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Full text of "A grammar of the Hausa language"

THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



The CELLAR BOOK SHOP 

Box 6, College Park Sta. 

Detroit 21, Mich. - U.S. A. 



A GRAMMAR OF THE HAUSA 
LANGUAGE 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR 



THE LANGUAGES OF WEST AFRICA. 

2 vols. Demy 8vo. Each 125. 6d. net. 

A linguistic survey of about three hundred 
languages and dialects, with Classification and 
inquiry into their origin. 

THE MENDE LANGUAGE, including Gram- 
mar, Vocabularies, Useful Phrases, and Reading 
Exercises. Crown 8vo. 75. 6d. net. 

A MENDE NATURAL HISTORY VOCABU- 
LARY. A description of the Fauna and Flora 
of the District, with Notes. Crown 8vo. 43. 6d. 
net. 



KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., LTD. 



A GRAMMAR 



OF THE 



HAUSA LANGUAGE 



BY 

FREDERICK WILLIAM HUGH jMIGEOD 

AUTHOR OF "THE LANGUAGES OF WEST AFRICA," " THE MENDE LANGUAGE," 
AND " MENDE NATURAL HISTORY VOCABULARY." 



LONDON 
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., LTD. 

BROADWAY HOUSE, 68-74 CARTER LANE, E.G. 
1914 



Library 

ft- 



PREFACE 

x\ THIS Grammar is primarily for students who have already 
acquired some knowledge of the Hausa language. 

In its compilation the Author has been at pains to 
make the vocabulary as diversified as possible, so that 
there are few words in common use that have not been 
made use of. 

All rules, too, have been fully illustrated, and, as re- 
gards such as have only been slightly noticed by other 
writers, the Author has for preference selected sentences 
from texts to which all students of the language have 
access. In this way the existence of the rules themselves 
is more readily recognised. 

The origin of the Hausa language is not inquired into 
here, and etymologies are only occasionally examined. 
Both of these subjects were discussed by the Author in 
his recently-published work, "The Languages of West 
Africa," and a repetition seemed somewhat unnecessary. 

The same observation applies to the native script, 
which is Arabic slightly modified. It would have been 



viii PREFACE 

of little use to give here the alphabet alone, unless ac- 
companied by instructions for its use and by literary 
specimens with transliterations, translations, and critical 
notes; and to treat this subject adequately a great deal 
of space would be required : hence its entire omission. 

The proof-sheets of this work have been read by the 
Author's brother, Mr Charles Migeod, 2nd class Resident 
in Northern Nigeria. 



F. W. H. MIGEOD. 



GOLD COAST COLONY, 
March 1914 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

PREFACE . vii 



CHAPTER I 
PHONETIC NOTES 

Part I. ACCENT 
Penultimate Ultimate Antepenultimate Movement of . 1 

Part II. INTERCHANGEABILITY OF LETTERS 
Consonants Vowels Omission of Syllables .... 3 

CHAPTER II 

NOUN 
Nature of 9 

Part I. DERIVATION OF NOUNS 
Simple Derived Description of Classes of Derived . . 9 

Part II. GENDER 

Remarks on Exceptions for Gender in Neighbouring 
Languages Common Gender List of Nouns ending in 
"a" which are Masculine . .16 



x CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Part III. NUMBER 

Methods for forming Plural Terminations Plurals of 
Simple Nouns of Verbal Nouns of Compound Nouns 
Nouns without Plural Nouns without Singular Use 
of Singular for Plural Plural Forms with Singular 
Meaning . . . . . . . . .. . * . 20 

Part IF". CASE 

Remarks on Nominative and Accusative Vocative 

Genitive Dative Ablative Locative . 44 



CHAPTER III 

ADJECTIVE 

General Remarks Simple Adjectives Compound Adjectives 
Present Participle Past Participle Nouns used as 
Adjectives Reduplication Syntax Predicative Use 
Circumlocution to avoid Use of Adjectives Comparison 
Numerals 49 



CHAPTER IV 
PRONOUN 

Personal Relative Demonstrative Final "n" with Nouns 
Interrogative Indefinite Reflexive Emphatic 
Reciprocal . . . . . . . ... 72 



CHAPTER V 
VERB 

Part I. DERIVATION 
Description of Classes of Derived Verbs ..... 101 



CONTENTS xi 

PAGE 

Part II. DIVISION OF VERBS 
Transitive Intransitive 116 

Part III. AUXILIARY VERBS 119 

Part IV. CONJUGATION OF THE VERB 

Remarks on Conjugation Uses of the Tenses Passive 
Voice Infinitive Present Participle Past Participle 
Verbal Adverbs Use of Inverted Personal Pronoun 
Impersonal Verbs . . . . . . . .125 

CHAPTER VI 

ADVERBS 

Remarks on Adverbs of Place Time Manner Affirmation 

and Negation Interrogation . . . . . .158 

CHAPTER VII 

PREPOSITIONS 
Simple Compound Examples of Uses Omission of .183 

CHAPTER VIII 

CONJUNCTIONS 

Co-ordinating Subordinating Nouns (with Particles) used 

in Sense of Conjunctions Examples of Uses . . . 201 

CHAPTER IX 

INTERJECTIONS 208 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER X 

SYNTAX 
THE SUBJECT 

PAGE 

Nature of Examples Simple Compound .... 210 

THE PREDICATE 

Simple, Nature of and Examples Compound Special 

Notes on 211 

THE OBJECT 
Direct, Nature of, and Examples Double Indirect . .214 

NATURE OF SENTENCES 
Affirmative Negative Interrogative Compound . . . 216 

CHAPTER XI 

COMMON IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS, ETC. 

