Isaac Fried wrote:Swahili kata, to cut; [i]katakata[i], to slice, appears to me related to the post-biblical Hebrew קטע Arabic قطع 'slice'. From it קיטע KIYTEA, 'amputee'.
Isaac Fried, Boston University
Indeed, it could be related. In fact nearly half the vocabulary of Swahili is from Arabic, as it was used by the Arab traders for centuries as a trade language. Swahili also contains Indian and Persian imports. However, kata is probably not a borrowed word, since it is a simple primitive action. Kata, like Eng. cut, seems to be a universal word. Note it contains two of the three consonants that make up כָּרַת. Luyia (Western Kenya) is part of the oldest branch of Bantu languages. Its "cut" word has retained the three consonants, CHiTuLa, cut off. It has undergone metathesis (M132), africation (K-CH), and a liquid shift (R-L).
note: katakata can also mean dice, not just slice.
Jonathan E Mohler