This lesson explains the Nuer construction [kɛ kui̲c]. It has many related meanings translated by the English words "for",
"about" and "because of".
- Jï̲n ci̲ bɛ̲n wanɛma kɛ kui̲c ŋu̲kä̲?
You came here for what purpose?
Cä̲ bɛ̲n kɛ kui̲cdu̲ pa̲ny.
I have come for you really.
Ɣɔ̲ɔ̲, bi̲ ɤä̲n wä̲ kɛ ji̲ kɛɛl tä̲ä̲mɛ.
Oh, I will go together with you now.
Oh, it is good.
- Jï̲n ci̲ duɔ̲ɔ̲r ɛmɛ la̲th wanɛmɛ kɛ kui̲c ŋa?
You put this thing here for whom?
Ci̲ ɤä̲n ɛ la̲th thï̲n kɛ kui̲c cëk ïndan.
I put it here for the woman of-a-little-while-ago.
Ciɛ̲k ɛmɔ go̲o̲rɛ jɛ?
Does that woman want it?
Ɣɔ̲ɔ̲n, go̲o̲rɛ jɛ kɛ kui̲c gatä̲ ŋɔmɔ.
Yes, she wants it for that child.
- Maalɛ? Cä̲ bɛ̲n.
Is it at peace? I have come.
Yaŋ gua̲a̲r a thï̲n luaak ɛmɛ?
Is the cow of my father present at-this-barn?
Kua̲cä̲ jɛ. Wër, gui̲l ɛ.
I don't know it. Go, look for it.
Ɣɔ̲ɔ̲n, cä̲ jɛ nɛn. Jɛn ɛn! Ɛ yaŋ mi̲ bo̲r ɛmɔ pa̲ny.
Yes. I saw it. Here it is! It is that white cow really.
Cä̲ bɛ̲n kɛ kui̲c yaaŋ ɛmɔ pa̲ny; bi̲ ɤä̲n ɛ naŋ walɛ.
I have come for that cow really; I will take it today.
- Jï̲n go̲o̲ri̲ ni̲ ŋu̲ wanɛmɛ rɛy thu̲k?
What do you want here in the suk?
Göörä̲ katɛ kä̲ cɛ ɤä̲ dhal kɛ ɤöö thïlɛ ɤä̲ yio̲w.
I want salt but it has baffled me because I have no money.
Ɣɔ̲ɔ̲ bä̲ ji̲ luä̲k, bi̲ ɤä̲n ɛ kɔk kɛ kui̲cdu̲.
Oh I will help you, I will buy it for you.
- Cä̲ wä̲ kä̲ gua̲a̲r mëëpan.
I went to my father yesterday.
Cä̲ ruac ɛlɔ̲ŋ kɛ kui̲c yaaŋ kɛl.
I talked a lot about one cow.
Ɣä̲n ŋöörä̲ jɛ kä̲ gua̲a̲r lökɛ ca̲p ɛmɔ ɛlɔ̲ŋ.
I want it but my father refuses that idea very much.
- Ci bɛ̲n wanɛmɛ kɛ kui̲c ŋu̲kä̲?
You came here for what reason?
Ɣä̲n cä̲ bɛ̲n wanɛmɛ kɛ kui̲c gatä̲dä̲, tëë kɛ jue̲y.
I came here because of my child, he has a sickness.
Göörä̲ wä̲l kɛ kui̲cdɛ.
I want medicine for him.
Grammatical construction and meaning: [kɛ kui̲c] is a preposition phrase meaning "with the side." It is fitting that this
idea convey the meaning "for" because in Nuer moral thinking their thoughts are divided on the basis of right
and left side for good and evil. Consequently the same basic idea is used to explain purpose and cause. Such and
such a thing is on the side of such and such a thing or person, i.e. it is for it.
- [kɛ kui̲c] indicates purpose ("for"), cause ("because of") and relationship ("about"). For clear understanding,
purpose must be redefined under 4 meanings.
Note: [kɛ kui̲c] does not cover all the meanings of the English "for".
- purpose -- "for" meaning to come/go and get
e.g. [Cä̲ bɛ̲n kɛ kui̲cdu̲.] -- I came for you.
- purpose -- "for" meaning to benefit
e.g. [Cä jɛ la̲t kɛ kui̲c dä̲maar. ] -- I did it for my brother.
- purpose -- "for" meaning in behalf of
e.g. [Ci̲ bɛ̲n kɛ kui̲c muɔɔr? ] -- Did you come in behalf of your mother?
- purpose -- "what for" -- meaning Why? for what reason?
e.g. [Ci̲ bɛ̲n kɛ kui̲c ŋu̲kä̲? ] -- Why did you come?
The preposition [kɛ] expresses "for" in some cases. The idea is "with".
e.g. [Ta̲a̲ du̲p kɛ ni̲n diɔ̲k. ] -- I was on the path for (with) three days.
- [kɛ kui̲c] is completed in the following ways:
- By a noun or verbal noun in the genitive case.
- By the demonstrative and interrogative pronouns in the genitive case (with the exception of [ŋa] -- who?)
- By suffixing the personal pronoun adjectival endings to [kui̲c] expressing "for me, for you, for him" etc. (see
- By the noun clause introductory phrase [kɛ ɤöö].
e.g. [Cä̲ bɛ̲n kɛ kui̲c kɛ ɤöö ci̲ jï̲n ɤä̲ cɔl. ]
I came for the reason that you called me.
literally, for that you called me.
Study these examples:
- Nɛmɛ ɛ dhaar kɛ kui̲c pi̲i̲ni̲. This is a water pot for water.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ jiath kɛ kui̲c ti̲pkä̲. This is a tree for shade.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ ruac kɛ kui̲c nɛɛni̲ diaal. This is talk for all the people.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ ruac kɛ kui̲c duëri̲. This is talk about sins.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ gua̲a̲th kɛ kui̲c ji̲ jua̲thni̲. This is a place for the people of sickness.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ gua̲a̲th kɛ kui̲c dëël ɛmɛ. This is a place for this sheep.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ gua̲a̲th kɛ kui̲c dɛ̲ɛ̲t ti̲ti̲. This is a place for these sheep.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ gua̲a̲th kɛ kui̲c dho̲li̲ duëël gɔ̲ra̲. This is a place for the school boys.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ wä̲lkɛ kui̲c wä̲ŋni̲ nath. This is mdicine for the eyes of the people.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ wä̲l kɛ kui̲c cëk ɛmɔ. This is medicine for that woman.
- Nɛmɛ ɛ wä̲l kɛ kui̲c bu̲ẗä̲ tɛ̲ta̲ nɛmɛ. This is medicine for the wound of this hand.