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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chapter 09 - Somali Subject Pronouns

Ethiopian Argument | Saturday, April 05, 2014


 Autonomous Pronouns and Preverbal Pronouns

There are two kinds of subject pronouns :
  1. Autonomous pronouns, which have essentially the same properties as nouns.
  2. Preverbal pronouns, that function like verbal affixes, but are detached from the verb in a pre-assigned preverbal position.
There is no substitution between the noun subject and the preverbal pronoun subject, but complementarity : the preverbal subject pronoun will always be there, whether the noun subject (or an autonomous pronoun subject) is expressed in the sentence or not.

 Autonomous subject pronouns 

They are ordinarily followed by a determiner (by default the definite suffix -ka or -ta), a conjunction, or a focus marker.
For the form with the definite article, subject marking works in the ordinary way.



  Emphatic form Short form
Person Stand alone Subject + conjunction + subjunctive
1st pers. sing. aniga anigu an(i) an
2nd pers. sing. adiga adigu ad(i) ad
3rd pers. sing. masc. isaga isagu is(a) ha
3rd per. sing. fem. iyada iyadu iya ha
1st per. plur. excl. annaga annagu anna annu
1st pers. plur. incl. innaga innagu inna aynu
2nd pers. plur. idinka idinku idin ad
3rd pers. plur. iyaga iyagu iyagu ha

You can see from this table that all autonomous subject pronouns are masculine except for iyada (= she, her) which is feminine.
The only difference between the autonomous "stand alone" pronoun and the autonomous subject pronoun is the subject marker u at the end.
The forms listed in the column labelled + conjuction omit the determiner suffix and sometimes the final vowel.
In most instances they only occur with the conjunctions -na (= and, also), -se (= but), or with the focus marker baa, and only in some combinations with these.

Examples :

Anna waan arkeyI also saw (it)[me+also I saw]
Adna waad aragteyYou also saw (it)[you+also you saw]
Isna wuu arkayHe also saw (it)[him+also he saw]
Iyana way aragteyShe also saw (it)[her+also she saw]
Annana waannu aragneyWe (exl.) also saw (it)[us+also we saw]
Innana weynu aragneyWe (incl.) also saw (it)[us+also we saw]
Idinna weydin aragteenYou (pl.) also saw (it)[you+also you saw]
Iyaguna wey arkeenThey also saw (it)[them+also they saw]
 
Anaa tegeyIt is I who went[from an(i) + baa]
Adaa tegeyIt is you who went[from ad(i) + baa]
Only 1st and 2nd person singular pronouns can be contracted in focus constructions.


 Preverbal pronouns 

Preverbal pronouns can be assimilated to detached "verbal affixes".
They have predetermined positions in the verbal phrase, along with the other preverbal particles, according to their different functions : subject, object, negation, relationship, etc..

Table of Preverbal markers


Person Subject Pronoun Object Pronoun
(1st series)
Locative Negation Relational Object Pronoun
(2nd series)
1st pers. sing. waan i -ku (-gu) ma soo kay
2nd pers. sing. waad ku -ku (-gu) ma soo kaa
3rd pers. sing. masc. wuu   -ku (-gu) ma soo  
3rd pers. sing. fem. way   -ku (-gu) ma soo  
1st pers plur. excl. waannu na -ku (-gu) ma soo kayo
1st pers. plur. incl. waynu ina -ku (-gu) ma soo keen
2nd pers. plur. waydin idin -ku (-gu) ma soo kiin
3rd pers. plur. way   -ku (-gu) ma soo  

Examples :

Waan arkayI saw[I saw]
Waan ku arkayI saw you[I you saw]
Waan kugu arkayI saw you in[I you+in saw]
Maan aragI didn't see[Not+I didn't see]
Kumaan aragI didn't see you[You+not+I didn't see]
Kugumaan aragI didn't see you in[You+in+not+I didn't see]
Wuu i arkayHe saw me[He me saw]
Wuu igu arkayHe saw me in[He me+in saw]
Imuu aragHe didn't see me[Me+not+he didn't see]
Igumuu aragHe didn't see me in[Me+in+not+he didn't see]
You can observe from the above examples that the preverbal subject pronoun is no longer at the initial in the negative sentences.
But it somehow subsists as a subject root, placed at the end of the Object+Locative+Negative+Subject cluster !


 Preverbal subject pronouns 

The preverbal subject pronoun possesses two forms, that we respectively named "transitive" and "untransitive", depending on whether the verb is followed by a complement or not.
If the verb is not followed by any complement, we use the untransitive form waan, waad, etc.. which is obtained by affixing w- to the preverbal subject root -aan, -aad, etc..
If the verb is followed by a complement, we use the transitive form waxaan, waxaad, etc.. which is obtained by affixing wax- to the preverbal subject root -aan, -aad, etc..

Table of Preverbal Subject Pronouns


Person root Untransitive Transitive English
1st pers. sing. -aan waan waxaan I
2nd pers. sing. -aad waad waxaad you
3rd pers. sing. masc. -uu wuu waxuu he
3rd pers. sing. fem. -ay way waxay she
1st pers. plur. excl. -aannu waannu waxaannu we
1st pers. plur. incl. -aynu waynu waxaynu we
2nd pers. plur. -aydin waydin waxaydin we
3rd pers. plur. -ay way waxay they

Examples :

Anigu waan cunayaaI am eating[Me I eating]
Anigu waxaan cunayaa furinI am eating bread[Me I eating bread]
Isagu wuu cunayaaHe is eating[Him he eating]
Isagu waxuu cunayaa baastoHe is eating pasta[Him he eating pasta]
Iyadu way cunaisaashe is eating[Her she eating]
Iyadu waxay cunaisaa cambeshe is eating a mango[Her she eating mango]
Anigu waan karinayaaI am cooking[Me I cooking]
Anigu waxaan karinayaa laxooI am cooking a pancake[Me I cooking pancake]
Aabahay wuu karinayaaMy father is cooking[Father-my he cooking]
Aabahay waxuu karinayaa hilibMy father is cooking meat[Father-my he cooking meat]
Hooyoday way karinaisaaMy mother is cooking[Mother-my she cooking]
Hooyoday waxay karinaisaa kaluunMy mother is cooking fish[Mother-my she cooking fish]
Note that the autonomous subject pronouns anigu, isagu and iyadu can be made without in the above examples.

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


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