Salutations Seasons, Months, Days, Hours Che Chika 
Chi Da Dama Damre Dau Kai Kara Maida 
Sha Sa Samu Saura Yi Examples of Circum- 
locution 219 

BIBLIOGRAPHY . 229 



A GRAMMAR OF THE 
HAUSA LANGUAGE 



CHAPTER I 
PHONETIC NOTES 

PART I 

ACCENT, POSITION OF 
PENULTIMATE 

The stress accent is as a general rule 011 the penultimate 
syllable. 

ULTIMATE 

1. It is on the last syllable in some few words, as 
" kadan," little. 

2. In nouns taking the plural termination "ai." 

3. In verb forms ending in "a" or "o" as vowels of 
direction. 

4. When final " s " is added to a verb for " voice " 
purposes, as " zubas," from " zuba," to pour. 

ANTEPENULTIMATE 

There are similarly a few words that take the accent 
on the antepenultimate, as 

Magani medicine Takalmi shoe Taberma mat 

A 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



MOVEMENT OF ACCENT 

1. When an objective pronoun follows the verb, joined 
by " n," as in Present tense No. I., it takes the nature 
of a suffix to the verb, and the accent is shifted to the 
new penultimate syllable 

Jna dubansa I am looking at him 

2. When a word is reduplicated the accent usually 
moves to the last syllable 

Chiye-chiye plural of infinitive form of " chi " to eat 
Maza-maza quickly ; but if not emphasised it remains 
" maza-maza " 

In reduplicated colour adjectives, however, the accent 
does not move. 

3. In some derived nouns the accent moves towards 
the suffix ; in not a few, however, it remains unaltered 

Sayowa selling from saye to sell 

Jefawa throwing jefa to throw 

In the latter the final vowel is long, and so rather 
attracts the stress accent. 

4. In some plural forms the accent remains on the same 
syllable as in the singular form, though the rule is that it 
should move towards the suffix 

Watani months from wata 

Hanaye hands ,, hanu 

Hanua hands hanu 

5. If "mai-" is prefixed to a noun or verb, it still 
remains an accented syllable, and so the word it is prefixed 
to does not change its accentuation 

Maimagani doctor from magani 

Maimagana a person speaking ,, magana 

Maidoki horseman doki 

Maigaskia man of truth gaskia 



PHONETIC NOTES 3 

PART II 

1NTERCHANGEABILITY OF LETTERS 
CONSONANTS 

(1) Variation of Consonants 
Some variations are merely local peculiarities. 

L, R, T 

These letters are interchangeable in Hausa, for phonetic 
reasons, the same as they are in other negro languages. 

The word in most common use subject to this variation 
is the preposition "na," of. In the feminine gender it is 
" ta," which is commonly shortened to " t," and " t " 
in its turn may become " 1 " or " r." For instance 

Ya-t-malam, Ya-1-malam, Ya-r-malam, the mallam's 
daughter," are all equally correct. 

Biar, bial, and biat, five, are all heard. 

Halbi, harbi, to shoot ; and in Maiharabi for Maihalbi, 
shooter, an exaggeration of the " r " sound is shown. 

This emphasis of the " r " sound is also found in con- 
nection with the preposition " of." chiefly if not entirely 
in the Hausa spoken in the more northerly parts. It 
is especially found after a long "a." For instance 

Mine kamcriki ? What caught you 9 

Kameriki = kamarki = kamaki 

R, S 

Saycr saycs sell 

.Saycruwa saycsuwa selling 

Arna asna heathen 

Ycr yea throw away 

llasso uk a bar so-uku up to three /////> 

Zuchias?u znohia-1-su 'heir heart 



4 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

N or another letter for S 

Benne bisne burial 

Muka tarad da yaki for Muka taras da yaki We joined in battle 

P and F 

Fashe pashe break 

Tafshi tapshi (also tabshi, taushi) soft 

F and H (H is Katsina dialect). 

Fudu hudu four 

Funtu huntu naked person 

Tali tahi go 

Bafellanchi bahillachi Fula 

T, K, R 

Tutut, tutuk, tutur, tutu for ever 

N and M, the latter before a labial. 

Kulun kulum always 

Em bika ? for En bika ? Shall I folloiv you ? 

T, Ch, S 

Wotika, wochika wosika letter 
Tasubi chasubi bead 

It is often doubtful whether "ts" or "ch" should be 
written, though any doubt that there may be vanishes 
when the word is seen written in Arabic character. 

In this connection it should be noted that the Arabic 
"ta" or "tsa" is often written in Hausa for ' dal," and 
" shin " for " cha." 

Gb for B 

A very few words admit "gb " for " b," some speakers 
sounding the "g" where others do not. The "gb" is a 
sound of pure negro origin 

Gbache bache destroy 
Gboye boye hide 



PHONETIC NOTES 



(2) Vocalisation of Consonants 

In some parts of the Hausa country two consonants 
coming together are readily admitted. Elsewhere, especially 
nearer other negro influences, such combinations are not 
much found. Two alternatives exist either to insert an 
intermediate vowel harmonising with the other vowels in 
the word, or to vocalise the first consonant of the two. 
Nearer Arabic or Berber influences the harder forms are 
always found, but a negro of another tribe learning Hausa 
invariably uses one of the softer forms. 

It might possibly be supposed that it is the original 
form of the word which has the intermediate vowelj 
and that this vowel is eliminated to make the harder 
form. That the reverse is the case is made clear by the 
position of the accent, which is on the penultimate in the 
shorter form of the word, and remains on the same syllable, 
which becomes the antepenultimate, in the longer form of 
the word. 

