
igikákarúbaámba Aloès dawei/Aloès volkensii
igikángaga Cyperius latiforius
urukéembagúfa Stachys aculeolata/Geranium div ssp.
urukeenke Dracena laxissima
ubukikíri Lepidagathis andersionana
inkookera Strychnos lucens
inkonoondwe Crambe hispanica
inkóorí Vigna ungiculata
ubukuubo Vernonia perrottetii/Vernonia schweinfurtithii
inkúundabúrimi Momordica pterocarpa
umukuungu Parinari excelsa
inkúruba Agelatum conyzoides /Haumaniastrum
galeopsifolium
imáanayeezé Helichrysum sp dv.
ikimaanja Clotalaria karagwensis
imari/ikimari Garinsoga parviflora
akamaatiira Adenostemura mauritianum
ikimezá Hedythyrsus thamnodideus
inaánka Helichrisum mildbraedii/Eriosema mucans
ineembo Maytenus acuminata/Tarenna rwandensis
ikineesha Ixora burundiensis/Pavetta bagshawei/Psychotria
chalconeura/Rauvolfia manii/Pleiocarpa pycnantha
urwaakaara/inyaakaara Isodon ramosissimus/Plechranthus
fimbriatus/Solenestemon sylvaticum
urwaamba/inyaamba Flabellaria paniculata/Lasiantus kilimandscharicus
icyaangwe Luffa cylindrica
icyáanjogo Psilotrichum elliottii
icyaánya Musanga leoerrerae
urwaarikafuundi Rhynchelytrum roseum
akaataburiingi Plumbago zeylanica
ikibabanzovu Girardinia bullosa
urubabára Combretum orophilum
urubabáza Pyllantus div.sp./Desmodium
ikibábo Peucedanum aculeolatum
urubeba Vigna racemosa
urubeerwá/imbeerwá Hibiscus cannabinus/Hibiscus diversifolius
urubiingo Pennisetum purpureum
iboórebee Morus alba var indica
ikiboombwe Cyphostemma cyphopelatum
imbóno Diplocyclos palmatus
ikiborooza Girardinia condensata
urubwiíja Amaranthus hybridus
incáabugufí Becium abovatum
igicuúnshu Salvia sp./Ocinum sp.
indásigáriza Helichrysum ellipticifolium
idegéde Cucumis aculeatus
ikidóboóri Ficus vallis-choudae
idoóma Gutenvergia cordifolia
ikidúha Euphorbia candelabrum
icyeegeera Plectranthus longipes/Selecio angulatus
akeendajoro Nesaea schinzii
icyeerá Conyza hochstetteri
igifáshi Cyathula polycephala/Cyathula
schimperana/Cyathula uncinulata/Pupalia
grandiflora/Pupalia lappacea
igifuraniinda Crassophalum montuosum
ifurwe Laportea alatipes
inganáshya Cossyza subscaposa
igaangabukári Hygrophila auriculata
ingarikabigaanza Euphorbia inaequilatera
akagiingo Kohaytia coccinea/Silene burchelliiJusticia anselliana
ngiingwiijana Oldenlandia scopulorum/Spermacoce
spucilla/Spermacoce subvulgata/Spermacoce princeae
ubugoombooro Thalictrum rynchocarpum/Peucedanum
runssoricum
ingomwá Beilschmiedia troupinii/Ocotea
kenyensis/Dasylepsis racemosa/Beilschmiedia
rwandensis
igóondé Sesamum angolense/Sesamum angustifolius/Conyza
hochstetteri
ingorámure Pausinystalia ituriense/Pauridiantha paucinervis
igorogoonzo Polygonum div.sp
ingosoora Tagetes patula
uruguhú Miscanthidium violaceum
ikigwáarará Berkheya spekeana/Garduus/Echinops
akagwáarará Blepharis cristata
agahagi Brachystephanus africanus
agahago Physalis micrantha
agahaandanzovu Tribulus terrestris
iháangarúhiirá Ruellia patula
ruharwá Opila celtigifolia
ihenérane Caralluma schweinfurthii
igiheehe Bothriocline longipes/Bothriocline nyungwensis
uruhoómbo Vernonia/Vernonia angulifolia/Vernonia
hochstetteri/Vernonia purpurea/Vernonia karagwensis
ihónoranzóbe Ocimum trichodon
impoóshya Drymaria cordata/Lemna paucicostata
ihuumbu Hysanthes pusilla
impuúmbya Veronica abyssinica
umuhúunga Aeschynomene schimperi
igihuúngeri Philippia benguellensis/Philippia johnstonii/Protea
madiensis
igihwaápfu Mimulopsus excellens
urunyarunyuundo Vernonia holstii
akanyamabaya Dyschoriste trichocalyx
ikinyamagaanga Plectranthus sarrulatus
igitovu acanthus pubescens
icyúumyá Guitozia scabra/Melanthera scandes/Aspilia
pluriseta/Salivia nilotica
Conclusion
Kinyarwanda plant names are either icons or metonymies. They indicate the similarity or the association between the linguistic sign and the plant. Many appear in reduplicated forms because of their forms. They suggest their length
, height and movement. It is also clear that class 3 and class 4 were natural classes reserved for plants and later on started including nouns referring to other semantic categories. All linguistic signs usually start as icons but lose their semantic transparency later on.
The iconicity of plant names is due to the fact that they are seldom used in every day vocabulary thus keeping their original forms. It is linguistic expressions which are used more often which have tendency to develop develop more meanings, change meanings or shrink phonetically.
References
Coupez, André et all. 2006. Inkoranya y’ikinyarwanda. IRST :
Butare, Rwanda and Musée Roal de l’Afrique Central :
Tervuren.
Kimenyi, Alexandre. 1980. Une analyse semiolinguistique des noms
des plantes médicinales et rituelles du Rwanda. in Culture,
Science et Education. Kigali : Rwanda.
Lestrade, A. 1955. La médecine indigéne au Rwanda. Lexique des
termes médicaux français-kinyarwanda. Académie Royale des
Sciences Coloniales. Classes des Sciences Morales et Politiques,
Mémoire in-80,N.S.VIII, 1.
Troupin, G, 1978. Flore du Rwanda, Spernatophytes I. Butare : INRS.
Troupin.G. 1982. Flore des plantes lingeuses du Rwanda. Butare :
IRNS
Troupin, G. 1983. Flore du Rwanda, Spermatophytes II. Butare : INRS.
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