Language of Kemants in Eyes of Scholars


By Addisu T.

A Descriptive Outline of Kemant.Author(s): D. L. Apple yard Reviewed work(s):Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 38,No. 2 (1975), pp. 316-350Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School of Oriental and African Studies Stable URL: .Accessed: 02/01/2012 09:01Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMANT By D. L. APPLEYARD 1. Introduction Kemant 1 is spoken in the districts of Karkiir and chalga, to the north and west of the town of Gondar in north-west Ethiopia. The type of Kemant described in this paper is that of Kiirkiir only, collected in Gondar itself and in and around Takal Dangay, a little to the north of Gondar. Kemant belongs to the Agaw group of Cushitic languages.2 The material for this paper was collected in the field during the winter of 1973-4. Several informants were used, but principally Taddiisii Ziwdu of Takal Dangay and Gibrii •tgziabaher Alaimu of Gondar. It is not possible here to give any accurate figure for the number of Kemant speakers.3 However, Kemant does appear to be under heavy pressure from Amharic, and all my informants were bilingual in both Amharic and Kemant. Indeed, it was found that many people called themselves Kemant, though unable to speak the Kemant language. In all the households observed, only the older people (on average those of 50-) were able to speak the language with any degree of fluency. It is interesting to note that the form of Kemant described here differs in some respects quite markedly from that described by Conti Rossini. Indeed, the material here bears several resemblances, especially in details of vocabulary, to that Agaw dialect referred to by Conti Rossini as ‘Dembia’, on the one hand, and to Reinisch’s ‘ Quara ‘, on the other. It is not, however, the purpose of this paper to go into the classification of Kemant. Suffice it to say that several differences were observed by me between the speech of Kirkir and that of Qalga, and that several informants were aware of such dialectal differences. 2. Phonology For a phonemic description of Kemant the following consonant and vowel systems can be identified. 2.1. Consonants A. Plosives bilabial b alveolar t d velar k g labiovelar 4 kw g W 1 The form ‘ Kemant ‘ used here is derived from the native term for the people, kemant(e). The Amhara call them k’emant and their language k’emantefifia (Kem. kemanteniy). 2 cf. Bender, 1971, esp. the chart on p. 187. For the other Agaw languages see Reinisch, 1883-7, 1884, 1887, Conti Rossini, 1912, and, more recently, Palmer, 1957, 1958, 1965, and Hetzron, 1969. For a recent discussion on a Kemant word-list see Sasse, 1973. For references, see p. 350. 3 For an estimate of the number of Kemant see Gamst, 1969, 1, 5-6. Bender, op. cit., 224 speaks of 17, A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEAMANT 319 A second pattern of assimilation concerns the potential juxtaposition of the two semivowels y and w. A potential -yw- cluster is dissolved into either -y-or -w-. Thus, jaxsyaniti ‘she has drunk’ for jaxey + wanati, tiwanikw ‘I have’ for ?ay H- wankw–the form Wiyanaikwa lso occurs. 2.5. Apocopation The term ‘apocopation’ is used here to describe the shortening of VC-VC patterns to VC, where each VC syllable is identical. This feature is observed in instances like xay ‘big’ (fem.) for xyiiyy, ni’ ‘ to her ‘ for *nili.7 2.6. -a -iia Final -a occurring before a pause alternates with -ii in all other positions. Thus, in isolation bira ‘ox ‘, but in context en bira layay gaga ‘this ox is white ‘; similarly aba ‘ father’, before a pause aba, eaka barre layenin ‘ father, give me ten dollars ‘, in context y-abi slak barre liiyney w ‘my father gave me ten dollars’. 2.7. -e Items ending in final -C may optionally add the vowel -e in positions other than in isolation. This vowel is not just an ‘er’ of hesitation, as it often occurs in continuous and unbroken speech and not before a pause. ir an ire kideaey w ‘this man is dead ‘ xalyay xalyaye bayli… ‘ the mule that you see … g WiyAs an g”iyiise kunmanney W ‘ they killed our master’ x”an bezu xwane… ‘ because I ate a lot…’ wayarteniz wayartenaze ‘in order to speak ‘ 3. Morphology Morphemes in Kemant can be divided into three major groups: stems, affixes, particles. Stems and affixes combine to form two major classes of inflected items, which may be distinguished morphologically by the possible sets of affixes they may assume : nouns s and verbs. In many paradigms, both of nouns and of verbs, it is not always possible to identify individual morphs for each morpheme. In other words, Kemant is in many respects more in-flexional than agglutinative. Particles are those items that do not assume a series of affixes and are, therefore, invariable. 3.1. Nouns, general Basically a three term gender/number system occurs in Kemant : masculine, feminine, plural.9 In many nouns the contrast masculine :feminine is formally SThis form does not actually occur in my material, but may be reconstructed by analogy with the other persons. s i.e. nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in traditional terms. 