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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chapter 06 - Somali Possessives

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, April 05, 2014
 Inventory on the possessives :
  1. Unlike in English, the possessive in Somali is not a detached word.
  2. The somali possessive is always attached as a suffix to the end of a noun.
  3. When a possessive is used, the noun is necessarily definite.
  4. The possessive suffix will always be preceeded by a definite marker /-ka-/-ga-/-ha- (masc.) or /-ta-/-sha-/-da- (fem.).
  5. The possessive suffix must also agree in gender with the noun it is affixed to !
  6. In the 3rd person singular the possessive suffix agrees in gender with both the possessor and the noun of the possessed.

The possessive suffix is placed after the definite marking :
Noun (+ plural marking) + definite marking + possessive suffix.


Shandad suitcase Shandado suitcases
Shandadda the suitcase Shandadaha the suitcases
Shandaddayda my suitcase Shandadahayga my suitcases
Shandaddaada your suitcase Shandadahaaga your suitcases


 Detailed review of the possessives : 

Table of possessive roots :

Person possessive root English equivalent
1st pers. sing. -ay my
2nd pers. sing. -aa your
3rd pers. sing. masc. -iis his
3rd pers. sing. fem. -eed her
1st pers. plur. excl. -aya our
1st pers. plur. incl. -een our
2nd pers. plur. -iin your
3rd pers. plur. -ood their

In cases of inalienable possession, the possessive root is all that is needed : ninkeed (= her husband), abbahaa (= your father), etc..
However, complete possessives agree with the noun and must be followed by a form of the definite articles -ka (masc.) and -ta (fem.).

Table of possessive suffixes :

Person root Masculine Feminine English equivalent
1st pers. sing.-ay -k + -ay + /k/a → -kayga
-g + -ay + /k/a → -gayga
-h + -ay + /k/a → -hayga
-t + -ay + /t/a → -tayda
-sh + -ay + /t/a → -shayda
-d + -ay + /t/a → -dayda
my
2nd pers. sing.-aa -k + -aa + /k/a → -kaaga
-g + -aa + /k/a → -gaaga
-h + -aa + /k/a → -haaga
-t + -aa + /t/a → -taada
-sh + -aa + /t/a → -shaada
-h + -aa + /t/a → -daada
your
3rd pers. sing. masc.-iis -k + -iis + (k)a → -kiisa
-g + -iis + (k)a → -giisa
-h + -iis + (k)a → -hiisa
-t + -iis + (t)a → -tiisa
-sh + -iis + (t)a → -shiisa
-d + -iis + (t)a → -diisa
his
3rd pers. sing. fem.-eed -k + -eed + (k)a → -keeda
-g + -eed + (k)a → -geeda
-h + -eed + (k)a → -heeda
-t + -eed + (t)a → -teeda
-sh + -eed + (t)a → -sheeda
-d + -eed + (t)a → -deeda
her
1st pers. plur. excl.-aya -k + -aya + /k/a → -kayaga
-g + -aya + /k/a → -gayaga
-h + -aya + /k/a → -hayaga
-t + -aya + /t/a → -tayaga
-sh + -aya + /t/a → -shayaga
-d + -aya + /t/a → -dayaga
our
1st pers. plur. incl.-een -k + -een + (k)a → -keenna
-g + -een + (k)a → -geenna
-h + -een + (k)a → -heenna
-t + -een + (t)a → -teenna
-sh + -een + (t)a → -sheenna
-d + -een + (t)a → -deenna
our
2nd pers. plur.-iin -k + -iin + (k)a → -kiinna
-g + -iin + (k)a → -giinna
-h + -iin + (k)a → -hiinna
-t + -iin + (t)a → -tiinna
-sh + -iin + (t)a → -shiinna
-d + -iin + (t)a → -diinna
your
3rd pers. plur.-ood -k + -ood + (k)a → -kooda
-g + -ood + (k)a → -gooda
-h + -ood + (k)a → -hooda
-t + -ood + (t)a → -tooda
-sh + -ood + (t)a → -shooda
-d + -ood + (t)a → -dooda
their

As you can see from the table, when the possessive ends in a consonant, the consonant at the initial of the article marker is dropped :
-kiis + ka makes -kiisa instead of [-kiiska].
-teed + ta makes -teeda instead of [-teedta].
When the possessive ends in a vowel, the voiced consonant at the initial of the article marker becomes unvoiced :
-kay + ka makes -kayga instead of [-kayka]
-tay + ta makes -kayda instead of [-kayta]


