Afaan Oromo/Chapter 09

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Chapter 9: Jussive
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Narrative[edit]

Better Health Begins with You!(Fayyaan gaariin si irraa jalqaba!)[edit]

[Adapted from the Nutrition Education for New Americans Project of the Department of Anthropology and Geography at Georgia State University. Funded by the USDA Food and Consumer Service.] About this sound Play all

  1. About this sound play Guyyuma guyyaatti daabboo waan dhadhaa hedddu hin qabne; akayi, ruzza yookin paasta dhiheessaa jaha hanga kudha tokko nyaadhu. Fakkeenyaaf, ganama matajaboo, guyya sandwich galgala immoo ruzza duwwa nyaadhu.
  2. About this sound play Ija mukkatti fi kuduraa dhiheessaa shan nyaadhu. Fakkenyaaf, cuunfaa birtukaanii dhugi, salaaxaa nyaadhu, galgala immoo dinnichaa affeelama fi ija wayinii nyaadhu.
  3. About this sound play Guyyaatti yoo xinnaate bishaan burcuqqo saddeet dhuuggi.
  4. About this sound play Foon diimaa kan baay'ee cooma hin qabne isaa akaa hanqaaqoo yookiin qurxummii nyaadhu.
  5. About this sound play Waan sa'a kan dhadhaa yartuu qabu kan akka aanaan raafamaa fi itittuu filadhu.
  6. About this sound play Nyaata waan mi'aawaa fi dhugaatii alkoolii hin baay'isiin.
  7. About this sound play Guyyaa hunda sosocho'a godhi. Dirree keessa adeemi, yookiin sirba bu'i, taphadhu.
  8. About this sound play Nyaata kolestrol hin qabne fi, zayitii waan sa'a fi kan cooma horii irra hojjatamu mana zayitii kuduraa filadhu.


[For translation see here]

The Imperative[edit]

The 2nd person jussive, better known as the imperative, is used for issuing commands. In Oromo, there are two forms for the imperative, the singular (ati) and the plural/polite (isin). For all verbs except -chuu verbs, the pattern for forming imperatives is as follows:

Formation of Imperatives
Affirmative Negative
suffix prefix suffix
ati -i hin -in
isin -a hin -ina

For -chuu verbs, where the verb stem is the infinitive minus the -chuu ending, the imperatives are formed as follows:

Imperatives for -chuu verbs
Affirmative Negative
suffix prefix suffix
ati -dhu hin -tin
isin -dha hin -tina


Examples:
English Ati Isin
sit taa'i taa'a
don't sit hin taa'in hin taa'ina
eat nyaadhu nyaadha
don't eat hin nyaatin hin nyaatina
go deemi deema
don't go hin deemin     hin deemina
give kenni kenna
don't give hin kennin hin kennina


Exceptions[edit]

The main exception is “come” (“to come” – dhufuu) which is koottu, kootta (not dhufi, dhufa) in the affirmative. The negative imperative (“don't come”) follows the standard pattern, hin dhufin, hin dhufina. The imperative “go” can also be beenu, beena in addition to the regular forms deemi, deema.


“Please”[edit]

The standard word for “please” is maaloo, though in conversation this is used mostly for making requests and as a response, as in “yes, please”. Adaraa (“in the name of”) is also sometimes used as “please” in this context. For imperatives and other jussive forms, mee is most commonly used.

Examples:
Koottu mee” — “come here, please”
Mee waa'ee obbolaawwan kee natti himi” — “Please tell me about your brothers”
Mee nama sun gaafadhu” — “Please ask that person”
Mee suuta dubbadhu” — “Please speak slowly/slower”
Mee irra naa deebi'i” — “Please repeat for me”
Mee guddisii dubbadhu” — “Please speak loudly/louder”


More Indirect Objects: The Dative[edit]

The dative case is used to indicated recipients and benefactors, where in English we would use “to” or “for”. The dative may be formed by one of the following methods:

  1. For nouns that end in a short vowel (in their dictionary form), the vowel will be lengthened and, optionally, an -f suffix added. “Give it to the boy” can thus be expressed as “isa ilmaa kenni” or “isa ilmaaf kenni”.
  2. For nouns ending in a long vowel, either -f or -dhaa(f) suffixes may be attached. “It's good for eating” can be expressed as “nyaachuuf gaarii dha”, “nyaachuudhaa gaarii dha”, or “nyaachuudhaaf gaarii dha
  3. For nouns ending in a consonant, the suffix -iif will be attached. For example, “give it to Jim” would be “isa Jimiif kenni”.

The dative forms for the personal pronouns are given below.

Subject Pronouns         Dative Pronouns
I ani to/for me naa, naaf
we nuti to/for us nuu, nuuf
you ati to/for you sii, siif
you (pl.) isin to/for you (pl.)     isinii, isiniif
he, it inni to/for him, it isaa, isaaf
she isheen to/for her ishee, isheef
they isaan to/for them isaanii, isaaniif


The locative -tti suffix can sometimes be used in a dative-like manner. For instance, “tell him” would be “isatti jedhi” [lit. “say at him”] rather than “isaaf jedhi” [lit. “say for him”].


Double Imperatives[edit]

Where English would use an adverb to modify an imperative, Oromo most often uses two imperatives in a row, with the first modifying the second. The first imperative is given a long final vowel.

Examples:
“Speak loadly/loader” — “Guddisii dubbadhu” (sg.) or “Guddisaa dubbadha” (plu./pol.)
“Run faster” — “Baay'isii fiigi” (sg.) or “Baay'isaa fiiga” (plu./pol.)
“Work harder” — “Cimsii hojjadhu” (sg.) or “Cimsaa hojjadha” (plu./pol.)

