Nuer Field Project

Nouns Verbs Verb Book Expressions Pedagogical Grammar of Nuer Translation of Genesis in Nuer Others

Lesson 12

This lesson covers the Locative case which has at least 4 different uses.


Uses of the Locative

  1. You have already learned in Lesson 10 the use of the locative in place of many prepositions.
  2. The locative of the noun is also used with the verb [a]
    1. To express temporary existence at a place or a person. The idea of the preposition is expressed in the locative case of the noun and this eliminates the use of the preposition.
      • [Jɛn a duɛ̲ɛ̲l.] He is at the house.
      • [Gua̲a̲r a luaak. ] My father is at the barn.
      • [Maar a yiɛ̲ɛ̲r. ] My mother is at the river.
      • [Jɛn a rie̲e̲y. ] It is at the canoe.
      • [Gat a ma̲n. ] The child is at his mother.
      Note: In this same construction, when the personal pronoun occurs to complete the verb, it is in the locative case which is the same as the objective case.
      • [Gat a jɛ. ] The child is at (with) him/her.
    2. An exception to this pattern are proper names of places and people.
      With proper names of places the idea of "at" is expressed by the preposition [kä̲] plus the noun in the objective case.
      • [Jɛn a kä̲ Malakal. ] He is at Malakal.
      With proper name of people the idea of "at" is expressed by the preposition [kɛ] plus the noun in the objective case.
      • [Jɛn a kɛ Ga̲a̲c. ] It is with Ga̲a̲c.
    3. The locative is used with the verb [a] plus nouns expressing an attitude of heart or mind or physical feeling etc. in the immediate present. The concept is a transfer of meaning from the concrete to the abstract.
      • [Jɛn a ruac. ] He is at talking. i.e. he is talking.
      • [Jɛn a gaak. ] He is at quarrelling. i.e. He is quarrelling.
      • [Jɛn a ca̲r we̲c. ] He is at thinking if head. i.e. He is thinking.
      • [Jɛn a jue̲y. ] He is with sickness. i.e. He is sick.
      Note: If the [a] is lengthened to [aa] a contraction has occurred with the preposition [kɛ], changing the construction to a prepositional phrase with the noun in the objective case. The meaning has also changed slightly to mean not that the person is engaged in the act explained by the noun but that he intends to be so engaged.
      • [Jɛn aa ruac. ] for [Jɛn a kɛ ruac. ] -- He is with talk, meaning that he has something to say.
      Note: The locative of the verbal noun can be used with the verb [a] to express an immediate continuous action. This will be learned later, but watch for it. It is very common with verbs.
      • [Jɛn a bëëni̲. ] He is coming.
      • [Jɛn a tɔ̲ɔ̲cni̲. ] He is lying down.
      • [Jɛn a car wicdɛ ni̲. ] He is thinking.
    4. Verbs of reference and direction take the locative case which expresses "to whom" and "where" The majority of these verbs have a separate stem and are recognized thereby. "come" and "go" do not. This type of verbs will be explained later but it is important to learn a few of them here. Note that the preposition is expressed by the locative case.
      • Cä̲ wä̲ ciɛ̲ŋ. I went to the village.
      • Cɛ bɛ̲n luaak. He came to the barn.
      • Cä̲ jɛ naŋ ciɛ̲ŋ. I took it to the village.
      • Bä̲ jɛ nöŋ ji̲. I will bring it to you.
      • Cɛ jɛ la̲r ji̲. He told it to you.
      • Ba̲ jɛ gɔa̲r dä̲maar. I will write it to my brother.
      • Cɛ yaŋ luɔ̩c luaak. He returned the cow to the barn.
      • Cɛ yaŋ luɔ̲ɔ̲̲c luaak. He brought the cow back to the barn.

Note: These examples are for your information and observation, the grammar will be explained later.

Nuer Field Project Nouns Verbs Verb Book Expressions Grammar Genesis Others