 Examples : 

Possessor : 1st Person Singular
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankayga = my country dawooyinkayga = my medicines
-ga gurigayga = my house    
-ha furahayga = my key guriyahayga = my houses
-ta kabtayda = my shoe    
-sha hashayda = my she-camel furayashayda = my keys
-da dawoodayda = my medicine furashyodayda = my mattresses

Possessor : 2nd Person Singular
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankaaga = your country dawooyinkaaga = your medicines
-ga gurigaaga = your house    
-ha furahaaga = your key guriyahaaga = your houses
-ta kabtaada = your shoe    
-sha hashaada = your she-camel furayashaada = your keys
-da dawoodaada = your medicine furashyodaada = your mattresses

Possessor : 3rd Person Singular Masculine
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankiisa = his country dawooyinkiisa = his medicines
-ga gurigiisa = his house    
-ha furahiisa = his key guriyahiisa = his houses
-ta kabtiisa = his shoe    
-sha hashiisa = his she-camel furayashiisa = his keys
-da dawoodiisa = his medicine furashyodiisa = his mattresses

Possessor : 3rd Person Singular Feminine
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankeeda = her country dawooyinkeeda = her medicines
-ga gurigeeda = her house    
-ha furaheeda = her key guriyaheeda = her houses
-ta kabteeda = her shoe    
-sha hasheeda = her she-camel furayasheeda = her keys
-da dawoodeeda = her medicine furashyodeeda = her mattresses

Possessor : 1st Person Plural Exclusive
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankayaga = our country dawooyinkayaga = our medicines
-ga gurigayaga = our house    
-ha furahayaga = our key guriyahayaga = our houses
-ta kabtayaga = our shoe    
-sha hashayaga = our she-camel furayashayaga = our keys
-da dawoodayaga = our medicine furashyodayaga = our mattresses

Possessor : 1st Person Plural Inclusive
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankeena = our country dawooyinkeena = our medicines
-ga gurigeena = our house    
-ha furaheena = our key guriyaheena = our houses
-ta kabteena = our shoe    
-sha hasheena = our she-camel furayasheena = our keys
-da dawoodeena = our medicine furashyodeena = our mattresses

Possessor : 2nd Person Plural
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankiinna = your country dawooyinkiinna = my medicines
-ga gurigiinna = your house    
-ha furahiinna = your key guriyahiinna = your houses
-ta kabtiinna = your shoe    
-sha hashiinna = your she-camel furayashiinna = my keys
-da dawoodiinna = your medicine furashyodiinna = your mattresses

Possessor : 3rd Person Plural
Definite article Noun sing. translation Noun plur. translation
-ka waddankooda = their country dawooyinkooda = their medicines
-ga gurigooda = their house    
-ha furahooda = their key guriyahooda = their houses
-ta kabtooda = their shoe    
-sha hashooda = their she-camel furayashooda = their keys
-da dawoodooda = their medicine furashyodooda = their mattresses



 Further examples and remarks : 

Magacaa ? [What's] your name ? Magacaygu waa X. My name is X. (-u is the subject marker)
Magaciis ? [What's] his name ? Magaciisu waa X. His name is X.
Magaceed ? [What's] her name ? Magaceedu waa X. Her name is X.
Cases of inalienable possession may sometimes take gender agreement, especially if the person is present when being spoken of : ninkeed or ninkeeda (= her husband), abbeed or abbeeda (= her father), etc..
Another instance of inalienable possession with gender agreement : people say geeleyga (= my herds of camels) instead of #geelehayga.


 Possessive Pronouns : 

As in English, there are also possessive pronouns in Somali.
The possessive pronouns are stand-alone words.
They are formed on the possessive prefixes and begin with ka- in the masculine, ta- in the feminine and kuw- in the plural (for both masculine and feminine).

Table of possessive pronouns :

Person Masculine Feminine Plural English
1st pers. sing. kayga tayda kuwayga mine
2nd pers. sing. kaaga taada kuwaaga yours
3rd pers. sing. masc. kiisa tiisa kuwiisa his
3rd pers. sing. fem. keeda teeda kuweeda hers
1st pers. plur. excl. kayaga tayaga kawayaga ours
1st pers. plur. incl. keena teena kuweena ours
2nd pers. plur. kiinna tiinna kuwiinna yours
3rd pers. plur. kooda tooda kuwooda theirs

                Source: http://hooyo.web.free.fr

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