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

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

October 31, 2011

8: The Construct State

8.1: In Ge’ez the construct state is formed by adding an “e” vowel at the end of the modified noun in this sequence: noun1-e + noun2. The construct state is when one noun (noun1) is modified, limited or qualified by another noun (noun2) i.e. the house1 of a man2, a man2’s house1, the voice1 of the prophet2, a prophet2’s voice1 etc.
ንግሥት:ሀገር
nəgəšt1 heger2
queen1 city2
=
ንግሥ:ሀገር
nəgəšte heger
Queen of the city
The city’s queen







ንጉሥ:እስራኤል
nəguš1 əsraél2
king1 Israel2
=
ንጉ:እስራኤል
nəguše əsraél
King of Israel
Israel’s king






8.2: The same exact rules apply to plural nouns:
ቃላት:ነቢይ
qalat1 nebiy2
words1 prophet2
=
ቃላ:ነቢይ
qalate nebiy
Words of the Prophet
አህጉር፡የመን
ehgur1 yemen2
cities1 yemen2
=
አህጉ፡የመን
ehgure yemen
The cities of Yemen



8.3: Nouns ending in the vowel “-i” take a “-é” ending in the construct state:
ብእሲ፡ዕጸድ
bə’si1 ‘eşed1
man1 village2
=
ብእ:ዕጸድ
bə’sé ‘eşed
Man of the village


8.4: Nouns ending in the vowels “-a, -é, -o” do not change in the construct state.
አርዌ:ደብር
erwé1 debr2
beast1 mountain2
=
አርዌ:ደብር
erwé debr
beast of the mountain


Here are some more examples:

አምላከ፡ስማይ
əmlake səmay
The Lord of Heaven
ስመ፡ብእሲ
səme bə’si
The man’s name
ሕጋገ
ḥəgage nebiyat
Laws of the prophets
አግበርተ፡ሊቃን
egbərte liqan
Servants of the elders
ወለተ፡ካህን
welette kahən
The priest’s daughter
ቂቀ፡እስራኤል
dəqiqe əsraél
The children of Israel
ቤተመቅደ
béte meqdes
House of Sanctity i.e. the Jerusalem Temple
ሰተ
fəlsete babilon
The Babylonian Exile
ጉረ፡እግዚኣብሔር
ehgure əgziabhér
The cities of God
ጸሓፌ
şeḥafé nebiy
The prophet’s scribe
ቤተ፡ነጉሥ
béte nəguš
The king’s house i.e. a palace
ቤተ፡ክርስቲያን
béte krəstiyan
The house of the Christians i.e. a church
ወልደጉሥ
welde nəguš
The king’s son i.e. a prince
ምድ
erawite mədr
Beasts of the land


And now see if you can decipher these longer sentences:

ዛብሲት፡ይእቲ፡ወለተ፡ካህን።
za-bə’sit yə’əti welette kahən
This woman is the daughter of the priest

አማተ፡እሉ፡ሰብእ፡ንሕነ።
emate əllu seb’ nəḥne
We are the mothers of these men.

አነ፡አምላከ፡ዝንቱ፡ምድር፡አነ።
ene emlake zəntu mədr ene
Indeed, I am the lord of this land.

ዝቤት፡ውእቱ፡ቤተ፡ንጉሠ፡ዛቲ፡ሀገር።
ze-bét wə’ətu béte nəguše zati heger
This house is the house of the king of this city.

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