9 For the same system in Bilin see Palmer, 1958, 377. 000+ Kemant 320 D.L. APPLEYARD unmarked, though syntactically observable: xwera ‘ child’ is masc. in legway xwora ‘ a small boy ‘ and fem. in l•egwiy x”ara ‘ a small girl’; or, ir ‘ person’ is masc. in on ir kidezey w ‘this man is dead’ and fem. in en ir kotideszt ‘ this woman is dead ‘. Plural marking in nouns is usually overt, though again in some instances it is only syntactically observable. In addition to gender/number, nouns also have a case system, basically of eight terms. The markers of case are in part not constant, more than one morph existing for the one case morpheme in certain instances. Gender/number and case are shared by all nouns, but specific morphological patterns and syntactic functions necessitate the recognition of three noun classes: pronouns, nouns proper, adjectives and numerals. 4. Pronouns Personal pronouns are divided into two sets according to stem and partially according to function. The first set (set A) is employed chiefly as noun phrase heads, whilst the second set (set B), differentiated from set A by stem, is typically employed as noun phrase subordinates, e.g. possessives. There is, however, a degree of overlap in the function of these two sets. In combination with case markers, for example, it was observed that whilst the singular members of set B were preferred, the plural members of set A were the commoner. Set A sing. 1 m./f. an 2 m./f. ento 3 m. ni 3 f. niy plur. 1 andiw e anniw 2 antindiw aentAn(n)iw- anttdiw 3 naydiw 10 Set B sing. 1 m./f. yo 2 m./f. ki (possessive)• ku (casal) 3 m. ni 3 f. nit plur. 1 anit 2 anti 3 na Examples: (set A) an wasigir ‘I cannot hear’, onto, lay ‘you, come here!’, andiwdi xwagsw ‘they won’t eat with us’, naydiwez gina ‘their mother’. (set B) yeole lay ‘ give me ! ‘, anAdi xwagAw ‘ they won’t eat with us ‘, ki aba ‘your father ‘, ku•a liiynoy w ‘they gave you ‘. 10 A form nay was used by some informants as a 2nd person polite pronoun in response to Amharic arswo. This was construed with 3 pl. verbs. speakers. 4 i.e. labialized velars. A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMANT 321 Set B forms ye, ani, anti, na occur as y, an, ant, n before nouns with initial V. qI, ni, nil remain unchanged. Thus ye nou ‘ my house’ y-aba ‘my father’ ki noj ki aba ni nai ni aba nil nai nil aba ana naij an aba enti no: ont aba na neo n-aba As possessives, in addition to set B forms, set A forms with case marker -z are used for the plural persons: naydiwoz gana ‘their mother’, enthdiwez x”wra ‘your son’. Demonstrative pronouns show only a two term, singular: plural contrast. There are two demonstratives, ‘ near ‘ and ‘ far ‘. near singular endan ao n plural andAw far singular indan ~ in plural indiw The longer singular forms in -din alternate with the shorter forms, apparently in free variation: andan n•i –• n nrj ‘this house’. In combina-tion with the subject case marker -i,11 however, only an(n)- and in(n)- occur, with optional gemination of the n: anni waini ‘what is this ? ‘, enni d akwa ‘this is a stool’. From a few examples like al(l)i ‘here’ and anze ‘here’ it appears that with other case markers only the stems on- and in- are used. No examples of plural demonstratives with case markers appear in the material. The interrogative pronouns are who ? aw what ? wd Both are frequently combined with the interrogative suffix particle -ni: awni, wani. The stems aw- and w(ii)- form the bases of several interrogative adverb particles: way ‘how ? ‘, awan ‘when ? ‘, waxa ‘how many ? ‘, awto ‘ where ? ‘. Note also the reduplicated form wawa ‘ what kinds of ? ‘. 5. Gender/number As mentioned above in section 3.1, there does not appear to be any regular system of marking masculine :feminine contrasts. An item such as xwera ‘child’, or ir ‘person’, or dirwa ‘chicken’ may be used to denote either a male or a female. On the other hand, gender contrasts as seen in aba ‘ father’ : gaina ‘mother’, z8n ‘brother’ : Mn ‘sister’ are marked by different stems. Furthermore, in the case of items like k”ara ‘sun’ or mezbgra ‘moon ‘, which are typically construed as feminine, there is no formal marker of gender. Both 11 See below, section 5.1. 322 ID. L. APPLEYARD gender and number are marked, however, in adjectives of verbal origin’ 2 masc. aogway,f em. ogWaiy, pl. ~ogwaw’ small’; in the pronouns of the 3rd person : masc. ni, fem. niy/niA, pl. naydiw/na. Full gender/number concord is observed between nouns and these items : ayay dirwa ‘a white cock’, ?ayiy dirwa ‘ a white hen ‘, ayiiw diruk ‘white chickens’. On the other hand, the plural is usually marked vis-d-vis the masculine/ feminine in nouns proper as well as ‘relative’ adjectives and pronouns. There are eight different means of plural marking in nouns, with a certain degree of overlap, such as double marking, one noun with more than one plural form, as well as non-marking of the:plural. 