Nuer Field Project

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

Lesson 17

This lesson explains the subjective Personal Pronouns in the plural 2nd and 3rd Aspects of the verb.

Someone is telling you the following:

Mi̲ ta̲kɔ kɛ gua̲a̲th, kɔn ba̲kɔ wä̲ Malakal iru̲u̲n.
If we have opportunity, we will go to Malakal tomorrow.

Mëë ca̲kɔ wä̲ kä̲ Malakal, yɛn diaal bia tɛ̲ wanɛmɛ.
When we have gone to Malakal, all of you will stay here.

Kä̲ mi̲ cia tɛ̲ wanɛmɛ, kɛn ji̲ Akobo bike bɛ̲n, bia tɛ̲ thï̲n kɛ kɛ kɛɛl.
And when you have stayed here, they the Akobo peopel will come, you will stay here with them together.

Mëë cikɛ bɛ̲n bi̲ lɔcdu̲n diaal tɛɛth.
When they have come all your heart will be happy.


  1. Be careful to pronounce all breathy sounds.
  2. Always read the dialogues aloud with the informant.


  1. The word [ta̲kɔ] in the first sentence of the conversation is the 1st person plural of [ta̲a̲] -- I exist. The verb [tɛ̲] in the 2nd sentence is the 2nd-3rd Aspect stem form of the same word. The following is the complete conjugation of [tɛ̲], [wä̲], and [bɛ̲] in the 1st Aspect.
    Sing. Ta̲a̲. I exist. Wa̲a̲. I go. Ba̲a̲. I come.
      Ti̲i̲. you exist. Wi̲i̲ you go. Bi̲i̲. you come
      Tëë He exists. Wëë >he goes Bëë he comes
    (in) Ta̲nnɛ We exist Wannɛ We go. Bannɛ We come
    (dual) Ta̲nɛ We exist Wanɛ We go Banɛ We come
    (ex) Ta̲kɔ We exist Wakɔ We go Bakɔ We come
      Tayɛ you exist Wiɛ̈ɛ̈ You go Biɛ̈ɛ̈ You come
      Tä̲kɛ They exist Wä̲kɛ They go Bä̲kɛ They come
      Tɛ̲kɛ (alternate form) Wa̲kɛ   Bɛ̲kɛ  
  2. The conversation illustrates the verb particles assimilated with the subjective personal pronouns in the 2nd and 3rd Aspects.

    2nd and 3rd Aspect
    VERB PARTICLES (plural)
    (Eastern usage)

      2nd Aspect     3rd Aspect
    longer (in) Ci kɔ́n wä̲ we went. we will go. Bi kɔ́n wä̲.
    shorter (ex) Ci kɔ̀n wä̲. we went. we will go. Bi̲ kɔ̩̀n wä̲
    (dual) Ci kɔ̅n wä̲ we went. we will go. Bi̲ kɔ̅n wä̲
      Ci̲ yɛn wä̲ You went. You will go. Bi̲ yen wä̲
      Ci̲ kɛn wä̲. They went. They will go. Bi̲ kɛn wä̲.
      2nd Aspect     3rd Aspect
    (in) Canɛ wä̲ We went. We will go. Ba nɛ wä̲
    (ex) Ca̲kɔ wä̲ We went. We will go. Ba̲kɔ wä̲
    (dual) Can wä̲ We went. We will go. Ban wä̲
      Cia wä̲ You went. Bia wä̲
      Cikɛ wä̲ They went. Bikɛ wä̲
Nuer Field Project Nouns Verbs Verb Book Expressions Grammar Genesis Others