Volume 42 1933 > Volume 42, No. 168 > A grammar of the language spoken by the Kwara'ae people of Mala, British Solomon Islands, by Norman C. Deck, p 241-256
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A GRAMMAR OF THE LANGUAGE SPOKEN BY THE KWARA'AE PEOPLE OF MALA, BRITISH SOLOMON ISLANDS.
(Continued from Vol. 42, page 144.)

91 (c) When the relative in English is governed by a preposition or a verbal noun: ta'i fakala 'i ima ne'e folilana doe liu, a pearl of which the buying is very great (of great price); ta'anga'a ke saungia wae ne'eri ne'e ru ni fa'afirute'a ke dao ma'i ana, woe unto him through whom an occasion of stumbling shall arise; lae ma'i muka lisia kula ba na Aofia teoteo ana, hasten and see the place where (along which) the Lord lay; na titiu ana ba'atafe'anga ne'e kulu kwatea ba'atafe'anga du'ungana, the cup of blessing on account of which we give thanks; nia'a ninia ba sa Isaiah … fata sulia, ba 'uri, he it is about whom Isaiah spoke, saying; na kaidai ne'e fa'i bulubulu ne'eri sina tafa ma'i ana, the time when (at which) the star appeared; 'oe kosi rongoa ru 'oro ne'e nini kira sae 'o 'ani'i ki, ne?, hearest thou not the many things which they accuse thee with, eh?; nau kui saea fuamua 'ania kwaifalama'anga tae nini nau ku sasi 'ani ru ne'e ki, I shall tell you by what authority by which I do these things; saele'anga doe (i) na'a ana wae ne'e aburongo'a nia ne'e aloge kwau, blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven; kula ne'e wawa ma bura'a ke fa'alia, a place where moth and rust will spoil.

5. ADJECTIVES.

Adjectives in Kwara'ae may be divided into two clases, (a) the great majority which follow the noun they qualify, among which are most descriptive adjectives, all demonstrative adjectives and proper adjectives, (b) those few which precede the nouns qualified, which include numerals, indefinite adjectives, and a few which will be listed below.

92 (a) Adjectives following the nouns they qualify.

(1) Proper, names of places may be thus used: wae Koio, a Koio man; similarly wae asi, a “salt-water” man; wae tolo, a bushman. It is possible, however, to regard such examples as two nouns in genitive relation.

(2) Definite or demonstrative adjectives.

These should be compared with “relative pronouns” par. 89-91, and with adverbs of place, par. 206-208.

ne'e, this; ne'e ki, these: fata'a ne'e, this word; ru ne'e ki, these things.

neana, that; neana ki (not neada, see par. 81), those: ru neana, that thing (a little further away than ne'e, this); luma neana ki, those houses.

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ne'eri, this, that, the aforesaid (in the mind's eye of speaker and hearer); ne'e kiri, ne'eri ki, these, those (in the mind's eye of speaker and hearer).

These two demonstratives are in very common use: ana kaidai ne'eri, at that time (in view); tae ne'e sata ne'eri “sa Jesus” fada 'ania?, what does this word “Jesus” (referring back to the Creed) mean?; sa John ne'eri go'o na to'ongi nia ki ana ifuna kamele, this same John (not another) had his raiment of camel's hair; ta ta'i ai ana akwala ma ro wae ne'e kiri, one of the twelve (Mt. 26:14). Ne'eri is often used where the Greek or English uses the definite article, more so than the Kwara'ae definite article na: sana rodo ne'eri nama ne'e kira ole nia ana, in the same night in which he was betrayed (1 Cor. 11:23); nia ngalia titiu ne'eri, he took the cup; compare par. 11.

ba, ne'eri ba, that (a little further back than ne'eri, sometimes very much so); ne'e kiri ba, ba ki, ba kiri, those (the plur. of the preceding): na kuini ba i saoto, the queen of the South; nau ku safunga'i nia talede ba 'oe sana ano, I hid that talent of thine in the Earth; i fa'i ne'e 'oke oga anilana na fafanga'a ba ana Passover?, where dost thou desire to eat the feast of the Passover? (here ba refers back to the feast being an old institution though the feast in question was yet future). Kika ngalia na ulu akwala selene ba kiri, they took the thirty pieces of silver; sui ma wa'i kini sar'i ba kiri sui kika tata'e, then all those virgins arose; mu kasi manatato'ona lima afu berede ana lima to'oni wane ba ki?, do ye not remember the five loaves of the five thousand?

baera, that, of long ago, and well known (further back than ba); ba kiri, ba kiri ki, those (plur. of baera): Wae ni babataese'anga baera sa John go'o, this is but that John the Baptist (Herod speaking, Mt. 14:2); mamana na'a na porofete baera nama ninia, of a truth this is even that prophet (Jno. 6:14).

lori, that up there; lo kiri, those up there; lo'oko, loko, that over there; lo'oko ki, loko ki, those over there; lo'oba, that over there further off; furi, that down there; fu kiri, those down there; to'oba, that up over there a good way; lori ma'i, that (of future time); lo kiri ma'i, those (of future time): i buriana fuli bare'anga doe liu ana kaidai lo kiri ma'i, after the tribulation of those days (Mt. 24:29).

93 'uri, such; 'una 'eri, such (compare with 'uri, thus, under adverbs, par. 200): ru 'uri, such a thing, a thing like this; ru 'una 'eri, such a thing, a thing like that (more in the past than 'uri); ta fiito'onga doe 'uri, such great faith (Mt. 8:10); ke kwaloa ta kala ngela 'uri, he receive one such little child; noa'a liu kisi lilisia ta ru 'uri i Israel, they never saw such a thing in Israel; sulia toa 'uri ki ne'e na kingi'a i Heaven, for of such (people) are the kingdom of Heaven; wae 'una 'eri ki, such men (looking back a little, Jno. 4:23).