The following are examples of the two processes 



Sarki 
Ber 


sariki 
beri 


chief 
leave 


Duk 


duka 


all 


Girma 
Damre 


girima 
darime, daure, dore 


big 
bind 


Amre 
Samri, samli 


aure 
sauri 


marry 
hasten 


Samri 
Kamna 
Takalma 


sauri 
kauna, kona 
takoma 


young man 
love 
shoe 


Zamna 


zona 


sit 



It may here be noted that syllables ending in a consonant 
occur more commonly in the middle of a word than at the 
end, the tendency being, as here seen, to eliminate or soften 
them 

Mafelfeohi fans 

Sarki (sariki) chief 

Tutuk (tutu) for ever 



6 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

(3) Insertion of Semi-vowels after Consonants 

" W " is commonly inserted after " k " and " g " when 
followed by " o " 

Akwoi for akoi there is 

Gwonda gonda pawpaw 

Kwoi koi egg 

Kwomi (rare) komi everything 

Kwoiya koiya teach 

The semi- vowel "y" may be introduced after "k" and 
"g" before "i" and " e." This usage seems due to the 
influence of other negro languages. It is comparatively 
rare in the purest forms of Hausa, if the more northerly 
be taken as such, but it is found to be almost invariably 
made use of in the speech of negroes of tribes to the south- 
west when they speak Hausa. This is especially so in the 
Gold Coast Colony. 

Chauta, kyauta for keauta (written kauta) a present 

Kyetu ,, ketu flint 

Kyanwa kenwa cat 

Gyero ,, gero corn 

Nevertheless this introduction of a semi-vowel plays a 

very considerable part in the formation of nouns derived 

. from verbs in Hausa, indicating that this same influence 

existed long ago, even if there has been an interval in which 

it has ceased to operate. 

For example, when the root of a word ends in " t," the 
final vowel being " a " or " o," and for some grammatical 
reason this vowel is changed to " e " or " i," a " y " sound 
creeps in, with the effect of adding a sibilation 

Sata sache = satye steal 

Bata bache = batye destroy 

Kotanta kotanche = kotantyi compare 

This is very clearly seen in the participles 

Batache = batatye destroyed 

Batachia (f.) = batatyia 
But Batatu (plu.) 



PHONETIC NOTES 7 

For the same reason are 

Tarsa tarshe=tarsye help 

llaii.su bahaushe = bahausye Hausa 

Contraction of W and Y 

These semi-vowels are often elided either in a derived 
word or even when two words come together, the latter 
applying to " y." It is often doubtful whether it is 
more correct to write them or to omit them. It must, 
however, be observed that their insertion seems preferable 
in some words, and it is better to omit them in others 

Tafowa = tafoa coming 

Tafiy a = tafia going 

Zanowa = zanoa cloths 

Gaisuwa=gaisua salutation 

Sunkai = sunka yi they did 

The appearance of " w " or " y." in the verbal nouns 
depends on the associated vowels; "a," " o," "u" 
requiring " w " ; " i " requiring " y " ; and " e " either. 
This interchangeability is seen in " na wuni " = " na yini," 
/ spend the day. 

VOWELS 
(1) Variation of Vowels 

There is a great tendency in Hausa to use short vowels, 
and many words are pronounced indifferently with long 
and short sounds. 

This practice may be possibly due to the former existence 
of closed syllables now no longer recognisable. That they 
have existed, however, may be seen from such words as 
" tutuk," or " tutu," for ever. 

A 

" A " is in many words so short as to seem also " e " 
or " u." 



Teffi fc 


r tafi 


g 


Serki 


sarki 


chief 


Dere 

.Seyesua 
Mini 


dare 
saycsua 

in. mi 


night 
netting 
to me 


Fudda 


t'.nl.i 


tell 



8 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

The prefix " mai- " is usually pronounced as " may " in 
English, and not as the sound in the word " might." 

A and 
Waje=woje side Wani = woni another Wannan = wonan this 

A and U 
Mamu = mumu to us Maku = muku to you 

I and U 

Filani (Hillani) = Fulani, Fulas Fukaf uke = fikafike feather 

Rufe = riffe call Mutane = mittane men 

(2) Omission of Vowels 

Final " i " is the one most commonly elided. This 
usually takes place when an objective pronoun is joined 
to the verb 

Ban san'shi ba Ba na sani shi ba I do not know him 
Na gan'sbi Na gani shi I saw him 

Ber'sbi Beri shi Let him 

The first personal pronoun " ni " is shortened to " n " 
in " zani" 

Zan' for Zani / will go 

Other elisions 

Gareshi = garesa = garuss towards him 

Masa = muss to him 

Akasa = akass on the ground 

Ya manche tagia tass He forgot his hat 

Omission of Syllables 

There are found both long and short forms of words. 
The short forms are usually poetical 

Dau, do, for dauka take up* 



CHAPTER II 
NOUN 

NOUNS are simple and derived. They have gender and 
number, but are not inflected for case. 

PART I 

DERIVATION OF NOUNS 

Simple nouns are those of which the origin cannot be 
traced beyond the present form 

Gona farm karifi strength 

Derivatives are such nouns as can be traced to their 
primary parts 

Mai-gona farmer Mai-karifi strong man 

All infinitives may be used substantively without change 
of form 

Kcdaya-n-sa da wuya To count it is difficult (lit., count- 

ing of him with difficulty) 

Chi-n-sa da dadi ft is nice to eat 

Fade-fade ba yi ba (proverb) Talking is no good 

Do-n-so, ya rasulu, domi-n-so- Because of love, Prophet, because 
n-fiyaye of love of God (lit., Excellence) 

(For further examples see under the Verb (Infinitive).) 

