This lesson explains how to say "and" in Nuer, it is not spoken in one single word.
There are two meaning environments controlling the word "and". These environments are a) between clauses and
b) between people or things either in twos or in a series.
- Between clauses: The word [kä̲] is used. It may mean "and" or "but"
- Cä̲ wä̲ kä̲ cä̲ lu̲ny jɔk. I went but/and I came back.
- Mi̲thɛ kä̲ ninɛ bä̲. He eats and he sleeps too.
- Between people and things: When one of the singular personal pronouns or a singular noun is united to
another person or thing necessitating the connective "and" (e.g. I and you, or I and
those men, you and he, that house and that barn etc.) the connective (and) is formed directly from the plural personal pronoun
pertinent to the situation, and this pronoun is suffixed by [ɛ].
That is, if the sentence reads "I and someone" obviously the resulting combination of persons will be "we".
Therefore in Nuer, the "we" [kɔn] constitutes the "and" after it has been suffixed by [ɛ] : [kɔnɛ], and the second party,
be it a noun or pronoun, occurs in the objective case.
If the sentence reads "you and someone", obviously the resulting combination of persons is "you" plural [yɛn] and
when suffixed by [ɛ] becomes [yɛnɛ] meaning "and".
- I and you. -- Ɣä̲n kɔnɛ ji̲.
If the sentence reads "he and someone", obviously the resulting combination of persons is "they" [kɛn] and when
suffixed by [ɛ] becomes [kɛnɛ] meaning "and".
- You and he. -- Jï̲n yɛnɛ jɛ.
When a list is given or nouns or pronouns are spoken in a series, the first "and" is said [kɛnɛ] and all succeeding
"ands" are shortened to [kɛ] or the [kɛnɛ] and [kɛ] alternate throughout the list.
- He and that man. -- Jɛn kɛnɛ wu̲t ɛmɔ.
Note: It is not necessary to always include the initial pronoun because the connecting pronoun explains what
person the initial pronoun is.
- Göörä̲ nɛmɛ kɛmɛ nɛmɛ kɛ nɛmɛ. -- I want this and this and this.
- [Kɔnɛ] indicates [ɤä̲n], [yɛnɛ] indicates [jï̲n], [kɛnɛ] indicates [jɛn].
Ɛ ŋa bi̲ wäh ɔ? Who will go?
Kɔnɛ mä̲ä̲n tɔtɔ ba̲kɔ wä̲. (I) and those women we will go.
Yɛnɛ kɛ bia bɛ̲n i̲ru̲u̲n? (you) and they will come tomorrow?
Kɛnɛ jɛ ci̲ kɛn ɛ naŋ. (He) and they took it.
Note: the 1st person in Nuer is always spoken first. Instead of saying "you and I" one says "I and you".
- Grammatically this construction occurs in 2 places in a sentences: a) in apposition with the subject, b) in apposition with the object. It cannot stand alone either in the subject
or object position.
e.g. In order to say "I and you went" You must say Kɔnɛ ji̲ ca̲kɔ wä̲. The assimilated verb particle contains the
And to say "He gave it to me and him" You must say: Cɛ jɛ ka̲m kɔ kɔnɛ jɛ.