94 A few important adjectives which follow the noun:

'oro, many, plenty: ru 'oro ki, many things; fanga 'oro, much food; 'oro liu (ki), 'oro asisi (ki), very many, very much: wae 'oro liu ki, - 243 very many men; wae 'oro ka 'oro ka 'oro, very very many men. Abuto'o'a, innumerable (lit., cannot count); ru abuto'o'a ki, countless objects.

muta'i, single: ta'i ru muta'i, one single thing; ta'i alako muta'i nia, his one only son.

matamata, of a different kind: ii'a matamata ki na'a ninia, here are different kinds of fish.

fala'ete, of the same kind: ii'a fala'ete ki na'a ninia, here are fish of the same kind.

to'o ta'i, each, one by one, individual: sa God aalafe fuana to'o ta'i wae, God loves each individual man; wae ke fiito'o nama to'o ta'i wae 'ana talana, each man individually must trust for himself; cf. par. 304.

95 All, every, the whole. In Kwara'ae there is no straightforward way of expressing totality, various expressions are used, with different shades of meaning: wae ki sui, wae 'oro ki sui, all men (lit., men “finish” many men “finish”); wae ki sui go'o 'ana (or 'ada), all men every bit; ru 'oro ki sui go'o 'ani, everything, every bit; wae ki sui noa kasi ore, all men, none excluded; fa'i nia na angel aabu ki go'o 'ada ta'i fau, with all the holy angels (entirely, lit., one time); faafia go'o 'ana ru (i) dalafa, for every cause whatever (Mt. 19:3); nia saea fuaku ru 'oro ne'e nau ku sasi'i ta'i fau, he told me all things that I ever did; si toa ne'e ki sui bore 'ana kike firute du'ungamu, if all men whatever shall be offended because of thee. The verb 'isia, end it, is also used to express totality: du'ua 'isia nama angita'inga nia ki, he must pay to the end his debts (or all his debts).

96 When “all, every” are used in a collective, not individual, sense, i.e., all “as a whole,” the collective noun aafuta-na is used before the noun, thus aafutana means “the totality of”: sa God aalafe fuana aafutana wane (not wae here), God loves all men in general (cf. to'o ta'i above); aafutana taone ta'i fau ka 'igi sulia, all the city (as a whole) was stirred because of him; fikua aafutana toana fanoa ki sui, gather all the nations; faafia aafutana fanoa ne'eri sui go'o, over the whole land; go'o ma aafutana fu 'i wae ki ta'i fau ana fanoa ne'e i ano angi ni kwaiudui, then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn. Kaela is used in the sense of “all kinds of,” and with kaela is often found the numeral eight (kwalu) used in an indefinite sense: kaela abulata'anga'a ngisi ngisi ma fataburi-tolinga'inga ana God, all kinds of sin and blasphemy against God; kwalu kaela ru kwaitakisi ki, all kinds of sicknesses, kwalu kaela mata'inga ngisingisi ki, all kinds of sicknesses. La'ula'u is used for “the whole, the entire”: madama la'ula'u, the full moon; na lo la'ula'u, the whole law.

97 By reason of constant usage we find verbs used adjectivaly where one would expect a relative clause: wae bili, a thief; wae mae, a dead man; wae mauri, a living man; wae laulau, a thief or highwayman (laua, to forcibly snatch away); wae saunga'i, a carpenter; wae oifoli'a, a trader; wae saea, a man of a place, acquaintance.

(b) Adjectives preceding the noun they qualify.

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98 (1) Indefinite adjectives.

Ta, some (sing.), any; ti, some (plur.), any; ta is not a short form of the numeral ta'i for it forms the plural ti (it corresponds exactly to tani in S.E. San Cristoval, e.g., tani na moro, something, anything): kwatea ma'i ta ru fuaku, give me something; kwatea ma'i ta kula fuaku, give me a piece; nia saungia ta wae, he killed a man (in the last two examples we see ta used, when in English we use the indefinite article); ta fiito'onga doe 'uri, such great faith; ana ta ta'i kula, at any one place; 'oe kosi alua la'u ti god matamata i na'oku, thou shalt not put any other gods before me; ti ai kira saea, some say; ti maga 'ai asi'i i ninimana tala, some seeds fell by the wayside; mu kasi ngalia la'u 'amua ti gold nama ti silver, take not for your part gold or silver (ti here expresses the plural of quantity); mili oga le'a fuana ti ai ne'e kira ngalilanga amia, we forgive others what they owe to us.

99 Ta … ta, ti … ti, are used in correlative clauses to express “one … another” and “some … others” respectively: ana ta bali salo leleka ka dao ana ta bali, from one end (side) of heaven to another; du'ua ta ma 'ani ta ma, pay back an eye for another eye (“an eye for an eye”); ta ai kike ngalia ma ta ai ke ore, one shall be taken the other left; kike ma'udukamu ana ta taone muke tafi la'u 'uana ta taone, they persecute you in one city flee unto another; ma 'abana ka le'a la'u go'o di'ia ta bali 'aba, and his hand was well like the other. Ta is also used before the interrogative adj. fita (see below, par. 104).

Ta and ti are used in conjunction with bore 'ana or go'o 'ana to form the whosoever, whatsoever, whensoever, wheresoever expressions:

  • ta wae (or ai) bore 'ana, any man (or one) at all, whosoever;
  • ta ru bore 'ana, any thing at all, whatsoever;
  • ta kaidai bore 'ana, any time at all, whensoever;
  • ta kula bore 'ana, any place at all, wheresoever;
  • ti wae bore 'ana (or 'ada), any men at all, whoever;
  • ti ru bore 'ana (or 'ani), any things at all, whatever.