Derivation of nouns takes place by means of prefixes 
and suffixes, and sometimes by means of both together. 

9 



10 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Derived nouns are formed in the following ways : 
Concrete nouns 

1. Noun with personal particle prefixed. 

2. Noun with material particle prefixed. 

3. Verb with personal particle prefixed. 

4. Verb with material particle prefixed. 

Abstract nouns 

5. Verb with prefix. 

6. Noun with suffix. 

7. Verb or adjective with suffix. 

Verbal nouns 

8. With suffix or unchanged. 

Concrete nouns 

9. Feminine nouns derived from masculine form. 

10. Nouns ending in " ya." 

11. Compound nouns. 

12. Adjective used as noun. 

13. Noun phrases. 

Description of Classes of Derived Nouns 

1 . Concrete nouns formed from other nouns with personal 
particle prefixed. There are four particles relating to 
persons : " ba," " da," " mai," " ma." 

Ba 

" Ba " means inhabitant of a country, and is compounded 
with place names for the most part 

Ba-haushe Hausa man Ba-hausa Hausa woman 
Ba-kano Kano man Bature white man 

(Further examples are given in the tables of plurals.) 

Da (" ya " feminine) 

" Da," meaning child, is compounded with place names 
when it means native of. With other nouns it acts as 



NOUN 11 

a diminutive. Unlike ' ; ba," the preposition " n," of, is 
inserted 

Da-n-Kano native of Kano Da-n-birni native of the city 
Da-n-akwia kid Da-n-zunzua a little bird 

Feminine. 
Ya-l-Kano femal': native of Kano, daughter of Kano 

Also in some idiomatic cases. 
Da-n-zane a fragment of cloth Da-n-bindiga soldier 

Mai 
" Mai " means ovmer of or doer, and expresses the agent, 



Mai-gona owner of a farm 

Mai-gaskia a man of truth, or one speaking the truth 

Mai-wayo a cunning person 

Mai-shi the owner of it (shi is the 3rd personal pronoun) 

NOTE. " Mai " also forms adjectives and the present participle, 
which see. 



Ma 

" Ma " is a personal particle as well as a material particle. 
It has a similar sense to " mai," as a personal particle, 
but it is not compounded with nouns in their simple 
form 

Mafauta, butcher, from fauta, slaughter, itself derived from fawa, 

to slaughter 

Mafauchi, butcher, from fawa (fauchi is not found) 
Makaranchi, scholar, from karanta, to read (karanchi is not found) 

2. Concrete nouns with material particle prefixed. There 
is only one prefix, " ma-." 

As in the preceding class, it is prefixed, not to the pure 
noun form, but to a derived form 

Matsorachi, cowardice, from tsorachi, which is a derivation of tsoro, 

to fear, but is not found alone 
Mafauta, place of slaughter, from fauta, slaughter. 



12 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



3. Concrete nouns formed from a verb with a personal 
particle prefixed. These particles are " mai " and " ma" 



Maihalbi 
Maikoiyo 
Mai-aski 
Mai-giri-baba 



marksmen, hunter 

learner 

one that shaves 

she of the big eyebrows 

Ma 



from 



halbi to shoot 
koiyo to learn 
aski to shave 



The final vowel is " i " generally 



Makami one that catches 

Makiyi hater 

Makoiyi teacher 

Makeri blacksmith 

Maso one that loves 

Makiayi herdsman 

Makiaji one who refuses to hear 



from kama to catch 



ki 

koiya 

kira 

so 

kiwo 

ki 



to hate 

to teach 

to forge 

to love, to want 

to tend cattle 

to refuse, ji to hear 



4. Concrete nouns formed from verb wiih material particle 
prefixed. These are the particle " ma," and also the nouns 
" abu," thing, and " wuri," place. 



Ma 
The final vowel of the verb changes to " i " 



Madafi 

Madubi 

Makami 

Mashidi 

Mazamni 



kitchen 

looking-glass 

trap 

halting-place 

seat 



from 



dafa 

duba 

kama 

shida 

zamna 



to cook 

to look at 

to catch 

alight, to encamp 

to sit down 



Abu, Thing 

The preposition " n," of, enters into the composition 
of the word, and " abu " usually takes the form " obi," 
which is never found alone 



Abi-n-chi 
Abi-n-sha 
Abin-mamaki or 
Abu-n-mamaki 
Abin-sara 
Abin-tsoro 
Abin-worigi 


food 
drink 
a wonder, miracle 

accusation 
a thing to fear 
plaything 



from 



chi 
sha 

raamaki 

sara 
tsoro 
worigi 



to eat 

to drink 

a marvel (is 

a noun) 
to accuse 
to fear 
play (a noun) 



NOUN 



13 



Wuri, Place. 
This prefix also requires the preposition " of 



Wuri-n-kwana 

Wuri-n-kiwo 

Wuri-n-rubutu 

Wuri-n-sabka 

Wuri-n-shida 



sleeping-place 

pasture 

writing-place 

halting-place 

halting-place 



from 



kwana 

kiwo 

rubutu 



shida 



to sleep 
to feed cattle 
to write 
to alight 

to alight, (i.e., from 
horse or camel) 



5. Abstract nouns formed from verbs with prefix " ma-." 
The final vowel becomes " i " 



Makari 
Mabani 
Mafari 



end 

hindrance 

beginning 



from 



kare 
hana 
fara 



to finish 
to hinder 
to begin 



6. Abstract nouns can be formed from concrete simple 
nouns with the suffixes 

-chi (m.) and -ta (f.) 
-n-chi (m.) -n-taka (f.) " n " being the preposition of 



" -N-chi 
origin 

Bauchi 



is of Kano origin and " -n-taka " of Sokoto 



bauta 

kauta 

kariata 

makafta 

wauta 

sarauta 



-chi (m.) and -ta (f.) 

slavery from bawa 

present beauty , keao 



lying 
blindness 
folly 
kingdom 



karia 
makafo 
wawa 
sariki 



slave 

beauty 

lie 

blind man 

fool 

king 



-n-chi (m.) -n-taka (f.) 


