RESOURCES FOR LEARNING GE'EZ: THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE OF ETHIOPIA

RESOURCES FOR LEARNING GE'EZ-- THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE OF ETHIOPIA

October 29, 2011

6: The Copula


6.1: To review, personal pronouns act as copulas when they appear after a noun:
ይ፡ንተ።
nebiy ente
You are a prophet.
ነቢያት፡አሙንቱ።
nebiyat emuntu
They are prophets.
ንግሥት፡አነ።
nəgəšt ene
I am the queen.

6.2: For emphasis, the pronoun can appear twice – at both ends of the sentence:
አንተ፡ንጉሥ፡አንተ።
ente nəguš ente
You surely are a king!
ውእቱ፡ከውከብ፡ውእቱ።
wə’ətu kewkeb wə’ətu
It is definitely a star!

6.3: In certain texts the 3rd person masculine pronoun [ውእቱ / wə’ətu] appears as the sole copula, irrespective of person, number or gender of the actual subject:
አንተ፡ንጉሥውእቱ
ente nəguš wə’ətu
You are a king.
አነ፡ንግሥት፡ውእቱ።
ene nəgešt wə’ətu
I am a queen.
ንሕነማት፡ውእቱ
neḥne əmat wə’ətu
We are mothers.

6.4: If the subject is another noun i.e. “Noun-1 is a/the Noun-2” then there are three possibilities:
(a) Noun-1 + Noun-2 (As in Arabic and Hebrew)
ብእሲ፡ንጉሥ።
bə’əsi nəguš
The man is a/the king.
ማክዳንግሥት
makda nəgəšt
Makda is a/the queen.

(b) Noun-1 + 3rd pers. pron + Noun-2
ብእሲ፡ውእቱ፡ንጉሥ።
bə’əsi wə’ətu nəguš
The man is a/the king.
ማክዳይእቲ፡ንግሥት
makda yə’əti nəgəšt
Makda is a/the queen.

(c) Noun-1 + Noun-2 + 3rd pers. pron.
ብእሲ፡ንጉሥ፡ውእቱ።
bə’əsi nəguš wə’ətu
The man is a/the king.
ማክዳንግሥትይእቲ።
makda nəgəšt yə’əti
Makda is a/the queen.



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