In the preceding 'ana may be omitted: ta wae bore ke sasi sulia na lo la'ula'u, whosoever shall keep the whole law; or more fully: ta wae bore 'ana ne'e ke sasi sulia na lo la'ula'u (ne'e being a relative); ma ti ai 'oro bore ne'e samato'ona, and as many as touched him; ta ro wae bore 'amua, any two of you; ti ru bore 'ana ne'e nau ku fata totonga'i fuamua, all things whatsoever I have commanded you; ti ru bore 'ana ne'e kamu ke firi'ini, whatsoever ye shall bind; ma ru ki sui go'o ana ta ru bore 'ana, and all things whatsoever; kira fikua ta'i fau ai 'oro (i) go'o 'ana ne'e kira daoto'oda, they gathered together as many as they found; also note the following: ru (i) ato go'o 'ana, anything whatever; wae (i) ato go'o 'ana, any man whatever, the word ato intensifies the “whatever” idea. Compare the foregoing with: i fa'i bore'ana ne'e kike fa'atalo 'ania fa'arongo'a le'a ne'e, wherever they shall preach this gospel, i fa'i is normally the interrogative—where?

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101 A list of adjectives which precede the noun they qualify with an accompanying noun: kala ngela, a small child, kala kaidai, a small space of time; bara wae, few men, bara ii'a, few fish; anga'i ru, few things (not used before persons); ingata'i priest, a chief priest; gwaunga'i priest, a high priest; malamala prophet, a false prophet; buta ru, an emparcelled thing (a corpse, Mt. 14:14); bibi ru, a baby thing, so bibi ass, an ass's foal; bebe ru, a log-shaped thing; fulafula ru, a minute powdery thing; kadi sato, a small portion of a day, an hour (of day), kadi rodo, an hour of night; kaela ru, a family of the same kind of things, kaela potato, a collection of same kind of potatoes; (ta) bali 'aba, on one side, on one hand; to'o ta'i wae, man individually, one by one.

102 Then again numerals, both cardinal and ordinal, precede the noun, so also does the interrogative fita, how many?; ono ru, six things; ruana mae'a, the second death. See par. 104 below.

103 Comparison of Adjectives.

Comparative degree: nia keta aku (no break), he is taller than I; the same idea may be expressed by the verbs liu, to pass, tasa, to win; thus: nia keta ka liufi nau, or nia keta ka liu aku, or nia keta ka tasa aku. So also: nia dokodoko aku, he is shorter than I; or nia dokodoko liu aku, he is much shorter than I (here liu is an adverb, in the preceding example it is a verb preceded by the verbal particle ka); nia dole liu aku, he is much slower than I; magana 'ai ne'eri ne'e miga liu na'a ana magana 'ai 'oro ki, the seed of this tree is much more minute than the seed of many trees; mulu le'a ka tasa ana bibisu 'oro ki, ye are of more value than many sparrows; nia ka sai'i ru ka liufi nau, he knows more than I; lalolana asi liufia fanelana gwa'i tolo lo kiri, the sea is deeper than those mountains over there are high; muka fi'i sasi nia na ngela ana Hell ro fau amulua talamulu, ye then make him twice as much the child of Hell than yourselves; notice the following idiom: prophet (i) bore oli go'o ana nia'a, and much more than a prophet (comp. bore under adverbs, par. 224).

Superlative degree. This has a similar construction: fata'a talinga'i tae ne'e nia doe ka tasa ana na lo?, what commandment is greatest in the law?

104 Interrogative Adjectives.

Fita?, ta fita?, how many?; Fita fa'i dangi sa God nia fa'afuta na fanoa ne'e i ano suli'i?, during how many days did God create the world?; ta fita afu berede ne'e ni aumulu?, how many loves have ye (ni here is short for ni'i)?; ta fita fa'i ngali sui na'a faafia futalana?, how old is he (lit. how many years are now finished upon his birth)?

Tae?, ta? (follows noun), what? (compare interrog. pro. tae ne'e?, par. 73). Na oilaki'a ta ki?, what miracles?; ru ta ki?, what things?; oo'onga'a tae ne'e nia leka ma'i fuana?, for what work did he come (or ne'e here may have a relative force—what work is it which he came for?)?; alanga'inga tae ne'e sa Jesus ke oli la'u ana ma'i?, according to what promise will Jesus return?; wae ta?, what - 246 man?; wae ta ki?, what men?; wae ana ta ki (ta here is a pronoun)?, what kind of men (lit., men “along” what)?; ngela tae ne'e 'oko sara 'ania?, what child did you give birth to?; ru fualanga tae go'o ne'e muke sasia?, what extraordinary thing is it which ye do?; asoa tae ne'e sa Jesus ta'e fa'asia mae'a (i) ana?, on what day did Jesus rise from death?

105 Tafana kula ana nonimu?, what part of your body?; wae fa'uta na'a rinia?, what manner of man is this (comp. fa'uta, par. 230)?

106 Formation of Adjectives from other words.

1. Adjectives are formed from certain verb-stems by the prefix ma, thus forming a kind of passive participle, or an adjective of state or condition: ngia, break it, mangi, cracked, mangisi, broken in pieces; dikoa, crack it, madiko, cracked, broken; 'oia, snap it in two, ma'oi, snapped in two. Some adjectives have this prefix where no corresponding verb-root can be found: mafusi, broken in two, mamagala'a, smooth; such adjectives when used predicatively become verbs, but they may also be used attributively: (predicatively) 'ai ne'e ma'oi na'a, this tree is snapped in two; (attributively) kwatea ma'i ai ma'oi fuaku, give me the one snapped in two.

107 2. Similarly the prefix a (not 'a) with certain verb-stems forms a sort of passive participle, or adjective of state or condition: gioa, capsize it, agio, capsized; logea, loose it, aloge, loosed; folea, split it, afole, split; likita'i nia, spill it, aliki, spilt. Such adjectives may be used predicatively or attributively.

