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Kalabari Bibi

Pronouns Usage

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Because Kalabari Pronouns could be problematic, this page is being dedicated to explaining to you how to master their usage

NB: If at first this lesson looks difficult, never mind. No language is simple. With practice, you will master it so well. Believe me!

 

NB: Kalabari Pronouns are better written in capital letters weither at the beginning or middle of a sentence.

 

(1)  Four Pronouns With The Same Spellings:

In the Kalabari language, 4 pronouns have the same spelling and so it is only with the presence of a diacritic like the dash [ __ ] we will be able to know their differences. The pronouns involved are written below with examples of usage:

 

A : falling tone :  for 1st person singular  (I) subject

A :  rising tone : for 3rd person singular  (she) subject and (herobject 

      ◙ A bo sakị A mono s’me wrar’ = She was asleep when I came

      A bo sakị A mono s’me wrar’ = I was asleep when she came

      ◙ A mu brasụa A  p'rị ba = I will go (and) help her

 

 

I : falling tone :  for 1st person singular  (me) object and (my) subject

I : rising tone :  for 2nd person singular (you) subject and (youobject 

                                                   and (yourobject

      I  I wọlọ bbo? = Did you come to insult me?

      ◙ Tụbọ kẹ I p’rị? = Who gave (it) to me?

      ◙ Tụbọ kẹ I p’rị? = Who gave (it) to you?

      I  kapa mụnọọ I kapa? = (Is it) your dress or my dress?

      I da O bo tẹ? = Has your father come?

      ◙ I da O bo tẹ?= Has my father come?

 

 

Inye : down-up-down :  for 1st person singular  (mine) possesive

Inye : up-up-down :  for 2nd person singular (yours) possessive 

      Inye ọkị tẹ Inye kẹ I p’rịị = Take yours and give me mine

     

 

O : falling tone :  for 3nd person singular  (he) subject and (him) object 

O :  rising tone : for 2nd person plural  (you) subject

      ◙ O bo sakị O tiye year’? = What were you doing when he came?

      O bo sakị O tiye year’? = What was he doing when you came?

 

 

 

(2) Trilled Pronouns

What is a trilled pronoun? It is a pronoun with the letter “r” attached to its end. In the Kalabari language, 3 pronouns should be trilled so that pronouncing it along with other words in the sentence will be smooth. Under what conditions should we trill these pronouns?

1.     When the next word following the pronoun begins with a vowel

2.     When the next word following the pronoun begins with ng or  mb (i.e a syllabic nasal)

3.     When the next word following is another pronoun

 

The pronouns involved are written below with examples of usage:

 

A :   for 1st person singular  (I) subject

A :  for 3rd person singular  (she) subject

O :  for 3nd person singular  (he) subject

 

 

1. When the next word following the pronoun begins with a vowel

           ◙ Ar ogboin fịar’  = I am eating mango

              [compare: A buru fịar’  = I am eating yam]

 

           Ar iro I p’rịm = She lied to me

              [compare: A lẹgịm  = She sat]

 

           ◙ Or injiba bẹ muar’ = He is going for (a) fishing

              [compare: O mono bẹ muar’ = He is going to sleep]

 

 

 

2. When the next word following the pronoun begins with ng, mb or mg

           ◙ Ar mbi dẹrịar’  = I am selling coconut

 

           Ar ngibo sọ tẹẹ = She has become a mother

 

           ◙ Or mgbuluba kẹ I bakụm = He hit me with a fist

 

 

 

3. When the next word following is another pronoun

           ◙ Ar I sịn yaa  = I did not call you

 

           Ar O fomu bịya = She will not beat him

           Ar O fomu bịya = She will not beat you (plural)

 

           ◙ Or O nimi yaa = He does not know you (plural)

           ◙ Or I sịn sịn? = Does he greet you?

 

Home work: Try to write more examples on a piece of paper

 

 

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