Bakunchi 


bakuntaka 


strangeness 


bnko 


stranger 


Baranchi 


barantaka 


service 


bara 


servant 


Daianchi 


daiantaka 


singleness 


daia 


one 


Diyanchi or 


diyantaka 


freedom 


diya 


free person, 


diyauchi 








offspring 


Gadonchi 


gadontaka 


inheritance 


gado 


inheritance 






(abstract) 




(concrete) 


Malanchi 


raalantaka 


priestcraft 


malam 


priest 


Raganchi 


ragantaka 


laziness 


rago 


idler 


Sarkanchi 


sarkantaka 


kingship 


sariki 


king 


Tsiranchi 


tsirantaka 


safety, salvation 


tsira 


save 


Ubanchi 


ubantaka 


fatherhood 


uba 


father 



14 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Yaranchi 
Yawanchi 
Zarumchi 

Fulanchi 

Hausanchi 

Turanchi 



yarantaka 

yawantaka 

zarumtaka 



youth (abstract) 

multiplicity 

bravery 

what belongs to 

the Fula 
what belongs to 

the Hausa 
what belongs to 

the white man 



yaro 

yawa 

zarumi 



boy 
many 
brave man, 



or zarmi body-guard 
Fula Fula 

Hausa Hausa 



ture 



the white 
man's country 



7. Abstract nouns formed from a verb or adjective with 
suffix. The suffixes are " -chi " and " -ta." 

-chi (m.) 

This is never added to a verb alone. The prefix " ma- ' 
is added as well. Some of these words have a concrete 
as well as an abstract meaning 



Maaikachi 
Mafauchi 
Marokachi 
Marowachi 

Matsorachi 



labour and labourer aiki 

slaughtering and butcher fawa 

begging and beggar roko 

greediness rowa 



cowardice 

-ta (f.) 

Chiwuta sickness chiwo 

Gajerta shortness gajere 

Kasamta uncleanness kasami 

Kuturta leprosy kuturu 

Mugunta evil mugu 



work (n. and v.) 
to slaughter 
to beg 
to be greedy and 

covetousness 
fear (n. and v.) 



sick (n. and v.) 

short 

unclean 

to be leprous 

bad 



8. Verbal nouns are formed with the suffix " -wa." a 
Many verbs do not take this suffix, but the infinitive is 
used with the same sense. Verb forms ending in " -da ; " 
for instance, do not admit of it. 

A few nouns in this list have practically a concrete 
sense. Their gender is feminine 



Baiwa 


giving, gift 


ba 


to give 


Chewa 


saying 


che 


to say 


Dubawa 


looking 


duba 


to look at 


Fitowa 


coming out 


fito 


to come out 



1 See also under Derived Verbs, class 8, and Present Participle. 



NOUN 



15 



Gamuwa 


meeting 


Gaisua 


saluting, salutation 


Kaiwa 


bringing (a present 




to a chief) 


Kamuwa 


catching 


Karewa 


ending 


Koiyawa 1 
Koiyasuwaj 


\ teaching 


Lalachewa 


idling, idleness 


Mutuwa 


dying, death 


Rabuwa 


separating 


Rantsuwa 


swearing, oath 


Tafia 


travelling 


Tareya 


assembling 


Tsirawa 


saving 


Tadowa 


raising 



gamu 


to meet 


gaishe 


to salute 


kai 


to bring 


kamu 


to catch 


kare 


to finish 


koiya 


to teach 


lalache 


to be idle 


mutu 


to die 


rabo 


to separate 


rantse 


to swear 


tafi 


to go 


tara 


to assemble 


tsira 


to scwe 


tada 


to raise 



(For other examples, see under plural.) 

It will be noticed that for translation into English the 
present participial construction is used. 

The verb form in " -as " also admits of this suffix 



Tayesuwa 
Fitasuwa 



helping taycs (taya) 

coming out fitas (fita) 



to help 

to come out 



9. A few nouns with a feminine meaning are derived from 
the masculine by some slight modification of the word, 
together with the addition of " a " as the terminal vowel. 

Kane younger brother kanua younger sister 

Da son dia daughter 

Sariki king saraunia king's wife 

Yaro boy yarinia girl 

(For other examples, see under gender.) 

10. " -Ya " is suffixed to a few verbs to make concrete 
nouns 

Kaya (m.) load kai to bring 

Mashaya drinking -place sha to drink 

11. There are no real compound nouns in the Hausa 
language, but two nouns may be joined by the preposition 
"of" 

Kada-n-gari lizard (lit., crocodile of the town) 
Ka-n-duki upper room (lit., head of room) 

Rua-n-sha drinking-water 



16 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

12. An adjective may be used as a noun. 

Ko gida-n-sariki ko na talaka Whether the house of a chief or of a 

poor man 

13. Noun phrases or noun sentences, These are mostly 
found in proverbs 

Hauka-1-ba-ni magani-n-ta: (For) the madness of "give me," 

Ungo the remedy is : " take it " 

Yao da gobe ke sa gini- " To-day and to-morrow " is likt 

n-rijia da alura having a well dug with a needle 

Magani-n-kada aji, kada The remedy for " let it not be 

ayi heard " is " don't do it " 

Also Ya tafo wurina do-n-gaishe-ni He came to salute me 



PART II 
GENDER 

Gender is grammatical. It is divided into masculine 
and feminine, and there is no neuter. The names of males 
are all masculine, and of females all feminine. The names 
of things and abstractions are either masculine or feminine 
according to their termination, the same applying to verbs 
when used in a noun form. A noun cannot be feminine 
except it ends in "a." 

Nouns ending in " e," " i," " o," " u," and consonants 
are with the few exceptions of nouns representing the 
female sex, masculine. 

Those ending in " a " are feminine, excepting those 
which represent the male sex and a few others. 

The gender of each noun is given later under the plural. 

Gender could be ignored as having a separate existence 
in a language if there were not other words, such as adjec- 
tives and pronouns, modified to agree with the noun 
according to the idea it represents. This is strictly so 
as regards plural, for, as will be seen in the chapter on the 
adjective, no distinction of gender is made in a noun when 
in the plural number. For instance 

Mutum nagari good man mache tagari good woman 

Mutane nagargaru good men mata nagargaru good women 



NOUN 17 

Exceptions for Gender 

Although there is a gender to every noun, and nouns 
ending in " a " are assigned to the feminine gender, there 
is a great tendency to classify as masculine many nouns 
ending in " a " which are not the names of human beings 
or animals. This is especially common with those nouns 
which are used for prepositions, and is usually put down 
to carelessness in speaking. It is, however, a debatable 
point whether carelessness is possible to any appreciable 
extent with the mother tongue. It certainly exists with 
the written language, but the written form of a language 
always differs from the spoken form. The latter is the 
mother tongue, and it is learnt naturally much the same 
as the other functions of life, and accordingly varies but 
little from century to century unless subjected to some 
strong foreign influence. 

It may therefore be taken that the apparent mistakes 
in gender are in reality idioms of the language which admit 
of perfect explanation, and their existence may be in 
accordance with a more influential rule of the language. 

Seeing that it is by the adjuncts alone that the gender 
of a noun can be ascertained, the use of the masculine 
form for the feminine naturally requires some explanation, 
and it is in connection with the preposition " of " (" na," 
"n" for masculine, and " ta," " t," "1," " r," "t" for 
feminine) that the greatest uncertainties are found. This 
preposition as a copula, it may here be stated, plays a 
very important part in the structure of sentences. 

The reason for the apparent exceptions that are found 
can only be ascribed to the more exigent rules of euphony. 
It is a common feature in some languages for words in a 
series to be made to agree with each other either in an 
initial syllable or in some other way. In Hausa itself this 
is found in the pronouns, in which " mini " is found for 
" mani," " mumu " for " mamu," etc. ; and grammatical 
gender is probably largely assignable to the same reason. 1 

When, therefore, apparent mistakes in gender are made, 
they must be put down to a rule of euphony over-riding a 
rule of grammatical gender, the latter being but the offspring 
of the former. 

1 #ee Languages of West Africa chapter on Gender 

B 



18 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Gentler in Neighbouring Language.* 

Hausa together with a few languages to the south and 
east of it are the only ones in West Africa which indicate 
masculine and feminine gender. In Hausa gender is 
further developed than in Angas and Bolanchi to mention 
only two of these languages and so far as is at present 
known the latter only distinguish it in the pronouns, and 
not in the adjective as in Hausa. To such an extent is 
the gender idea developed in Hausa that adjectives, pro- 
nouns, verbs, and prepositions are all under its influence. 

A great many other languages in West Africa have a 
neuter gender, Avhich distinguishes things from persons 
effected by means of the 3rd personal pronoun singular, 
but they do not in any way recognise masculine and 
feminine gender. Hausa with its neighbouring languages 
form, therefore, a little group by themselves as regards 
gender. 

The sex of living things is distinguished in three ways : 
1. By different words for male and female 



Uba 


father 


uwa 


mother 


Uba-n-gi ji 


master 


uwa-1-gida or 


mistress of the house 






uworigida 




Miji 


husband 


mata 


wife 


Mutum 


man 


mache 


woman 


Namiji 


male 


tamata 


female 


Ango 


bridegroom 


amaria 


bride 


Sarmayi 


youth 


budurua 


virgin 


Wa 


elder brother 


ya or iya 


elder sister 


Bunsuru 


he-goat 


akwia 


she-goat 


Rago 


ram 


tumkia 


ewe 


ToroJ 


male elephant 


giwa 


female elephant 


Doki 


horse 


godia 


mare 


Rakumi 


camel 


tagua 


female camel 


Zakara 


cock 


kaza 


hen 



(Other examples will be seen in the tables of plurals.) 
2. By adding words representing male or female 
Da-n-gari townsman ya-1-gari townswoman 

Da-n-uwa brother ya-l-uwa sister 

Zakara-zabi male guinea-fowl zabua female guinea-fowl 

NOTE. " Zabi " is apparently the plural form of the word 
" zabua." As the common form of many animals, birds, etc., 



NOUN 



19 



is the feminine form, it is to this that the word " male " 
(" na-miji ") is added when it is necessary to indicate 
the sex. For birds " zakara," cock, is more generally 
used, 