108 3. The prefix ta, common in some other Melanesian languages to denote spontaneity (see Codrington, p. 183), is rare, but appears in tata'e, rise up (of itself), ta'ea, raise it.

109 4. Adjectives are formed from verb-stems and nouns by the suffix la: 'aena, his leg, ru 'a'aela, belegged object; one, sand, nonima onela, thy body is sandy; asi, salt-water, sea, asila, salty, tasty, “sweet”; ifuna, his hair, ifula, hairy; fau, stone, faula. stony; uta, rain, asoa i ta'ena utala, to-day is rainy; susu, milk, ngela susula, a sucking infant; angi, cry, lisilana angiangila, his appearance is tearful.

110 5. Adjectives are formed from verb-stems and nouns by the suffix 'a; this ending is characteristic of many adjectives where there is no corresponding verb-stem or noun extant: ku, leprosy; ku'a, leprous; 'abu, blood, 'abu'abu'a, blood-red, blood-shot; ua, hill, otelafa uaua'a, hilly plain; moli, a lemon, molimoli'a, spherical; oga, want, ogala'a, selfish (note two suffixes); lali 'ai, a root, kula lali 'ai'a, a rooty place; toda, cough, nau ku toda'a, I am given to coughing (here the adj. toda'a is used as a verb); alako, single man, alako'a, unmarried (of a man); of the following no deriving word can be found: lakolako'a, sticky; ke'alili'a, self-willed; ngarangara'a, thorny; balubalu'a, angry, raging. This suffix may even apply to expressions: lima 'i wae abutaufi'a, unwashen hands (but see par. 55).

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111 The following irregular forms are found: gwaunga'i priest, head priest (here nga'i appears to be a suffix); kula nunufi, a shady place (nunufia, shade it).

112 A different suffix may modify the meaning: rauna 'ai, the leaves of a tree, 'ai rau'a, a tree having leaves (i.e., not yet fallen), 'ai raula, a tree with many leaves, i.e., leafy.

113 A common adjectival prefix is wa: watautau, weak; wafelefele, resilient; wafeafea, non-resistant, soft; wasinasina, shining; waesoeso, flimsy, soft (cloth); noni wasangosango'a, merry, light-hearted.

114 Reduplication in adjectives intensifies the meaning: alako le'ale'a nau, my beloved son; saesae le'a, happy; faoda toa laulau ki, a den of thieves.

115 Compound adjectives: ru lalo-safungai ki, mysteries (lalo, deep, safuna'i, hidden); ru ti'iti'isimiga ki, microscopic things (ti'iti'i, small, miga, minute).

6. VERBS.

116 In Kwara'ae, as in other Melanesian languages, there are many words which are properly verbs and cannot be used in any other way unless modified in their construction; but as well as these the genius of the language permits of other parts of speech being used as verbs, such as adjectives (used predicatively, and excepting those which precede their noun), adverbs, nouns, pronouns, and a few conjunctions; such words are then preceded by a pronoun or verbal particle, or both, or by a demonstrative used with a relative force. Thus most adjectives can become verbs, this happens often when in English they would be used predicatively with the verb “to be”; but in Melanesian languages there is no verb “to be,” hence the adj. follows the particle and becomes a verb.

Adjectives used as verbs: nia le'a, it is good; na lo ne'e la'ula'u, the law which is whole; kero sae le'a, they two are happy; 'oko watautau na'a, thou art weak now.

Pronoun used as a verb: 'oko niaa, do thou designate him, point him out, lit., “him” him (nia means “him”). Nau ku neia, I purpose it, lit, I “I will” it, see par. 134.

Nouns used as verbs: nau ku ru ma ku ru, I do thus and thus (lit., I thing and I thing); ma leleka ka 'ofodangi na'a, and when it was morning (lit. and go go it (is) morning now); nau ku dangi-dangia, I do it day by day (dangi, day); 'oko dangidangia fo'onga'a, you pray day by day; nei rua ru ne'e ki, I shall do these things (lit., thing these things); nau ku waewane ana 'oe'o, I make a friend of you; nau ku anoano, I am lowly (ano, ground).

Adverbs used as verbs: nia karangi na'a, it is close up now; nia ka 'uri, he (spake) thus; nia ka karangia na'a ma'i felofelo ne'eri, he drew nigh to the boat; fa'ainotolana kasi no, his honour fails not (noa, no, the adv. no); nia noa 'ua, it is not yet; nau ku ma'udia, I am willing for it (ma'udi, adv., of set purpose, vigorously).

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Conjunctions used as verbs: nia sui na'a, it is now finished (sui, conj., then, this latter meaning arising out of the sense of the verb); nau ku kwaifasi, I think (fasi, conj, as if).

117 CONJUGATION OF THE VERB.

The conjugation of the verb depends upon verbal particles which cannot be disassociated from their corresponding pronouns. So this section will include a full treatment of personal pronouns used as the subject of a verb. The conjugation also depends upon reduplication of the verb, and upon certain adverbs which are closely associated with the action of the verb.

118 PRESENT TIME (including historic present).

Singular—

  • 1. Nau ku lisia, I see it.
  • 2. 'Oko lisia, thou seest it.
  • 3. Nia (ka) lisia, he sees it.

'Oko is a combination of the pronoun 'oe and the particle ko, which are rarely said separately when both occur together; 'oe, except in the imperative, cannot be used alone as the subj. of the verb, but must have its particle or be combined with it.

119 When there are two co-ordinate sentences (which may, or may not be joined by the conjunctions ma, and, or bore ma, but) the second co-ordinate sentence takes the particle only:

  • 1. ku; nau ku leka ma ku lisia, I go and see it.
  • 2. ko; 'oko leka ma ko lisia, thou goest and seest it.
  • 3. ka; nia ka leka ma ka lisia, he goes and sees it.