1. singular -a: plural -O a13 iwana ‘ woman ‘ : iwan ‘ women’ kllma ‘ cow” : km ‘ cows ‘ dayw ra ‘ donkey’ : doaxWil’ donkeys’ waya ‘ hyena ‘ : way ‘ hyenas’ farza ‘ horse ‘ : farzo ‘ horses’ finia ‘ fly ‘ : inao ‘ flies ‘ xw’Artywina’ egg ‘: xwa’raywin’ eggs ’14 2. singular -0 N-a : plural -to bira ‘ ox ‘: bilta ‘ oxen ‘ nan ‘ hand’ : nanto ‘ hands’ ” gar ‘ calf’ : galta ‘ calves’ dayW ara’ donkey’ : daxwailta’ donkeys’ tir ‘ aunt ‘ : tirtoa’ aunts ‘ il ‘ eye ‘ : ilto ‘ eyes ’15 3. singular -0 • -a : plural -ka r -k naj ‘ house ‘ : nanka ‘ houses ‘ damaya ‘ cat ‘ : damik ‘ cats ‘ dirwa ‘ chicken ‘ : diruk ‘ chickens’ jela ‘bird ‘: jelak ‘ birds’ ilt ‘ eye ‘: iltak ‘ eyes ‘ karia ‘ stone ‘: karanka ‘ stones’ bayla ‘ mule ‘ : btylak ‘ mules’ Several of these may be regarded as double plurals: baiyl -1baylak ‘ mules ‘, why whiyak’ hyenas ‘, nanta e nantak ‘ hands ‘, ilta e iltak ‘ eyes ‘, jel , jelak ‘ birds ‘. The suffix -ka is undoubtedly related to the suffix particle -ki -ok ‘ all’ added to pronouns and numerals: nayak ‘all of them ‘, niki ‘all of it’, andiwak ‘ all of us ‘, lijayok ‘both’ (lit. ‘ all two ‘). The 3rd person pronoun 12 The endings -ay, -Ay, -aiw are identical to those of the 3 m., 3 f., and 3 pl. of the subject relative verb; thus ?ayay ‘ which is white’, etc. 13 i.e. according to syllable rules. 14 This item also appears as ffiriiyWina. 15 These plural forms also occur with a singular sense-ilta ‘ eye’, nanta ‘ hand’. A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMANT 323 forms with -ki -ek are used in conjunction with nouns, however, as jelek nayok ‘ all the birds ‘. 4. singular -0 : plural -an This suffix occurs mostly on Amharic borrowings. negus ‘ king’ : negusan ‘ kings ‘ t’eru ‘ good ‘ t’eruwiin wittaddir ‘ soldier ‘: wAttaddArAn ‘s oldiers ‘ bezu ‘ much ‘: bezuwan ‘many ‘ 5. singular -0 : plural -diw16 singular -a: plural -iw These two have been taken together here because they are both highly restricted in occurrence, being found only on the following kinship terms. zan ‘ brother ‘ : iindiw ‘ brothers ’17 Uiin’ sister ‘: aiindiw’ sisters ‘ tir ‘ aunt ‘: tirdiw ‘ aunts ‘ ag ‘ uncle ‘: agazdiw ‘ uncles ‘ is aba ‘ father’ : abiw ‘ fathers’ gana ‘mother’ : g1iniw ‘ mothers ‘ 6. singular -a : plural -la This occurs only on the following item. x”era ‘ child’ x :Wrla ‘ children’ 7. singular -0 :plural -VC reduplication This consists of reduplicating the final consonant of the singular form and inserting the vowel -a-. ag ‘ uncle ‘: agAk ‘uncles’ irkWa ‘tooth ‘: irkwAk” ‘ teeth ‘ lek” ‘ foot ‘ : lek’WakW’fe et ’19 engwe ‘ breast ‘: engWgAkw’cb reasts ‘ 8. different stem 20 ir ‘ man’ : iy(y)aa- iy(y)iin ‘ men’ zan ‘ brother ‘: San ‘ brothers’ Some nouns do not, however, mark the singular: plural contrast. Amongst such examples there may be instances of singular forms used in a plural context even when a distinct plural form of the noun does exist: saiyel ‘item of clothing/clothes ‘, na ‘ bone/bones ‘, xir ‘ night/nights ‘, goaj ‘ name/names ‘. From the above examples of plurals it will have been observed that in some plural forms, in addition to the plural formative, there is also a change in one 16 cf. -diw on the plural pronouns of set A. 17 Plural aln also occurs. 18 The element -oz- in the stem of the plural is difficult to explain. 19 lekwAkw is also used as a singular; cf. ilte and nante. 20 Excluding consonant alternations as in dayaiira: dexwil(te). 324 D. L. APPLEYARD or more of the consonants of the stem. The alternations that occur in the material are: gW: kW YW: XW g:k r: 1 To this list there should probably also be added z : I which occurs in zian : iin.21 5.1. Case There are broadly speaking eight terms in the case system of Kemant identifiable by function. These eight cases are, however, not necessarily formally distinct in the scatter of every noun. Thus, of the eight cases four have more than one morph as marker and this with a certain degree of overlap-the same marker can serve for different cases; e.g. the marker -i may serve to indicate both the subject case and the possessive case in some nouns, or the marker -di may be both possessive and comitative in others. The cases are 1. Subject case 2. Object case 3. Possessive case 4. Locative case (location and direction) 5. Dative case (indirect object) 6. Ablative case (separation) 7. Comitative case (accompaniment) 8. Allative case (direction) 1. Subject case (i) unmarked (ii) absolute 22 -a: subject -i The marker -i is assumed by some singular nouns ending in -a in the absolute only and by the demonstratives mentioned in section 4. No other pronouns mark the subject case in -i. All other nouns leave the subject case unmarked. (i) gana ye giinai nit iInot xalat my mother saw her sister ir an ir kizedey w this man is dead bilto endAw bilte yew gagAw these oxen are mine andiw andiw farzAs xalagenir we cannot see the horse (ii) farza farzi xaiAnswanAkw the horse has been stolen lHilama l.lalmi fewayw the baby cried 21 Though this item was placed under category 8 (different stem), it is plain that the two stems are in some way related. 