Nuer Field Project

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

Lesson 20

This lesson continues to explain further uses of the Possessive adjective.


  1. To express prepositional phrases with pronoun objects such as: on top of it, in it, beside me, behind us, etc. is done by single nouns. These nouns occur following verbs and are in the locative case, since they are expressing place-where, and they are suffixed by the possessive adjective as follows:


    "on it" Lä̲thni̲ jɛ wu̲dä̲. -- Put it on my head.
    Literally: Put it at my head.
    "in it" Cɛ wä̲ rɛydɛ. -- It went in it.
    Literally: It went to the inside of it.
    "beside it" Jɛn a gɛ̲kä̲du̲. -- She is beside you.
    Literally: He is at the side of you.
    "behind it" Kɛn diaal a jɔɔda. -- They are all behind us.
    Literally: They all are at our back.
    "in front of it" Wër nhiamdiɛn. -- Go in front of them.
    Literally: Go to their front.
    "among them" Yaŋ kɛl a rɛydiɛn. -- One cow is among them.
    Literally: One cow is at their inside.
    rɛydä̲ inside of me rɛydan inside of us (in)
    rɛydu̲ inside of you rɛyda inside of us (ex)
    rɛydɛ inside of him
    rɛydu̲n inside of you
    rɛydiɛn inside of them
  2. To express the idea "for you", "for me", "for them" a prepositional phrase is used [kɛ kui̲c] which was explained in Lesson 11. [kui̲c] is a noun and it is suffixed by the Possessive Adjective endings. The literal translation of the phrase is "with my side" etc. i.e. for me.
    kɛ kui̲cdä̲ for me kɛ kui̲cdan for us (in)
    kɛ kui̲cdu̲ for you kɛ kui̲cda for us (ex)
    kɛ kui̲cdɛ for him
    kɛ kui̲cdu̲n for you
    kɛ kui̲cdiɛn for them
  3. When a noun in the genitive case is possessed by the personal pronoun, if the noun has a genitive suffix, the possessive is added to the suffix.
  4. The derivative [ɛn] occurs with nouns and noun clauses as an introductory word to an apposition. It is derived from the personal pronoun 3rd persons. It appears in the plural as [kɛn]. It is very common in Nuer for a noun or pronoun to be qualified by another noun in apposition introduced by [ɛn or kɛn]. It is not translated. Noun clause [Cɛ jɛ lar ɛn ɤöö cɛ li̲w.] He said it that he died.
Nuer Field Project Nouns Verbs Verb Book Expressions Grammar Genesis Others