These particles used in the second co-ordinate sentence are also used in running narrative where the pronoun has already been mentioned before, or is clearly in view.

120 The emphatic pronouns (personal), see par. 58, can be used as the subject of the verb when emphasis is desired: nia'a ne'e tua ana etangilana ma'i siana sa God, the same (HOUTOS) was in the beginning with God (Jno. 1:2); nau'a 'aku ne'e ku fa'ababataese kamu, I indeed baptize you. For other examples see par. 58.

121 When a noun in the singular forms the subject of a verb it may be followed by the 3rd pers. sing. pro. nia, or by the 3rd pers. sing. verbal particle ka, or both may be used, as an accessory subject in agreement with the noun; but this depends on whether the noun is the name of a person or is a “common” noun, and also upon the time of the action of the verb.

(a) In present time, and when a “common noun” forms the subject, this noun may be used by itself before the verb, but more often nia, or ka, or nia ka are used as an accessory subject. (b) But when a “proper noun” forms the subject, this noun is often used by itself as the subj., more rarely is the pro. nia, or often the particle ka, used with it. For past and future time see later.

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122 A continuous present is formed by means of the expressions go'o 'aku, go'o 'amu, go'o 'ana, after the verb: nau ku tua le'a go'o 'aku, I am in good health, lit., I continue to “stop” well as for me; ara'i nia mauri go'o 'ana?, is her husband alive?; nama 'aku can replace go'o 'aku in this sense, nia ka tua le'a nama 'ana, he continues in good health. A still stronger continuous present is expressed by firi 'aku, firi 'amu, firi 'ana, instead of go'o 'aku, etc.: Aofia, kwate firi 'amu ana bread ne'e, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

123 DUAL (present and historic present time).

  • 1. Inclus. koro lisia, thou and I see it, we two see it.
  • 1. Exclus. kamere kamiro'o kero'o ke'o'o mere lisia, we two (but not you) see it.
  • 2. Exclus. koro'o kamoro kamuro'o moro lisia, you two see it.
  • 3. Exclus. kero kera ka lisia, they two see it.

124 In a second co-ordinate clause the dual particles are:

  • 1. Inclus. koka
  • 1. Exclus. meka
  • 2. Exclus. moka
  • 3. Exclus. keka

Example: koro leka ma koka lisia, we two (I and thou) go and see it; kero leka ma keka lisia, they two go and see it.

125 PLURAL A. Old Trial (present and historic present time).

  • 1. Inclus. kulu (ka) lisia, we (you and I) see it.
  • 1. Exclus. kaimili kaili mili lisia, we (not you) see it.
  • 2. Exclus. kaumulu mulu lisia kaulu (ka) lisia mulu (ka) lisia you see it.
  • 3. Exclus. kirulu lisia (rare), they see it.

126 In a second co-ordinate clause the corresponding particles are:

  • 1. Inclus. kuka.
  • 1. Exclus. mika
  • 2. Exclus. muka.
  • 3. Exclus. —

In Malu'u and in some other languages this form of the plural is used of a relatively restricted number, but not always so in Kwara'ae; indeed the two plurals, this and the next below, are often used interchangeably, or together, in the same sentence, in fact this is done sometimes for the sake of euphony.

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127 PLURAL B. True Plural (present and historic present).

  • 1. Incl. kia, ki (ka) lisia, we (you and I) see it.
  • 1. Excl. kami lisia, we (not you) see it.
  • 2. Excl. kamu (ka) lisia, you see it.
  • 3. Excl. kira (ka) lisia, they see it.
  • Excl. neut. ni'i aloge kwau, they (things) are loosed (away).

God saunga'i nia rodo fuaka 'i ki mango, God made darkness for us so that we may rest; kira ala 'ania ne'e ki kwate takisi ki fuana sa Caesar?, It it lawful that we should give taxes unto Caesar?; ma asu ma ni'i bulau, and straightway they (seeds) sprung up; abula-ta'anga'a 'oe ki ni'i aloge na'a kwau fa'asi'o, thy sins (they) are loosed away from thee; kira sai ana ni'i mamana liu, they know that they (certain things) are very true (here ne'e could be inserted after ana with the meaning of “that,” see par. 279).

128 In a second co-ordinate clause the corresponding verb. particles are: 1. Incl. ki; 1. Excl. kami; 2. muka; 3. kika.

Kia sai ana ma ki leka, we know it and go; kulu mae ma kika anomi kulu, we die and they bury us.

129 Further examples of continuous pres. tense: kulu manata go'o 'akulu to'ona sulia bongi 'oro, we are often thinking of it; kira uu 'o'o go'o 'ada sana fuli 'usi'a, they are standing idle in the market-place.

130 VERBS IN PAST TIME.

Action of the verb in past time is often expressed by reduplication of the verb (see par. 182) with the preceding particles, except that in the 3rd pers. sing. the particle ka is omitted and the pronoun nia is used alone: nau ku leleka i ro'oki, I went yesterday; 'oko leleka gwanuki, thou wentest the day before yesterday; nia leleka i na'o, he went before; toa ne'e kira sasareda, the people who fed them; di'ia ba kira kerekeresia, as it was written (Jno. 6:31).

131 A sort of preterite is formed from the verb in present time by adding the adverb na'a or the expression ka sui na'a. Such a combination denotes finality of action rather than action in past time, though this too may be implied. nia leka na'a, he has now gone; nia ka sasia ka sui na'a, he has finished doing it (but nia fa'asuia, he has finished it); nau ku leka na'a, I go now (already on the way and speaking back); 'oko sai na'a ana?, do you know it now?; nia mae na'a, he is dead; nau ku sasia ka sui na'a 'uri, I have just finished doing it.