3. The feminine may be formed from the masculine by 
a different termination to the same root. The masculine 
may end in any vowel, but the characteristic termination 
of the feminine is " a " in the syllable " ia," " ania," 
" nia," or " unia," as 



Anabi 
Ba-fulache 


prophet 
Fula man 


anabia 
ba-fulata 


prophetess 
Fula woman 


Ba-haushe 


Hausa man 


ba-hausa 


Hausa woman 


Ba-ture 


white man 


ba-turia 


white woman 


Bara 
Barao 
Bawa 
Da 


servant 
thief 
slave 
son or free- 


barania 
baraunia 
bauya or baiwa 
diya 


female servant 
female thief 
female slave 
daughter or free- 




man 




woman 


Gobro 
Jariri 
Kane 

Mayi 


bachelor 
infant boy 
younger brother 
wizard 


gobrua 
jariria 
kanua 
mayia 


spinster 
infant girl 
younger sister 
witch 


Mafauchi 


butcher 


mafauchia 


female butcher 



(See further under derived nouns, supra.) 



Sariki 
Tsofo 
Yaro 

Alfadari 
Babe 
Gado 
Rare 
Maraki \ 
Marcki / 
Sa 
San 

Safe 



chief, king 
old man 


saraunia 
tsofua 


boy 


yarinia 


mule 


alfadara 


locust 


babania 


hog 
dog 


gadonia 
kariya 


calf 


maraka 


butt 


sania 


young horse 


safia 



morning 



safia 



king's wife 
old woman 
girl 

female mule 
female locust 
sow 
bitch 

female calf 

cow 
young mare 

morning 



To these may be added a number of abstract nouns, 
which, if formed with the termination " -n-chi " (K) are 
masculine, but if with the termination " n-taka " (S) 
are feminine 

Yaranchi yarantaka youth 

(See list of derived nouns in Part I.) 



20 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Common Gender 

Some nouns relating to persons are of both genders. 
These include most nouns formed with the prefix " mai-," 
as 

Mai-aiki worker Mai-karia liar Mai-gaskia speaker of the 

truth 

Others with the prefix " mai- " so exclusively represent 
the duties of men that they can only be of the masculine 
gender, as 
Mai-yaki warrior mai-gona farmer mai-doki horseman 

It is to be noted that nouns with the prefix " mai- " are 
unchanged for gender, but those with the equivalent 
prefix " ma- " take a gender termination. 

List of Some Nouns ending in" a" which are Masculine 

(Names of human beings and animals of the male sex 

are not included). 

Baba 1 

Baka 

Baya 2 

Bisa 2 

Gaba 2 

Gida 

Guga 

Igia 

Kama 2 

Kasa 

Kaya 

Kusa 

Kwaya 



greatness 


Magana 2 


speech 


bow 


Nama 


flesh 


back 


Rana 


day (m. and f.) 3 


top 


Rijia * 


well 


front 


Rua 


water 


house 


Suna 


name 


bucket 


Taberma 


mat 


rope 


Tsaka 2 


middle 


likeness 


Tsofa 


old age 


ground 


Wata 


moon and month 


load 


Yawa 


crowd 


nearness 


Zuma 


honey 


ear of grain 






(See further 


under plural forms.) 




PART III 


NUMBER 



There are two numbers in Hausa the singular and 
plural. The plural is formed in a great variety of ways, 

1 Commonly used as an adjective. 

2 These nouns, though commonly masculine, are also met with in 
the feminine gender. When used as prepositions the masculine 
gender is commonly preferred. 

8 Rana=ttw is fern. 



NOUN 21 

and is extraordinarily rich in forms. Many nouns have 
as many as four plural forms. Most of these forms were 
originally, no doubt, of dialectic origin, but with the spread 
of the Hausa language as a lingua franca they have come 
to be used indiscriminately or so as to suit the harmony 
of the sentence. Some are more commonly used than 
others, and it is possible that there are slight distinctions 
of meaning, which are now quite disregarded, or, at 
all events, rarely paid any attention to. Among such 
possible distinctions are the definite as against the indefinite 
state, a collective sense as against one that preserves the dis- 
tinctions of the individuals, or duality as against plurality. 

In the present state of knowledge no etymology offers 
itself for any of these plural suffixes. 

The plural in any language has probably originated in 
one of the following three methods l which, however, often 
become greatly corrupted, and when adopted into another 
language cease to be recognisable 

1. Reduplication. 

2. Addition of an adjective meaning " many " or " all." 

3. Addition of the word " they " or " them." 

1 . The first method is found in Hausa both in its purity 
and also modified. When modified the last syllable of the 
word is duplicated, and some change is also made in the 
final vowel, as 

Iri-iri from iri kind, sort 

Hainyaiyai hainya road 



Dakunkuna 

Hakukua 

Takardodi 

Kofofi 

Yasosi 



daki hut, room 

haki grass 

takarda paper 

kofa door 

yasa finger 



The reduplication of the last syllable takes the forms 
"(b)obi," "(d)odi," (f)ofi," "(g)ogi," (k)oki" (s)osi," 
"(t)oti" or "(t)oshi," " (w)owi," " (y)oyi," etc. 

All these terminations must in reality be regarded as 
one alone, for the last consonant in the word that is, the 
one in the appended termination is made to agree with 
the last consonant in the stem. This adaptation rather 
recalls what is not dissimilar in Wolof and Temne, the 

1 See the languages of West Africa chapter on Plural. 



22 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

article in those languages being made to agree consonantly 
with the radical consonant in the noun ; and a similar har- 
monisation also exists in the Ba-Ntu languages. 