22 i.e. that form occurring in isolation. A DESCRIPTIVEO UTLINEO F KEMANT 325 bira on biri yew gaga this ox is mine on anni wAni what is this ? (lit. ‘ this (is) what ? ‘) 2. Object case (i) absolute -0, -a : object -(o)s, -As (ii) absolute -0, -a: object -(a)t, -at (iii) unmarked The marker -s is the commonest, being added to all nouns. The marker -t is, however, of restricted occurrence, being found only on a small number of nouns, mostly kinship terms and items like ir ‘man’, iwana ‘woman’, and xwora ‘child’. The marker -s is also found on some of these items, as irt ires. The marker -t also occurs on set B pronouns in the singular. The unmarked object case appears to be in free variation with the other two, at least in the speech of some of the informants. (i) wAi ws xwoeynay what are you eating ? naoj ni noaas xalyAkWma can you see his house ? day wAra day WArts koznAn … if we sell the donkey… axw axwes jaxta don’t drink the water! yAdAra yAdArAisiiw Akw I beseech God (ii) aba ki abat axAgir I don’t know your father iwana iwanat kumalay he who killed the woman ku- kut ikAlAgir23 I don’t like you (iii) wA wA waytAw what did they buy ? buna bunAi jaxati she’s drinking coffee t’Ajja t’Ajjo anAdi jaxnAn ItlAgAgAw they don’t want to drink tejj with us 3. Possessive case (i) absolute -a : possessive -i absolute -0 : possessive -i (ii) absolute -a : possessive -Ay (iii) absolute -0 : possessive -do (iv) absolute -0 : possessive -2z (v) unmarked 23 Usually, however, object pronouns are not expressed: ni zinz iway” ‘ he gave (it) to his brother ‘. 326 D. L. APPLEYARD Of these five formations, numbers (ii), (iii), and (iv) are of restricted occur-rence, occurring on a small number of specific nouns. Number (iv) typically occurs on set A pronouns used as possessives, as well as on the noun ag ‘ uncle ‘. Number (iii) occurs on the nouns za*n ‘brother’, iln ‘ sister’, tir ‘ aunt ‘-all kinship terms. Number (ii) occurs on the nouns iwena ‘ woman’, kima ‘ cow ‘, aba ‘father ‘, gana ‘ mother’, mezbara ‘moon ‘, gwiya ‘ master ‘; of these, aba and mezbara also have unmarked forms and mazbara also has a type (i) form: mezbAri. The commonest possessive types are, however, (i) and (v). (i) kiitaima andin ka”tmi gembe the walls of this city kana kani sankwa the bark of a tree jana jani irkwe an elephant’s tusk (lit. ‘tooth’) gimina giimani gabka a lion’s mane (lit. ‘hair’) ir an iri zin this man’s brother tir ni tiri xWera his cousin (lit. ‘his aunt’s child ‘) (ii) iwana endin iwanay zan this woman’s brother aba y-ab Ay ‘a•cW my father’s name kAma kamaiy kwArbay a cow’s hide (iii) fir ki tirde lag w your aunt’s name ain ni liinda nen his sister’s house (iv) naydiw naydiwaz aba their father ag nil agez farza her uncle’s horse (v) lakWAkw lekW•kw nai bone(s) of the leg ay Wiy ay Way lobka hair of the head kesej .kes• iangerwa mormng st?ar gazage gezea jarky a dog’s tailDESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMANT 327 xir xir jela bat (lit. ‘ bird of the night ‘)24 ir ir resa a man’s body A few items, like ir cited above, show more than one type of possessive formation. So, similarly, zan has an unmarked form as well as a form in -do; tir has both an -i and a -do form. 4. Locative case absolute -0 r -a : locative -al(i) kana kanali ankwia jelo xalAkw I can see five birds in the tree ay(y) a ayysl fAynu let’s go to market! k w~ra kw•ral teUswanaikw it was found in the river sabitra na sabAral tak asamney they sat down in their places kiaw kawal fiiyay I’m going home nao y-abay ne~e•l() fiiyay I’m going to my father’s house g “ata g wateli bazuwain keranke wanAikwan on the mountain there are many stones 5. Dative case (i) absolute -0, -a: dative -(a)9, -4I (ii) absolute -0: dative -z In the material dative (ii) occurs on singular set B and plural set A pronouns and on a couple of nouns (ir, zsin) only. Set B pronouns also mark the dative in -9. (i) gaina ki ganiti iw give it to your mother! negus negusa~ sarsrey• it was built for the king ku- ku?a iwayw I gave it to you (ii) nay nayzo ankwa berre iwakkw I’ll give you five dollars zin ni ziAnz iway he gave it to his brother 6. ablative case absolute -0, -a: ablative -z, -az k Wera k Weriz tnanwank Won they’ve come from the river 24 cf. Amih. yiilet wlif ‘ idem ‘. VOL. XXXVIII. PART 2. 25D.L. APPLEYARD gWirwa giWrwiz jAljo sab … as I was going along the road… awte awtzs toyay ” where have you come from ? G Waindar G Windirz~ toayw I have come from Gondar 7. Comitative case absolute -0, -a: comitative -(e)di, -Adi ana- anidi xWagaw they won’t eat with us zln ni zindi toy w he came with his brother garwa nil gorwadi fiti she left with her husband 8. Allative case absolute -0 ‘ -a: allative -ewl kAltima ktAmoewAify nAs f lAgIkw I want to go to the town gari goriwi fMy go to the left! Motion towards is also occasionally denoted by the unmarked form: ayyR faynu ‘let’s go to market! ‘. In addition to these eight cases, there are a few examples of double case marking, where more than one case marker is added to the same noun stem. The examples that occur are of -lis (locative + dative) and perhaps also -zli (ablative + locative). So awelilni en samias kAlibteyay from whom did you get this money ? lira gergolif kidezat she died two days ago Addis AbAibazli btlR•tkw it’s