132 A sort of pluperfect is formed by means of the adverbial particles ba or bani before the verb with reduplication (usually) of the verb. It generally indicates a past action further back (and not necessarily being done in the present). nau bani ku sasasia, I did it (but not now), pidgin Eng. “I been do it”; sa Herod bani daua sa John, Herod had laid hold on John; wae 'o'olo 'oro ba kira ogaoga kike lisia ru ne'e ki, many righteous men did desire to see these things (being - 251 dead they can no longer do so, Matt. 13:17); nau ba ku 'iri saisai nama amua, I never knew you; 'o ba 'oko mamana faafia bara ru ki, thou hast been faithful over a few things; ma'a kami ki ba kira 'ani'ania manna baera, our fathers did eat (that) manna. Care is needed to distinguish ba when it is a relative pronoun (see par. 89) from ba, above, when it is an adverbial particle governing a verb.

133 Continuous action in past time is expressed by reduplication of the verb with the addition of the expressions go'o 'aku, go'o 'amu, etc, as is done in present time: nau ku fo'ofo'o go'o 'aku fuamu, I have been praying for thee; nia tutua go'o 'ana fuana ganigani'a, he used to sit and beg; nau ku sasasia go'o ma'i 'aku, I have been doing it up to now (note the force of ma'i, hither, here); nau ba ku tutua firi go'o 'aku sana temple, I have been constantly sitting in the temple; note the following idiomatic construction: Na Governor ne'eri sasia ne'e ke sasasia ne'e ke lologea to'o ta'i wae'a ana toa firi'ini ki, the Governor was wont to release (yearly) one by one a prisoner (Mt. 27:15).

VERB IN FUTURE TIME.

To express action of the verb in future time a special set of particles is used. These future particles are often combined with their pronouns to form contractions.

134 Singular

  • 1. Nau kui leka rorodo, I shall go to-morrow.
  • 2. 'Oe koe leka rorodo, thou shalt go to-morrow.
  • 'oe 'oke leka rorodo, thou shalt go to-morrow.
  • 'oke leka rorodo, thou shalt go to-morrow.
  • 'oe leka rorodo, thou shalt go to-morrow.
  • 'o leka rorodo, thou shalt go to-morrow.
  • 3. Nia ke leka rorodo, he will go to-morrow.
  • ni ke leka rorodo, he will go to-morrow.

Contractions

  • 1. Nei leka rorodo, I shall go to-morrow.
  • 2. 'Oke leka rorodo, Thou shalt to-morrow.
  • 3. Nie leka rorodo, He will to-morrow.

135 Dual

  • 1. Incl. koro ke leka rorodo, I and thou shall go to-morrow.
  • koke leka rorodo, I and thou shall go to-morrow.
  • 1. Excl. kamiro'o meke leka rorodo, we two shall go to-morrow,
  • kamere meke leka rorodo, we two shall go to-morrow,
  • kero'o meke leka rorodo, we two shall go to-morrow,
  • ke'o'o meke leka rorodo, we two shall go to-morrow,
  • 2. kamuro'o ke leka rorodo, you two will go to-morrow,
  • kamoro ke leka rorodo, you two will go to-morrow,
  • koro'o moke leka rorodo, you two will go to-morrow,
  • 3. kero ke leka rorodo, they two will go to-morrow.
  • keke leka rorodo, they two will go to-morrow.
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Contractions

  • 1. Incl. Koe leka rorodo, I and thou shall go to-morrow.
  • 1. Excl. Me leka rorodo, We two thou shall go to-morrow.
  • 2. Moe leka rorodo, You two will go to-morrow.
  • 3. Ke'e Ke leka rorodo, They two will go to-morrow.

136 Plural A (old trial)—

  • 1. Incl. kulu ke leka rorodo, you and I shall go to-morrow.
  • kuke ke leka rorodo, you and I shall go to-morrow.
  • 1. Excl. kaimili ke leka rorodo, we shall go to-morrow.
  • kaili ke leka rorodo, we shall go to-morrow.
  • 2. kaumulu ke leka rorodo, ye will go to-morrow.
  • kaulu ke leka rorodo, ye will go to-morrow.
  • mulu ke leka rorodo, ye will go to-morrow.
  • 3. kirulu ke (rare) leka rorodo, they three will go to-morrow.
  • kirulu ke (rare) leka rorodo, they will go to-morrow.

Contractions

  • 1. Incl. Kue leka rorodo, you and I shall go to-morrow.
  • 1. Excl. Mie leka rorodo, we and I shall go to-morrow.
  • 2. Mue leka rorodo, you will go to-morrow.

137 Plural B

  • 1. Incl. kia'a ke leka rorodo, you and I shall go to-morrow.
  • 1. Excl. kami ke leka rorodo, we shall go to-morrow.
  • 2. kamu ke leka rorodo, you will go to-morrow.
  • muke ke leka rorodo, you will go to-morrow.
  • 3. kira ke leka rorodo, they will go to-morrow.
  • kike ke leka rorodo, they will go to-morrow.

Contractions

  • 1. Incl.—
  • 1. Excl. Mie leka rorodo, we shall go to-morrow.
  • 2. Mue leka rorodo, you will go to-morrow.
  • 3. Kie leka rorodo, they will go to-morrow.

138 The corresponding particles which are used in co-ordinate clauses are:

    1.
  • Sing. ma kui leka, and I shall go.
  • Dual Incl. ma koke leka, and we two shall go.
  • Excl. ma meke leka, and we two shall go.
  • Plur. Incl. ma kuke leka, and we shall go.
  • Excl. ma mike leka, and we shall go.
  • Plur. Incl. —
  • Excl. ma mike leka, and we shall go.
    2.
  • Sing. ma koe leka, and thou shalt go.
  • Dual Incl. ma moke leka, and ye two will go.
  • Plur. Incl. ma muke leka, and ye will go.
  • Plur. Incl. ma muke leka, and ye will go.
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    3.
  • Sing. ma ke leka, and he shall go.
  • Dual Incl. ma keke leka, and they two shall go.
  • Plur. Incl. —
  • Plur. Incl. ma kike leka, and they shall go.

