This lesson continues with the Genitive case, and introduces the locative case.
- The Genitive case is used to express possession. For example in these English sentences: The son of the
woman. The house of the man etc.
Learn the following Nuer examples.
- Ɛ duɛ̲l wu̲tä̲. It is house of man.
- Ɛ duɛ̲l cëk. It is house of woman.
- Ɛ duɛ̲l mä̲ä̲n. It is house of women.
- Ɛ gua̲a̲ yaaŋ. It is place of cow.
- Ɛ gua̲a̲ ɤɔ̲ɔ̲k. It is place of cows.
- Ɛ gua̲a̲ kuɔ̩th. It is place of God.
- Ɛ gua̲a̲ wal. It is place of medicine.
- Ɛ gua̲a̲ kua̲r. It is place of chief.
- Ɛ ruac dhöl ɛmɔ. It is talk of that boy.
- Ɛ ruac dho̲li̲. It is talk of boys.
- Ɛ ruac nyaal. It is talk of girl.
- Ɛ ruac nyiɛ̲ɛ̲t. It is talk of girls.
- Ɛ ruac ra̩n. It is talk of person.
- Ɛ ruac ram ɛmɔ. It is talk of that person.
- Ɛ ruac nath. It is talk of people.
- Ɛ ruac wu̲tni̲. It is talk of men.
- The genitive is also used to express what would in English be the object of a preposition. Nuer has only three
prepositions [kɛ], [kɛ̲̈], and [ɛ]. The words "under", "over", "behind" etc. are not prepositions, but are nouns used in the
locative case. The noun of possession, then, is put into the genitive case instead of the objective case.
- English -- It is under (preposition) the canoe (noun object of preposition).
- Nuer -- Jɛn a thaar (noun: underside, in locative case) ria̲a̲y (noun in the genitive case).
- Translation: It is at underside of canoe.
Learn the following Nuer examples.
- English -- It is in (preposition) the house (noun object of preposition).
- Nuer -- Jɛn a rɛy (noun: inside, in locative case) duëël (noun in the genitive case).
- Translation: It is at inside of house.
- Jɛn a rɛy ria̲a̲y. He is in canoe.
- Kan a rɛy ria̲thni̲. They are in canoes.
- Jɛn a rɛy luaak. He is in barn.
- Kɛn a rɛy luɛ̲ɛ̲kni̲. They are in barns.
- Jɛn a rɛy duëël. He is inside house.
- Kɛn a rɛy duëli̲. They are inside houses.
- Jɛn a rɛy ria̲a̲y nhial. He is inside air plane.
- Jɛn a rɛy diëny. He is inside baby basket.
- Jɛn a rɛy köl. He is inside sleeping skin.
- Jɛn a rɛy nɛmɛkä̲. He is inside this.
- Jɛn a rɛy duɔ̲ɔ̲rä̲ nɛmɛ. It is inside this thing.
- Jɛn a rɛy yio̲mä̲. It is inside tin can.
- Jɛn a rɛy pi̲i̲ni̲. It is inside water.
- Jɛn a rɛy caak. It is inside milk.
- Jɛn a rɛy yiëër. It is inside river.
- Jɛn a rɛy kakä̲. It is inside field.
- Jɛn a rɛy duɔ̲p. It is inside path. (on)
- Jɛn a rɛy ruɔ̲ɔ̲p. He is inside forest.
- Jɛn a rɛy tokä̲. It is inside dish.
- Jɛn a rɛy ɤo̲kä̲. It is inside small-neck gourd.
- Jɛn a rɛy rööl ɛmɔ. He is inside this country.
- Jɛn a rɛy ɤɔaa. He is in world.
- Kɛn a wi̲i̲ muɔ̲ɔ̲n. They are on earth.
- Jɛn a wi̲i̲ pa̲a̲m. It is on mountain.
- Jɛn a wi̲i̲ mɛɛc. It is on fire. (the)
- Jɛn a wi̲i̲ jiaath. He is tree. (in)
- Jɛn a wi̲i̲ yiëër. It is on river. (canoe or boat)
The following is an attempt to explain the literal meanings of these locative-genitive constructions used in place of
- Jɛn a wi̲i̲ maac. literally -- It is at head of fire.
It is on the fire.
[Wic] means "head" and Nuer cooking is done on top of flame.
[Jɛn a wi̲i̲ jiaath.] literally -- Hi is at head of tree.
He is in the tree.
He cannot be [rɛy] "in" the tree because a tree is not a vessel or container. he is not on the underside of
the branches, hence he is on the top or on the head ofthe branches.
- [Jɛn a thaar luaak.] literally -- He is at underneath of barn.
He is at the back of the barn.
The "underneath" is the inside back of buildings, canoes or places including villages. It can also mean the
underside of some object.
- [Jɛn a jɔc luaak.] literally -- He is at back of barn.
He is behind the barn.
Like a person's body, a building has a front and back on the outside.
- [Jɛn a kui̲ luaak.] literally -- He is across of barn.
He is on the other side of the barn.
This refers to either inside or outside, but across from the speaker.
- [Jɛn a rɛy luaak] literally -- He is at inside of barn.
He is inside the barn.
This refers to the inside in the literal sense [Rɛy] indicates that the object referred to has
sides, boundary or some limitations which make it capable of containing something within it.
Note: The literal translation of the above sentences omits the definite or indefinite articles "a" or "the" because
Nuer does not have these words, however the idea is included in the meaning.