further than Addis Ababa Further defined positional and other relations are expressed by composite forms, mostly consisting of the noun either unmarked or in one of the positional cases (locative, ablative) followed by a particle; these are mostly analysable as noun + positional case ending, though not all are so readily identifiable. nanli jabel ‘ before today ‘ (ab ‘front ‘) zat dagele ‘up in the tree ‘ (daga ‘top ‘) neov gatewa ‘ behind the house’ (get ‘rear’) niz gabel ‘in that direction’ (gaba ‘ thing ‘) bi ludel ‘in the ground’ (lud- ‘ middle, inside’) arge seral ‘under the bed ‘ (ser ‘root’) abalAy kant ‘like a scythe’ ax W alatba ‘without water’ negat ayes ‘until now’A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMANT 329 6. Numerals Numerals are nouns both from the syntactical positions they occupy and from their morphology. They may, however, be set apart, like pronouns, as a particular subgroup according to certain peculiar features of their stem morphology. The Kemant numerical system is basically decimal, but shows traces of a quinary system.25 Cardinals 1 lay Wa 1 laya ~ la 2 lirga 3 siy Wa 4 sAija 5 ankwa 6 wAlta 7 liiUAta 8 say Wiata 9 sAssa 10 leka (before units 1-9, Aeki) The numerals 11-19 inclusive are formed by juxtaposing leki and the appropriate unit numeral: aeki wAlta ‘ 16 ‘. The tens are formed by means of the suffix -yej r -iii. 20 1~ ayexj 30 siiy WAiyeo 40 arba 2 50 ank wij 60 wailti 70 liuatio 80 sAiyW Atir 90 saissiu 100 liy 1000 li Ordinals. Those ordinal numerals that occur in the material are formed from the cardinals by the suffix -ta. lijAta second siy wAta third wAltAta sixth Other numeral forms occurring in the material include the following fractions. gabAra ~ gobiir half siy WAn third saiJan quarter ank Wan fifth 25 For a discussion on Agaw numerals see Plazikowsky-Brauner, 1963, 476. 26 A loan from Amharic, arba. 330 D. L. APPLEYARD 7. Verbs, general The categories of verb inflexion are, in sequence of realization, theme,27 gender/number/person, tense. As stated in section 3, it is not always possible to separate individual morphs in Kemant and, in the case of verbs, this applies especially to the last two categories, gender/number/person and tense. Theme marking, on the other hand, is always individually identifiable. As with the marking of the categories in noun inflexion, so too in verbs there is often no one-to-one correlation between category morpheme and marker, i.e. morph. 7.1. Theme From the material, a four term system of theme can be identified according to function. In two of these (2 and 3 below), there is only one marker in each case, whereas in the other two there are various markers. The four themes are 1. Active 2. Passive 3. Causative 4. Reciprocal In addition to these four, there are a few examples of a frequentative or intensive form marked by whole or partial reduplication of the stem. Unfortu-nately there are not sufficient examples in the material to allow any further analysis of these forms. The examples in question are malsamals- ‘be utterly destroyed’ from mal- ‘throw ‘ (passive mals-) and kalAkil- ‘shatter’ from kial- ‘ break ‘. 1. Active (i) unmarked (ii) -t- The marker -t- occurs on some active verbs contrasting with the markers of the other themes. Properly it appears to be denominative in function, forming verb stems from noun stems, and as such should strictly not be included among theme markers. However, it does appear only in the active. (i) xal- ‘ see ‘, siir- ‘ make, do ‘, gamair- ‘ speak ‘, teu- ‘ find ‘, karijr- ‘ be angry ‘, y- ‘ say ‘, fay- ‘ go ‘, ki-doz- ‘ die ‘, xw- ‘ eat ‘. (ii) kin-t- ‘learn ‘, dokor-t- ‘be hungry’, way-t- ‘buy’, xaiian-t- ‘steal’, wayar-t- ‘ speak ‘. The verbs tow- ‘ come ‘, XW- ‘ eat ‘, and possibly x- ‘ wash’ do not have a constant stem in the active. Monoconsonantal verbs like xW- and x- and probably also b- ‘ not to have ‘, f- ‘ go out-‘, have a linking vowel which varies according to tense. There is not sufficient scatter of these last two verbs to be sure, but comparison with other Agaw languages, especially Bilin, makes this likely.2 Thus the verb xW- has either -a-, -i-, or -a-: xw-a-kw ‘ I eat ‘, xW-i-yw ‘I ate’,x W-a-y ak 1W n ‘ you eat’. Similarly, f-a-k” ‘I go out ‘, f-i-ti ‘ she went out’. The verb tow- also has the stem forms ti- and t(e)-. The verb fiay- ‘go ‘ 27 This term I have borrowed from Palmer, 1957, 132. 28 f. Palmer, 1957, 153. A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMANT 331 and similarly lay- ‘have ‘, lay- ‘give’ have stem variants 11-, ia-, la- in certain 2nd person forms. For a discussion of this see below under section 7.2. 2. Passive -s-was- ‘ hear ‘ was-s- ‘be heard’ toal- ‘find ‘: tia-s- ‘be found’ kaban- ‘ give birth ‘: kaban-s- ‘be born’ y- ‘say’ : y-es- ‘ be said, called’ eni- ‘ open ‘: eni-s- ‘be open(ed) ‘ lie- ‘ shave s.o.’ lis-s- ‘ shave o.s.’ xalan-t- ‘ steal’ xalan-s- ‘ be stolen’ ku-mal- ‘ kill’ : ku-mal-s- ‘ be killed’ 3. Causative -S-xal- ‘ see ‘: xal-9- ‘ show’ balu- ‘ boil’ (intr.) : balu-I- ‘ boil’ (tr.) wantair- ‘ give back’ : wntar-9- ‘reply’ dan- ‘get well ‘: dan-i- ‘ cure’ ax- ‘ know ‘: ax-1- ‘ inform ‘ dez- ‘ disappear ‘: deS- ‘lose ‘ My- ‘ go ‘: -fA-i- ‘ take ‘ lay- ‘ give’ : la-i- ‘ bring’ x- ‘ wash .s.’ : x-el- ‘ wash’ kin-t- ‘learn ‘: kin-9- ‘ teach’ deker-t- ‘ be hungry’ : deker-l- ‘ make hungry’ Note the verbs fAy-, lay- which drop the y before 9 ; similarly kay- ‘ cross ‘ (intr.), ka-i- ‘cross’ (tr.). Note also z — P> ? in doz-, do?- and similarly in faz- ‘ bleed ‘ (intr.), faU- ‘ bleed ‘ (tr.). 4. Reciprocal (i) -s + on- (ii) -s- (iii) reduplication – -s- Note that the element -s-, which is common to these three forms, is also the marker of the passive. (i) sab- ‘ stab ‘: sab-son- ‘ fight o.a.’ (ii) karoo- ‘be angry ‘: karoi-s- ‘be angry with o.a.’ gAmar- ‘ speak’ : gamar-s- ‘ speak with o.a.’ imay- ‘ kiss’ : imay-s- ‘kiss o.a.’ (iii) gamar- ‘speak ‘: gamarmar-s- ‘ speak with o.a.’ tay- ‘ hit ‘ ” taytay-s- ‘ hit o.a.’ Frequently no base form exists, only a derivative form: say w-s- ‘be ill’, 8ayw-4- ‘hurt’, stray-s- ‘work’, tawar-s- ‘be blind’, sayen-4- ‘move’ (tr.), ay-1- ‘ kindle ‘, kAbab-s- ‘ be round ‘, amasagan-9- ‘ thank ‘; also forms in -t-that do not appear to derive from an existing noun stem : sesey w-t- ‘ whisper ‘, gaw-t- ‘bless332 D. L. APPLEYARD 7.2. Gender/number/person The gender/number/person system of the verb follows that of the personal pronoun in that only the 3rd person is marked for gender as well as number. Exactly the same markers of (gender/number/)person are not found throughout the verb. It is, nevertheless, possible to outline the basic, underlying personal system of the verb. Certain persons in certain tenses have different markers from those same persons in other tenses. Furthermore, although the general pattern of sequence is that the personal marker follows directly after the theme marker and before the tense marker, some of the tense markers are discon-tinuous (particularly those of the negative tenses), consisting of an infixed element which precedes the personal marker and a suffix which follows it. The basic personal marking system has only five distinct morphs for the seven persons; the 1st person and the 3rd person masculine, on the one hand, and the 2nd person and the 3rd person feminine, on the other, being realized by the same morph. To this five term system there are two subsets. Set A sing. 1 m./f., 3 m. -0- 2 m./f., 3 f. -y- =- t-plur. 1 -n- 2 -yVn- ~ -tVn- 3 -Vn- Set B sing. 1 m./f., 3 m. -0- 2 m./f., 3 f. -9- plur. 1 -n- 2 -CVn- 3 -Vn- The symbol V refers to the vowels a and e, which occur according to tense. The symbol C denotes the devoicing of the immediately preceding con-sonant: g > k, d > t. The alternatives of set A in t and tVn occur only on the verb stems fAy- ‘ go ‘, lly- ‘ give ‘, 1i1y- ‘have ‘, y- ‘ say ‘, the stems of all of which end in y. There is evidence 29 that in some instances Kemant y derives from an earlier t, but here the presence of stem final y in contact with this *t > y seems to have blocked this development. Divergences from these sets occur. In the two main verb tenses, imperfective and perfective affirmative, the 3rd person feminine is completely distinct from the 2nd person singular; in the subject relative affirmative all seven persons are formally distinct; in the jussive affirmative the Ist person singular is formally distinct from the 3rd person masculine; and so on. 29 For example, in old loans from Ethiopian Semitic: Kem. amayi ‘year’, Gz. ‘amiat, Amh. amiit; Kem. kwiLrbiLy’ skin’, Amh. k’orbiit. Also, in the instance of the 2nd person verb endings, compare S Agaw 2 sg. imperfect definite -ttylt, 2 pl. -tmnyl, to be equated perhaps with the endings of the relative in Bilin, -riixw, -diiniixw, and in Kemant, -yay, -yinay. ‘. A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMIANT 333 7.3. Tense The tenses of the verb may be divided into two functionally differentiated sets: main forms and subordinate forms. In both main and subordinate forms there are distinct affirmative and negative conjugations-though not every affirmative conjugation has a corresponding negative form. Thus, both the imperfective wasaikw ‘I hear’ and the relative wasay ‘which I hear’ have the same negative form, wasigir. The tenses of the main verb are 1. Imperfective, affirmative and negative 2. Perfective, affirmative and negative 3. Compound perfective, affirmative only30 4. Jussive, affirmative and negative 5. Jussive2, affirmative only 31 6. Imperative, affirmative and negative 1. Imperfective affirmative – kW negative -aig… aff. sing. 1 m./f. wasakw xwakw fyaiiykw 2 m./f. wasyikw x’WeyiAkw fAttik w 3 m. was k w xwakw flyAk w 3 f. wasit(i) xwat(i) fMyat(i) plur. 1 wasnakw xWanakw faynakw 2 wasyik en xw eyaikW en fiiMtkwen 3 wasak Wen x Wak Wan fAyak Wan The 3rd person feminine wasait(i) etc. cannot be analysed into person and tense markers in the same way that the other persons can. The markers of the 2nd and 3rd persons plural are, in this tense only, discontinuous: -yV… n, -V… n, the tense marker -aikw being infixed. neg. sing. 1 m./f. wasagir xwagir fiiiygir 2 m./f. wasakar xWakar fayiykar 3 m. was&ga xwaga fayaga 3 f. wasakay xwakay fayAkAy plur. 1 was’ganir xwaganir f~yiAganir 2 wasikainar xwakanar i’y Akanar 3 wasAigw xwagaw f’yig w Further analysis of these negative endings is not really possible. However, the 3rd person endings may be compared with the 3rd person endings of the subject relative: -ay, -ay, -Aw. Note also the suffix -ir of the 1st persons contrasting with -ar of the 2nd persons. ‘o The negative of the simple perfective serves for the compound perfective, too: waseyw ‘I heard ‘, waswanaik* ‘ I have heard ‘, wasgir ‘ I did not hear / have not heard ‘. 