Examples of the foregoing: sarafe fata 'iri nei sai ana, speak slowly so that I may understand it; nei fo'ofo'o go'o 'aku fuamu, I shall continue to pray for you; nau ku oga nei lia, I want to see (I shall see); saefilo nia, nie sae'e siamulu talana, ask him, he will tell it to you himself; nie ke kwaiara tafanga'i amu, he shall reward thee openly (here the contracted form nie is used with the particle ke); si kero ke 'ania ke'e maelia, if they two eat it they will die of it; kamoro moke ba'a kwa'u go'o ana binu 'i kafo nau, ye two shall by and by drink of my cup; kaumulu sui muke firute, all ye shall stumble; tata'e, koe ngalia 'amu kala ngela ne'e, arise, take thou this young child; kulu kwau kue leka, let us off and go; kira'a mada rodo kike tala'ia toa mada rodo ki, they be blind leaders of the blind.

The pronoun with the future particle before a verb simply expresses future action without qualification. But there are different degrees of futurity, and in Kwara'ae there are ways of expressing such degrees.

139 A present action continuing into the future is shown by the use of the future particle together with the adv. na'a: nia ke mae na'a, he is now dying (but not yet dead); nau kui sasia na'a (or la'u), I am starting to do it and continue; nau kui leka na'a, I am just going (moving off as I speak); 'oke sikasika na'a, be thou clean; nia karangi ke mae na'a, he is at the point of death; nia ke rodo na'a, it is now getting dark.

140 An imminent future is expressed by means of fi'i, just: nau kui fi'i sasia la'u kwau, I am just about to do it; kala defo nau fi'i mae go'o 'uri, my young daughter is just now about to die; nau kui fi'i leka na'a, I am just about to go; nau ku fi'i fa'asuia na'a 'uri, I am just finishing it now.

141 The future particle may be used with reduplication of the verb: fanga ne'e ke funufunu, … fanga ne'e ke teoteo firi, food which perisheth … food which abideth for ever (Jno. 6:27).

142 A deferred future is expressed in two ways: (a) by the adverbial particle ba'a (distinguish from ba) before the verb, with the future particles: nau kui ba'a leka kwau, I shall depart by and by; na prophet baera ninia ba ke ba'a dao ma'i, that is the prophet which (=ba, referring back to the O.T. prophecies) should come by and by (Jno. 6:14); nau noa'a kusi ba'a kwa'u ana fuana vine, I shall not henceforth drink of the fruit of the vine; (b) or it may be expressed by tutua (sometimes leleka) as an introductory word; tutua is lit. “stop, stop”: tutua kike kwatea na Alako-wae sana limana wae ki, they shall (by and by) deliver the Son of man into the hands of - 254 men; tutua kike ui 'anida sana ma'e rodo i ma, they shall (by and by) be cast into outer darkness; tutua noa liu ta fau kasi tua fafona ta fau, there shall not be left one stone upon another; fatalaku tutua kasi dola noa'a liu, my word shall never pass away.

143 A hypothetical future is expressed by fasi, as if, with the future particles, this future often forms an optative: nau fasi kui leka i ro'oki, I would have gone yesterday (here the verb action was future to the intention); sa John fasi ke luia, John would have hindered him (Mt. 3:14); sa Jesus madafia ne'e fasi kike dao kike su'usu'u, Jesus understood that they would have come and used force; ma noa'a la'u mu kasi ala 'anida toa ne'e (kira) fasi kike ru'u ki, kike ru'u, neither suffer ye them who would enter in to enter (Mt. 23:13); 'oe 'o wae ba (refers back to his saying) fasi koe osia na temple, thou man who wouldest destroy the temple; ru ne'eri 'iri daodao ana etangilana fanoa ne'e i ano, leleka ka dao i niniari, noa'a liu, ma fasi ke dao la'u ma'i noa'a, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be; in the last clause the hypothesis is followed by a negative and forms the strongest possible negative in the language, the meaning here being that the very possibility of such a happening is negatived, i.e., it is impossible; see par. 150 for further examples.

144 WORDS AND PARTICLES EXPRESSING POSSIBILITY WITH VERBS.

The idea of possibility or uncertaintity with verbs may be expressed in three ways: (a) by the adv. taka, usually at the very end of the sentence; (b) by the word sali, perhaps, at the beginning of the sentence; (c) by a special set of particles before the verb. In this way we have a kind of subjunctive. The words taka and sali may be used in past, present, or future time, the appropriate verbal particles being used as the case may be, but the special set of particles below are not usually used in past time; note the following:

  • nau kui leka i rorodo taka, nei leka i rorodo taka, sali nau kui leka i rorodo, sali nei leka i rorodo, nau kutu leka i rorodo I may go to-morrow.

other examples follow: nau ku leleka taka, I may have gone; nau ku leka i ro'oki taka, I may have gone yesterday; nia leleka taka, he may have gone; nia ka leka i ro'oki taka, he may have gone yesterday; kue oli la'u kwau taka, we may return; kero ke mae taka, they two may die; sali nau ku leleka taka bania, perhaps I may have gone that time (concession); sali 'uri bore nia leleka na'a i ro'oki taka, perhaps it may be that he went yesterday; sali nia oo'o nama 'ana i ro'oki taka, perhaps he must have been working yesterday; sali nia noa kasi sai go'o ana sasilana, perhaps he does not know how to do it; sali 'uri bore nau ku oo'o nama 'aku, perhaps it may indeed be that I worked; nau kutu leleka i ro'oki?, may I have gone yesterday? (asking oneself the question, an exceptional use of kutu in past time).

