HOME
        TheInfoList






There are also separate demonstratives for formal reference, comparable to the formal personal pronouns: እኚህ ǝññih 'this, these (formal)' and እኒያ ǝnniya 'that, those (formal)'.

The singular pronouns have combining forms beginning with zz instead of y when they follow a preposition: ስለዚህ sǝläzzih 'because of this; therefore', እንደዚያ ǝndäzziya 'like that'. Note that the plural demonstratives, like the second and third person plural personal pronouns, are formed by adding the plural prefix እነ ǝnnä- to the singular masculine forms.

Nouns

Amharic nouns can be primary or derived. A noun like ǝgǝr 'foot, leg' is primary, and a noun like ǝgr-äñña 'pedestrian' is a derived noun.

Gender

Amharic nouns can have a masculine or feminine gender. There are several ways to express gender. An example is the old suffix -t for femininity. This suffix is no longer productive and is limited to certain patterns and some isolated nouns. Nouns and adjectives ending in -awi usually take the suffix -t to form the feminine form, e.g. ityop̣p̣ya-(a)wi 'Ethiopian (m.)' vs. ityop̣p̣ya-wi-t 'Ethiopian (f.)'; sämay-awi 'heavenly (m.)' vs. sämay-awi-t 'heavenly (f.)'. This suffix also occurs in nouns and adjective based on the pattern qǝt(t)ul, e.g. nǝgus 'king' vs. nǝgǝs-t 'queen' and qǝddus 'holy (m.)' vs. qǝddǝs-t 'holy (f.)'.

Some nouns and adjectives take a feminine marker -it: lǝǧ 'child, boy' vs. lǝǧ-it 'girl'; bäg 'sheep, ram' vs. bäg-it 'ewe'; šǝmagǝlle 'senior, elder (m.)' vs. šǝmagǝll-it 'old woman'; t'ot'a 'monkey' vs. t'ot'-it 'monkey (f.)'. Some nouns have this feminine marker without having a masculine opposite, e.g. šärär-it 'spider', azur-it 'whirlpool, eddy'. There are, however, also nouns having this -it suffix that are treated as masculine: säraw-it 'army', nägar-it 'big drum'.

The feminine gender is not only used to indicate biological gender, but may also be used to express smallness, e.g. bet-it-u 'the little house' (lit. house-FEM-DEF). The feminine marker can also serve to express tenderness or sympathy.

Specifiers

Amharic has special words that can be used to indicate the gender of people and animals. For people, wänd is used for masculinity and set for femininity, e.g. wänd lǝǧ 'boy', set lǝǧ 'girl'; wänd hakim 'physician, doctor (m.)', set hakim 'physician, doctor (f.)'.

For animals, the words täbat, awra, or wänd (less usual) can be used to indicate masculine gender, and anəst or set to indicate feminine gender. Examples: täbat t'ǝǧa 'calf (m.)'; awra doro 'cock (rooster)'; set doro 'hen'.

Plural

The plural suffix -očč is used to express plurality of nouns. Some morphophonological alternations occur depending on the final consonant or vowel. For nouns ending in a consonant, plain -očč is used: bet 'house' becomes bet-očč 'houses'. For nouns ending in a back vowel (-a, -o, -u), the suffix takes the form section mark

subject and a predicate. Here are a few simple sentences:[22]

ኢትዮጵያ

ʾItyop̣p̣ya

Ethiopia

አፍሪቃ

ʾAfrika

Africa

ውስጥ

wǝsṭ

in

ናት

nat

is

ኢትዮጵያ አፍሪቃ ውስጥ ናት

ʾItyop̣p̣ya ʾAfrika wǝsṭ nat

{Ethiopia} {Africa} {in} {is}

'Ethiopia is in Africa.'

ልጁ

Lǝǧ-u

the boy

ኢትዮጵያ

ʾItyop

ʾItyop̣p̣ya

Ethiopia

አፍሪቃ

ʾAfrika

Africa

ውስጥ

wǝsṭ

in

ናት

nat

is

ኢትዮጵያ አፍሪቃ ውስጥ ናት

ʾItyop̣p̣ya ʾAfrika wǝsṭ nat

{Ethiopia} {Africa} {in} {is}

'Ethiopia is in Africa.'

ልጁ

Lǝǧ-u

the boy

Lǝǧ-u

the boy

ተኝቷል

täññǝtʷall.

asleep is

ልጁ ተኝቷል

Lǝǧ-u täññǝtʷall.

{the boy} {asleep is}

'The boy is asleep.' (-u is a definite article. Lǝǧ is 'boy'. Lǝǧu is 'the boy')

አየሩ

Ayyäru

the weather

Ayyäru

the weather

ደስ

däss

pleasant

ይላል

yǝlall.

feels

አየሩ ደስ ይላል

Ayyäru däss yǝlall.

{the weather} pleasant feels

'The weather feels pleasant.'

እሱ

Ǝssu

he

Ǝssu

he

ወደ

wädä

to

ከተማ

kätäma

city

መጣ

mäṭṭa

came

እሱ ወደ ከተማ መጣ

Ǝssu wädä kätäma mäṭṭa

he to city {came}

'He came to the city.'

Like most languages, Amharic grammar distinguishes person, number, and often gender. This includes personal pronouns such as English I, Amharic እኔ ǝne; English she, Amharic እሷ ǝsswa. As in other Semitic languages, the same distinctions appear in three other places in their grammar.

Subject–verb agreement

All Amharic verbs agree with their subjects; that is, the person, number, and (in the second- and third-person singular) gender of the subject of the verb are marked by suffixes or prefixes on the verb. Because the affixes that signal subject agreement vary greatly with the particular verb tense/aspect/agree with their subjects; that is, the person, number, and (in the second- and third-person singular) gender of the subject of the verb are marked by suffixes or prefixes on the verb. Because the affixes that signal subject agreement vary greatly with the particular verb tense/aspect/mood, they are normally not considered to be pronouns and are discussed elsewhere in this article under verb conjugation.

Object pronoun suffixes
<

Amharic verbs often have additional morphology that indicates the person, number, and (second- and third-person singular) gender of the object of the verb.

አልማዝን

almazǝn

almazǝn

Almaz-ACC

አየኋት

ayyähʷ-at

I saw her

አልማዝን አየኋት

almazǝn ayyähʷ-at

Almaz-ACC {I saw her}

'I saw Almaz.'

While morphemes such as -at in this example are sometimes described as signaling object agreement, analogous to subject agreement, they are more often thought of as object pronoun suffixes because, unlike the markers of subject agreement, they do not vary significantly with the tense/aspect/mood of the verb. For arguments of the verb other than the subject or the object, there are two separate sets of related suffixes, one with a benefactive meaning (to, for), the other with an adversative or locative meaning (against, to the detriment of, on, at).

ለአልማዝ

läʾalm

läʾalmaz

for-Almaz

በሩን

bärrun

door-DEF-ACC

ከፈትኩላት

käffätku-llat

I opened for her

ለአልማዝ በሩን ከፈትኩላት

läʾalmaz bärrun käffätku-llat

for-Almaz door-DEF-ACC {I opened for her}

'I opened the door for Almaz.'

በአልማዝ

bäʾalmaz

on-Almaz

bäʾalmaz

on-Almaz

በሩን

bärrun

door-DEF-ACC


mysqli_error: