Monday, October 8, 2012

Swahili grammar: tensed relative

The relative particle is used to build relative verbal constructions. This is one of the most important grammatical issues I learned lately. This particle can be used only in: present tense (affirmative and negative), future tense (affirmative) and simple past tense (affirmative). It’s made with the -o- of reference that agrees in class with the noun it refers to. Note that although it’s called -o- of reference it has different shapes.

Example: kufanya
Present
nina-ye-fanya (that I do, I who do)
una-ye-fanya
ana-ye-fanya
tuna-o-fanya
mna-o-fanya
wana-o-fanya

Past
nili-ye-fanya (that I made, who made)
uli-ye-fanya
ali-ye-fanya
tuli-o-fanya
mli-o-fanya
wali-o-fanya

Future (note: future infix „ta” becomes „taka”)
nitaka-ya-fanya (that I will make, who will make)
utaka-ye-fanya
ataka-ye-fanya
tutaka-o-fanya
mtaka-o-fanya
wataka-o-fanya

Negative
Uses negative infix and no tense marker; it can be used for the present, past and future
nisi-ye-fanya (I who don’t make)
usi-ye-fanya
asi-ye-fanya
tusi-o-fanya
msi-o-fanya
wasi-o-fanya

Infixes for classes
It would be too easy if it worked like this. Remember the classes? Each class has its set of relative particles, thus:
m-wa-: -ye-, -o-
ji-/ma-: -lo-, -yo-
m-/mi-: - o-, -yo-
ki-vi-: -cho-, -vyo-
N-: -yo, -zo-
u-: -o-, -zo-
ku-: -ko-
pa-, ku-, mu-: po-/ko-/mo-

Examples of sentences
Mtu anayetoka Zambia. – The person who comes from Zambia.
Mtoto aliyesoma kitabu. – The child who reads a book.
Mtu anayelima shamba. – The man who cultivates a field.
Mwanamke nitakayemwoa. – The woman that I will marry.
Gari nitakalolinunua. – The car that I will buy.
Gari inayokuja Dar-es-Salaam. – The train that arrives from Dar-es-Salaam.
Nina rafiki anayekaa huko Uganda. – I have a friend who lives In Uganda.
Mwimbaji asiyependa kahawa. – The singer who doesn’t like coffee.
Not that in some cases, especially while talking about people, you have to insert also an object marker).

In other tenses you have to use so called independent relative pronoun: amba-, which in fact tends to be more used also in the tenses described above as it’s much easier to use and helps to avoid any ambiguity. You can read about it HERE


Share:

0 komentarze:

Post a Comment