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145 The special set of verbal particles expressing possibility are:

  • Sing. 1. nau kutu leka rorodo, I may go to-morrow.
  • Sing. 2. 'oe koto leka rorodo, thou mayest go to-morrow.
  • Sing. 3. nia kata leka rorodo, he may go to-morrow.
  • Dual 1. Incl. koro kata leka rorodo, I and thou may go to-morrow.
  • kokata leka rorodo, I and thou may go to-morrow.
  • Dual 1. Excl.mere kata leka rorodo, we two may go to-morrow.
  • mekata leka rorodo, we two may go to-morrow.
  • Dual 2.koro'o kata leka rorodo, ye two may go to-morrow.
  • mokata leka rorodo, ye two may go to-morrow.
  • Dual 3.kero kata leka rorodo, they two may go to-morrow.
  • kekata leka rorodo, they two may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 1. Incl.A. kulu kata leka rorodo, you and I may go to-morrow.
  • kukata leka rorodo, you and I may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 1. Excl.kaimili kata leka rorodo, we may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 2.kaulu kata leka rorodo, you may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 3.kirulu kata leka rorodo, they may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 1. Incl.B. kia'a kata leka rorodo, you and I may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 1. Excl.kami kata leka rorodo, we may go to-morrow.
  • mikata leka rorodo, we may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 2.kamu kata leka rorodo, ye may go to-morrow.
  • mukata leka rorodo, ye may go to-morrow.
  • Plur. 3.kira kata leka rorodo, they may go to-morrow.
  • kikata leka rorodo, they may go to-morrow.
146 NEGATIVE PARTICLES USED WITH VERBS.

There are two negative particles, si attached always to the normal verbal particles, and 'iri (occasionally 'uri) used separately after the verbal particle. In addition to these the adv. noa'a, or noa (or sometimes no), which is the Kwara'ae word for “no,” is used to strengthen the negative. There are also a set of contractions of the personal pronoun and its verbal particle with si attached. Note: the negative particle is never pronounced separately (like 'iri) from the verbal particle to which it belongs, in fact it is so attached that we find in rapid speech a metathesis of the combination, e.g., nau kusi leka is pronounced nau kuis leak; such a metathesis does not occur in separate words. In the following table I am using sai ana, know it, for the predicate.

  • 147 Sing.1.nau kusi sai ana, I do not know it.
  • nau ku'iri sai ana, I do not know it.
  • neisi sai ana, I do not know it.
  • Sing.2.'oe kosi sai ana, thou dost not know it.
  • 'oko 'iri sai ana, thou dost not know it.
  • 'oesi sai ana, thou dost not know it.
  • 'osi sai ana, thou dost not know it.
  • Sing.3.nia kasi sai ana, he does not know it.
  • nia ka'iri sai ana, he does not know it.
  • niesi sai ana, he does not know it.
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  • Dual. 1. Incl. koro kasi sai ana, thou and I do not know it.
  • ko kasi sai ana, thou and I do not know it.
  • koasi sai ana, thou and I do not know it.
  • Dual. 1. Excl. mere kasi sai ana, we two do not know it.
  • me kasi sai ana, we two do not know it.
  • measi sai ana, we two do not know it.
  • Dual. 2. moro kasi sai ana, ye two do not know it.
  • mo kasi sai ana, ye two do not know it.
  • moasi sai ana, ye two do not know it.
  • Dual. 3. kera kasi sai ana, they two do not know it.
  • ke kasi sai ana, they two do not know it.
  • keasi sai ana, they two do not know it.
  • Plur. 1. Incl. A. kulu kasi sai ana, you and I do not know it.
  • kuesi sai ana, you and I do not know it.
  • Plur. 1. Excl. kaili kasi sai ana, we do not know it.
  • Plur. 2. kaulu kasi sai ana, you do not know it.
  • Plur. 3. kirulu kasi sai ana, they do not know it.
  • Plur. 1. Incl. B. kia'a kasi sai ana, you and I do not know it.
  • kisi sai ana, you and I do not know it.
  • Plur. 1. Excl. kami kasi sai ana, we do not know it.
  • miasi sai ana, we do not know it.
  • Plur. 2. kamu kasi sai ana, you do not know it.
  • mu kasi sai ana, you do not know it.
  • muasi sai ana, you do not know it.
  • Plur. 3. kira kasi sai ana, they do not know it.
  • ki kasi sai ana, they do not know it.
  • kiasi sai ana, they do not know it.

148 Of these negatives the series nau kusi, 'oe kosi, etc., apply to past, present, and future time; the series nau ku 'iri (which apply throughout to sing., dual, and plural), etc., apply to past and present time, but not future; the contractions neisi, etc., are used of present and future time, but not usually to past time.

Examples of negatives: nau kusi leleka, I did not go; nau kusi leka i ro'oki, I did not go yesterday (no reduplication of the verb to show past time, as the adv. i ro'oki shows this sufficiently); nau kusi leka rorodo, I shall not go to-morrow; nau ku 'iri leka i ro'oki, I did not go yesterday; nau noa kusi leka i ro'oki, or nau noasi leka i ro'oki, or no neisi leka i ro'oki, I did not go yesterday; nau noa liu kusi leka i ro'oki, or nau ku 'iri leka i ro'oki noa'a liu, I never went yesterday, certainly not; nau ba ku'iri leka go'o, I did not ever go; nau kusi leka (go'o) 'ua, I have not yet gone; nia 'iri leka 'ua, he has not yet gone; na Alako-wae nia noa kasi dao ma'i fasi 'iri kike rao fuana noa'a, the Son of man has not come to be ministered unto, not at all; ne! ma kaumalu no mu kasi ada fa'i nau ana ta kala kaidai?, what! could ye not watch with me one hour?; ma nia ka 'iri olisia 'ani ta ma'e ala'anga, no noa'a ka noa'a liu, and he answered him not, not even to one word (note here the piling on of negatives, it is lit. no, no, he no very much); fatalaku tutua kasi