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Pronouns and Demonstrative and Interrogative Adjectives in Ateso

Personal pronouns

Eong — I                                                       Isio/Iso or Oni —- We

Ijo — You(sing)                                           Yesi/Yesu  — You (plural)

Ngesi — She/he or it                                 Kes(i)  — They , them

These words can be used either as a subject or object of a sentence. Thus, eong can mean “I” or “me”, some dialect also uses engo to refer the same in spoken Ateso. Ngesi, yesi/yesu and kes(i) are used as the object. With kesi meaning they, when the –i is dropped the meaning of  kes is them.

            Ejai eong eitabo. — I have a book.

          (literally: There is I a book)

            Ikotos nges? —- Do you want her/him?

When ngesi, yesi/yesu and kesi are a subject of a verb, the final i or u as in yesu is dropped.

Mam kes epupitos ne’enera eong. —- They have not listened to what I spoke.

Mam kes emisiikitos nu enera eong. — They have not understood what I was talking about.

 

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns need not to be expressed is the meaning is clear without them. For example.

Alosi moi eong and Alosi moi both mean “I am going tomorrow”.

Personal pronouns usually follow a verb. Pronouns used as a subject of the verb precedes a noun used as object of the verb. For example.

You beg the woman. —- Ilipi ijo aberu. “Ilipi aberu ijo” would not bare the same meaning but “has the woman begged you”.

Two words used for “we”. Isio/Iso is used when the speaker excludes the listeners.

Eg. Isio imusugun mam kimina/imina ajon. —  We the Europeans do not like the local brew(beer).

Kirai oni kere idwe luka Akuj. — We are all children of God.

Oni here refers to also the listeners.

Personal pronouns as object of the verb

When the object of  a verb is a personal pronoun of the first or second persons, the personal prefix of the verb is not that of the subject but of the object of the verb and is preceded by k-. For example, “Oselle told me” or “The boy told you” in Ateso is.

Kalimokini Oselle eong. — Oselle told me.

Kilimokini etelepat yes. — The boy will tell you.

Not quite as in.

Elimokini Oselle eong. — Oselle will tell me.

Elimokini etelepat yes. — They boy will tell you.

When past tense (abu) is used, the rule only applies to the first person singular.

Eg.      Abu Oselle kengit eong. — Oselle asked me.

            Abu Oselle kingit isio. — Oselle asked us.

 

Demonstrative pronouns and objectives

The demonstrative pronouns and adjectives vary according to gender and numbers as shown below.                                

Masculine             Feminine               Neuter

Singular                                            lo                     na                               yen — this

Plural                                                 lu                     nu                               lu  — these

Singular                                            ngol               ngin                           ngin — that

Plural                                                 ngul               ngun                          ngul — those

Singular                                            je                     ya                               yii  — that

Plural                                                 kwi                  kwa                            kwi — those

The demonstrative adjectives always follow noun with which they agree and are written separately.

Eg.      Etelepat lo. — This boy.

            Etogo je. — That house.

 Demonstrative pronouns and objectives

When constructing sentences like below.

 E.g.    Erai lo etelepat. — This is a boy.

            Erai je etogo. — That is a house.

The words lo and je are used as demonstrative pronouns and adjectives for emphasis is common and is achieved by inserting the syllable –pe between reduplicated demonstratives.

Eg.      Lopelo — This very one

            Ngopegol — That very one

            Napena — That very one

Relative pronouns

The relative pronoun varies according to gender and numbers.

Masculine             Feminine               Neuter

Singular                                lo                         na              yen — who, which, whom

Plural                                                 lu                     nu                               lu  — those

It should be noted that relative pronouns are identical in form with the demonstrative adjective meaning “this”. It is written as part of a verb which follows it.

Masculine             Feminine               Neuter

Singular                                            lo                     na                               yen — this

Plural                                                 lu                     nu                               lu  — these

 E.g.    Etunganan lo’ebuni. —- The man who is coming.

            Angor nu’ejaas kane. — The women who are here.

            Ikoku yen’ekoto akile. — The child who wants milk.              

 

Relative pronouns

The same form is used regardless of the case. Therefore, lo may mean “who”, “whom”, “to whom” or “whose” depending on the context.

Eg.      Etunganan lo’emina ngesi. — The man whom she loves.

Etunganan lo’aduki eong eketogo. — The man whose house I am building.

Abu kojai etunganan lo’ajaas idwe iarei. There was a man who had two children.

 Interrogative pronouns and adjectives.

Inyo? — What? Is invariable.

            Eg.      Inyo bo yen? — What is this?

                        Ikoto inyo? Or Ikoto ijo inyo? — What do you want?

Ingai? — Who? Has plural forms luk’angai (masculine) and nuk’angai (feminine). Eg.            Ingai ejeni? — Who knows?

                        Luk’angai bo lu? — Who are these ones?

The interrogative adjective “whose”— Lok’angai is derived from ingai — who.      Eg.            Eitabo lok’angai? Or Etaibo angai? — Whose book?

The forms.

                                    Masculine             Feminine               Neuter

Singular                     Lo’inyoin               Na’inyoin                 Yen’inyoin

Plural                          Lu’inyoin               Nu’inyoin              Lu’inyoin

 

Interrogative pronouns and adjectives.

Used either as pronouns or adjectives.

            Eg.      Eraas kesi itunga lu’inyoika? — What sort of people are they?

                        Lu’inyoin itelekarit alangiru? — Which ones are heavier?

Vocabulary for the exercise

            Aimony(ko) — To cry                    Ailong(ki) — To bathe

            Aimat(ko) — To drink                    Elap(ilapio) — Month

Elap —  moon                                 Noi  — A lot, very, a great deal

            Moi  — Tomorrow                          Emirio  — Rats

            Bian — Yesterday                          Bathe — Ailong

            Akipi — Water                                 Etelepat/Esapat  — A boy

            Beaten — Ebunga                         Badly — Erono

 

Vocabulary for the exercise

           Aimony(ko) — To cry                    Ailong(ki) — To bathe

            Aimat(ko) — To drink                    Elap(ilapio) — Month

            Elap —  moon                                 Noi  — A lot, very, a great deal

            Moi  — Tomorrow                          Emirio  — Rats

            Bian — Yesterday                          Bathe — Ailong

            Akipi — Water                                 Etelepat/Esapat  — A boy

            Beaten — Ebunga                         Badly — Erono

Exercise(Post your answers here so we can discuss together)

  1. She can beg him to come back
  2. That woman has a child who cries a lot.
  3. Those people want to eat in that house.
  4. I have seen the moon.
  5. That boy who loves rats went home yesterday.
  6. He wanted to bath with that water.
  7. The man has beaten you badly.
  8. The soldiers whose belongings are in the house will see us tomorrow.
  9. That is the man I saw.
  10. He does not want you(singular) this month.
  11. He does not want you(plural) this month.