31 The negative jussive is formally the negative of the jussive2. 334 D. L. APPLEYARD 2. Perfective affirmative -eyW negative -g… aff. sing. 1 m./f. waseyw x iyw fW&ay W2 m./f. wasyeyw xweyoyw fi1yoyw 3 m. wasey w x iyw fiAyy W 3 f. was(e)t(i) xwit(i) f Ay(e)t(i) plur. 1 wasney w xwiney w fiiyney w 2 wasiney W x Wineyw ? fStoney” 3 waseneyw x Winey wfiiy() neyw The 3rd person feminine was(e)t(i) etc. cannot be analysed into person and tense markers in the same way as the other persons. Its structure is, however, comparable with that of the same person of the imperfective affirmative, wasit(i), and therefore, in the light of the : a contrast between these two tenses, the ending -t(i) may be regarded as the marker of the 3rd person feminine here, though it does not occupy the same position as the other personal markers, i.e. before the tense marker. The 2nd person plural wasiney w is structurally was-yon-ey w. neg. sing. 1 m./f. wasgir x wegir fygir 2 m./f. waskar x Wkar fAykar 3 m. wasga xwega fiAyga 3 f. waskay xwekAiy fAykAy plur. 1 wasgenir x “egenir fiiygenir 2 waskAnar xwekAnar ftykAnar 3 wasgaw xwOagw ftiygAw 3. Compound perfect This tense is a close compound of a subordinate form, which occasionally occurs outside this particular compound, and the imperfective affirmative of the verb wan- ‘be ‘. The first part of the compound has personal markers (set A), but zero tense marker ; also, the marker -y of the 2nd person singular and the 3rd person feminine is often deleted. sing. 1 m./f. waswanik w fAwanAkw 2 mi./f. was(ey)(w)anyik w ftitwanyiAk W3 m. waswanAikw fiwank w 3 f. was(ey)(w)anat(i) f itwanfit(i) plur. 1 wasenwannAkw fAyeonwannAk w2 wasinwanyik Wan fatenwanyiik Wan 3 wasonwanik “an fayenwanak Wan Alternative forms such as jaxeyaniSti and jaxwanat(i) ‘ she has drunk’ often occur in the material. A DESCRIPTIVE OUTLINE OF KEMANT 335 The first part of the compound perfect, called hereafter the compounding subordinate, does occasionally occur in composition with verbs other than wan-. However, forms such as waswanakw etc., in so far as they operate within the tense system as a unit, may be treated as units.32 4. Jussive affirmative -d… u (3rd persons) negative -g. .. in aff. sing. 1 m./f. wasiw ? fIyu 2 m./f. 3 m. wasdu xwedu faydu 3 f. wastu xwetu fiiytu plur. 1 wasnu xWenu faynu 2 3 wasdanu xwedenu faydenu The 1st persons do not have the infix -d- and the ending -iw of the 1st singular cannot be analysed along with the other endings. 2nd person forms do not occur-imperative forms were supplied instead (see below). neg. sing. 1 m./f. wasgin xwegin fAygin 2 m./f. 3 m. wasgin xWegin flaygin 3 f. waskin xw kin faiykin plur. 1 2 3 wasgonin xwegenin fiiygnin Ist person plural forms do not occur in the material. A form identical with the 1st person plural imperfective negative, fiyiigenir etc., was supplied in response to the negative jussive ‘let’s not go ‘ (Amh. annehid). 5. Jussive2 affirmative -in Only 3rd person forms of this tense occur in the material-ordinary jussive forms were supplied for the Ist persons. sing. 3 m. wasin IAyin 3 f. wasin? IfAyin? plur. 3 wasenin fiypfnin The 3rd person feminine form in -in appears for structural *-yin. 6. Imperative The imperative has zero personal marking, only a singular :plural contrast being made. Negative marking is made by an element -t-, unlike the element -g- found elsewhere in the verb. 32 This is, of course, immediately reminiscent of Amharic, where the simple perfective, simmahu, and the compound perfective, simeULallIhu, occur. The compound in Amharic is of similar structure to the Kemant-subordinate verb form sime6de (gerundive) + ‘ be’, alliihu. Also both these tenses in Amharic have only one corresponding negative, alsimmahum -formally the negative of the simple form, as wasgir in Kemant. 