The adverbal imperatives are almost always causatives (discussed in Chapter 16). Guddisuu is “to make big”, baay'isuu is “to make many/much”, and cimsuu is “to make strong”.

To express a sequence of commands, imperatives are simply put together. For example, “go (and) eat” is deemi nyaadhu (no elongation of the final vowel on the first imperative).

The Jussive Forms[edit]

The 1st and 3rd person jussive forms express suggestions, translated roughly as the English “let”. The jussive forms would thus be “let me”, “let us”, “let him”, etc. The jussive forms use the preverb haa and attach a suffix to the verb stem.

Formation of the Jussive
Prefix     Suffix Suffix (for -chuu verbs)
ani haa -u -dhu
nuti haa -nu -nnu
inni haa -u -tu
isheen     haa -tu -ttu
isaan haa -anu/ani/an     -tanu/tani/tan


Examples:
haa ta'u — okay [lit. “let it be”]
haa nyaannu — “let's eat”
inni haa deemu — “let him go”
si haa gargaaru — “Let me help you”

For irregular verbs, the verb stem changes just as it does in the present and past tenses. The example of taa'uu (“to sit”) is given below.

Oromo English
ani haa taa'u let me sit
inni haa taa'u let him sit
(nuti) haa teenyu let us sit
(isheen) haa teessu     let her sit
(isaan) haa taa'anu let them sit

Note that only the regular stem is used in imperatives, even for irregular verbs (e.g., the imperative “sit” is taa'i/taa'a, not teessi/teessa which mean “she sits”/“you sit” as declaratives).

The 1st person jussive, while understood, is not common, especially in the singular. It is more common to use the present-future tense, as in “ofi koon of barsiisa” (“I will introduce myself”) rather than “ofi koon haa of barsiisu” (“let me introduce myself”), or “achitti wal agarra” (“we will meet there”) rather than “achitti wal haa agarru” (“let's meet there”).

In a question, the jussive works like the English “shall”, as in “haa deemnu?” for “shall we go?”.


Other Forms of Requests[edit]

Other than using imperative or jussive forms, it is often polite to use the infinitive with danda'uu (“to be able, possible”). Forms using the subordinate tense and if-then clauses (“could you…”, “would you…”, “I would appreciate it if…”) are discussed in Chapter 17.

Examples:
“Can you lend it to me, please” — “Isa naa ergisuu dandeessa, maaloo?”
“Can you (pl.) please help me?” — “Maaloo, naa gargaaruu dandeessu?”
“Can I open a window?” — “Foddaa banuu danda'a?”



Responding to Commands and Suggestions[edit]

The receiver of a command or suggestion has a variety of ways to accept or refuse.

Some Common Responses[edit]

Okay tole, haa ta'u
Sure sirritti, dhuguma
Of course dhugaadhuma
All right, fine bayeessa
Sorry dhiifama, nan gadda
Sorry, I can't     dhiifama hin danda'u
It's possible danda'ama
It's not possible hin danda'amu
I don't have time yeroo hin qabu
“I can't, I have to go” Hin danda'u, deemuun qaba
“Another time. Now I must go”     Yeroo biraa. Amma deemuutu narra jira.
“No, I need to go” Lakki, deemuun barbaada

Expressing Needs[edit]

The last three examples above show excuses by expressing needs. There are a number of ways of doing this. The four main ways are:

Method 1: <infinative> + <present tense qabuu>, as in “xumuruu qabti” for “she has to finish”.
Method 2: <infinative> + <present tense barbaaduu>, as in “nyaachuu barbaanna” for “we need to eat” (also means “we want to eat”)
Method 3: <acc. pers. pronoun> + barbaachisa, as in “birciqqoo isa barbaachisa”, which literally means “a glass is necessary for him”. For plural needs, barbaachisu is used to mean “are needed/necessary”, as in “birciqqooleen isaani barbaachisu” (“glasses are necessary for them”).
Method 4: <infinative>+tu + <acc. pers. pronoun>+rra + jira. This construction works like the English “must” or “should”, as is “barachuutu sirra jira” for “you should/must learn” [lit. “it's on you to learn”].



Chpater Vocabulary[edit]

jedhi/jedha

bye (informal) [lit. “speak”]

of eeggadhu/eeggadha

be careful

daabboo

bread

dhadhaa

butter

waan dhadhaa hedddu hin qabne

low-fat

akayi

cereal

ruzza

rice

dhiheessaa

serving

fakkeenyaaf

“for example”

matajaboo

oatmeal

duwwaa

blank, empty, plain

ija mukka, fuduraa

fruit

kuduraa

vegetable

cuunfaa

juice

birtukaanii

Orange (color and fruit)

dhuguu

to drink

dhugaatii

drink, beverage

salaaxaa

salad

dinnichaa

potato

affeelama

boiled

ija wayinii

grape

yoo xinnaate

“at least”

burcuqqo

glass, cup

foon

meat

cooma

fat

isaa akaa

“such as”

hanqaaqoo

chicken

qurxummii

fish

sa'a

cow

yartuu

few, small amount

aanaan

milk

aanaan raafamaa

skim milk

itittuu

yogurt

filachuu

to choose

mi'aawaa

sweet

baay'isuu

to make many

socho'uu

moving, active

godhuu

to do

dirree

field

adeemuu

to walk

sirba bu'uu

to dance

taphachuu

to play

zayitii

oil

cooma horii

animal fat


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