336 D. L. APPLEYARD aff. sing. was x Way fty iwi ^ iw plur. wasa xWa ftya iwa neg. sing. wasta xWeta fayta iwta plur. wastana x etina fiiytaina iwtiina The ending of the affirmative singular is either -0 or -i. These occasionally interchange, as iwi ~ iw ‘ give ‘. Tenses of the subordinate verb forms 7. n-subordinate, affirmative and negative33 8. Gerundive, affirmative and negative” 9. Relative, affirmative and negative35 10. a-subordinate, affirmative and negative 11. d-subordinate, affirmative and negative 12. Compounding subordinate, affirmative only 7. n-subordinate affirmative -An -Ain – A W negative -4g… in etc. aff. sing. 1 m./f. wasin xwan fAyAn 2 m./f. wasyan x eyainfiati tn 3 m. wastin xwan fAyan 3 f. wasyAn x Weyain fitAin plur. 1 wasnin x weniin fityntin 2 wasyinitn xw eyaniin fittinin 3 wastintin xywannin f!yAnAn The alternatives -tn –i0 — -A W are in free variation. Some informants supplied as 2nd person plural the form wasinin etc., structurally -yeniin, with the vowel e instead of Ai. Whilst the i : a contrast in the main verb tenses and the relative (see below) would appear to relate to an imperfective: perfective tense contrast, no such contrast of meaning can be detected here between forms in -yanan and those in -inAn. neg. sing. 1 m./f. wasaiign xWagAin fAyAgin 2 m./f. was ikn etc. etc. 3 m. wastigiin 3 f. wastikiin plur. 1 wasa”genin 2 wasikiin’in 3 wasAigAiniin “3 The functions of this tense are fairly wide and are certainly not restricted to what Conti Rossini’s term ‘ conditionnel ‘ would seem to suggest. Therefore, it is preferable to refer to this tense by the main characteristic of its marker. So also for the d- and a-subordinates. 34 The term ‘ gerundive’ has been taken from the terminology of Amharic grammar where a form similar in function occurs. 35 The affirmative relative has two conjugations, one here called the subject relative, used when the head of the relative clause is also subject of the relative verb; the other, here called the oblique relative, is used when the head of the relative clause is other than subject of the relative verb, e.g. object, in the position of an adverbial phrase, etc. The Ist person plural in -agenin does not fit in with the scheme of the rest of the paradigm, having the suffix -in instead of -in. 8. Gerundive affirmative -o negative -g… i aff. sing. 1 m./f. waso fityo 2 m./f. wasyo fato 3 m. waso fityo 3 f. wasyo fiito plur. 1 wasno fiiyno 2 wasino fiitano 3 wasono flyano neg. sing. 1 m./f. wasgi frygi 2 m./f. waski fiiyki 3 m. wasgi filygi 3 f. waski flyki plur. 1 wasgeni fiiygeni 2 waskeni frykeni 3 wasgeni faygeni 9. Relative In addition to marking gender/number/person of the subject, the relative verb also marks gender/number of the head of the relative clause-in traditional terms the ‘antecedent ‘. In the subject relative the 1st and 2nd persons are, of course, neutral as to gender and show only a singular: plural contrast with the marker of the masculine as gender marker in the singular. The 3rd persons of the subject relative show the appropriate gender/number marker, but have zero personal marker, the person perhaps being regarded as implicit in the gender/number. In the oblique relative, however, all the persons show full gender/number marking in concord with the relative clause head and the 3rd persons also show personal marking, too. The 1st and 2nd persons of the subject relative only also have an additional, optional element, -or. As said above (see general remarks on tense, section 7.3), the negative relative is identical with the negatives of the imperfective and perfective main verb forms. subject relative sing. 1 m./f. wasay e wasayer — wasar fiyay etc. 2 m./f. wasyay – wasyayer ••wasyar ftay etc. 3 m. wasay fiAyay 3 f. wasay fiayiy plur. 1 wasnay – wasnayer – wasnar fiiynay etc. 2 wasyilnay ~- wasyinayer ~- wasyanar ftitnay etc. 3 wasaw f!yiw338 D. L. APPLEYARD The 2nd person plural also has an ending -inay etc., and for verbs of the fiiy- type, -tonay etc. oblique relative M F P sing. 1 m./f. wasay wasly wasiiw 2 m./f. wasyay wasyay wasyiw 3 m. wasay wasly wastiw 3 f. wasyay wasyiy wasyaw plur. 1 wasnay wasnfy wasnAiw 2 wasyiinay wasyinaiy wasyina*w 3 wasinay wasniity wasAnAw The endings of the 3rd person subject relative are identical with those of the three term adjectives mentioned in section 5. These adjective forms are, therefore, really verbal forms: Sayay dirwa ‘a cock which is white ‘, say*y dirwa ‘ a hen which is white ‘, sayiw diruk ‘ chickens which are white ‘, etc. In comparison with the negative forms of the relative, where an im-perfective: perfective contrast is recognized (wasAgir: wasgir), the apparent absence of such a contrast in the affirmative form is somewhat of a problem. However, on analogy with the imperfective and perfective main verb forms, where the distinction is in part marked by the opposition of the vowels a and a (was-a-k”, was-a-y”), the alternative forms of the 2nd person plural, -yanay and -inay, and occasional forms of the 3rd person plural oblique relative in -enay beside -Mnay may reflect such an imperfective : perfective contrast here too. Although this paper is concerned with the description of Kemant, it would not, perhaps, be out of place to compare the Bilin forms as given by Palmer 36 with these Kemant forms with a view to considering this hypothesis. Bilin Aspect A sing. 1 m./f. gaibixar Kemant wasayer 2 m./f. giibriaxr wasyayer 3 m. g*iibAxb wasay 3 f. gAbrAiri washy plur. 1 gabnAxer wasnayer 2 gAbdenixer wasinayer 3 gAbaw wasAw Aspect B sing. 1 m./f. gAbiixor wasayer 2 m./f. gabraxor wasyayer 3 rm. gibaxw wasay 3 f. gAbrAri wasiy plur. 1 gabnaixr wasnayer 2 gibdXninxar wasyinayer 3 giibw wasaw 36 cf. Palmer, 1957, 149. I have used the symbol A here for his V.

This entry was posted in Agaw Kemant. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s