2. As regards the second method, there is not a single 
one of the many terminations that can be connected with 
such words as " many " or "all." 

3. As regards the third, the same may be said, though 
this method is found in Angas. On the other hand, 
in Bolanchi, a language similarly related to Hausa, the 
plural forms are as varied almost as they are in Hausa. 

The Terminations 

The commonest plural termination is " ai," which is 
substituted for the last vowel of the noun, as " haske," 
" haskai," light. 

Almost all, if not entirely all, nouns taking this ter- 
mination can take also the termination " (-)o(-)i," the last 
consonant' of the noun which stands before " o " standing 
also between " o " and '' i," as " haske," " haskoki." 

Further, these same nouns can probably all take the ter- 
mination " una," the last vowel of the noun being changed 
to " u." 

Other terminations are " ni " and " ki," usually added 
to nouns ending in "a," as 

wata watani month 

rana ranaki day 

kwana kwanaki day of twenty-four hours 

Nouns ending in " a " will often change " a " into 
" u," as 

takarda takardu paper 
fitila fitilu lamp 

Some nouns add " aye " or " aje," changing the final 
vowel to " a " if necessary, as 

Sana sunaye name 

Gida gidaje house 

Hanu nanaye hand 

Kifi kifaye fish 

The foregoing are the commonest ways of forming the 
plural number, but, as can be seen in the following lists, 



NOUN 23 

there are a great many other methods, and some nouns 
may have several different forms. 



Use of Plural Terminations. 



TERMINATION TO 
UNBROKEN STEM 

ai 

una 

(-)o(-)i 

ki 

wa 

u 

J c 
ye 



INANIMATE THINGS 
AND ABSTRACT NOUNS 



common 

used 

used 

not used 

used 

used 

very rare 



common 
common 
common 
not used 
not used 
common 
rare 




found more frequently than ' je" but not so 

commonly used as other terminations 
ni used used used 

Other plural terminations occasionally met with are 
a," and " i," and other variations. 



Accent 

ai the accent falls on ai last syllable 

una u as a rule, but sometimes on the ante- 

penultimate syllable 



SIMPLE NOUNS PLURAL 

(The form in common use is marked with an asterisk.) 
Persons Common Formation 



MASC. 

Aboki 

Alkali 
Almajiri 
Ango 
Barao 

Dogari 
Fasiki 



FEM. 


AI 


O-I 


abukia 
aimajira 


abokai 
abokai 
alkalai 
almajirai 


abukiyoyi 


baraunia 
fasika 


barai and 
barayi 
dogarai 
fasikai 





anguna 



friend 

friend 

judge 

disciple 

bridegroom 

thief 

soldier 
2>rojligale 



24 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



MASC. 


FEM. AI -O-I UNA ENGLISH 


Jagaba 


jagabai 


guide 


Jariri 


jarirai 


baby 


Galadima 


galadimai 


minister 


Hakimi 


hakimai 


governor, 






ruler 


Jika 


jikata jikoki 


grandchild 


Kafira 


kafirai and 


heathen 




kafirawa 




Kane 


kanua kanai kanoni and 


young 




kanena 


brother, 






young 




4 


sister 




kwuyanga kuyangai 


female slave. 




kwiyanga 


In plural 






applied to 






both sexes 


Kisbia 


kishiyoyi 


rival wife 


Kuruma 


kurumai 


deaf person 


Munafiki 


munafikai 


hypocrite 


Musulmi 


musulmai 


Moslem 


Shagiri 


shagirai 


beardless 






person 


Sbaida 


shaidai shaidodi shaiduna witness 




and shaidu 




Turdi 


turdodi and 


snake 




turdawa 


charmer 


Zabiya 


zabiyoyi 


musician 


Zabiya 


zabiyoyi 


albino, 






species 






of date 


Zarumi 


zarumai 


bodyguard, 






brave man 


Zuma or 


zumuna friend 


zumu 








Ki 






Not used 






Wa 




Anabi 


anabawa 


prophet 


Kafiri 


kafirai kafirawa 


heathen 


Majusi 


majusawa 


magician 


Madugu 
Turdi 


raadugawa 
turdodi turdawa 


chief of a caravan 
snake charmer 


Mafada 


mafadawa 


counsellor 




See also nouns with prefix " ba- ' 








NOUN 


25 




U 




MASCi FEM. 


PLUEALS 


ENGLISH 


Aljan 


aljanu 


demon 


Balagaga 


balagagu 


young man (adult) 


Dakara 


dakaru 


bodyguard 


Marare or marania (f.) 


marayoyi, marayu 


orphan 


maraya (m.) 






Hadaka 


hadaku 


stranger who refuses 






to account for himself 


saraunia 


sarauniyoyi sar- 


wife or sister of a 




auniyu 


king 


Shaida 


shaidu, etc., see 


witness 




previous list 






Je and ye 




Barao baraunia 


barayi and barai 


thief 


Bebe 


bebaye 


dumb person 


Boka 


bokaye 


wizard 


Buzu 


buzaye 


a person half Hausa 






half Tawarek 


Dengi, denga, 


dengoyi 


family relations 


deggi 






Gabro (gobro) gabrua 


gabraye, and 


bachelor and spinster, 


(goburo) 


gaguare 


wifeless man, and so 






either widower or 






bachelor 


Gata 


gataye 


spy 


Gimba 


gimbaye 


younger son of a 






chief, also a large 






white seed used as 






a bead 


mata 


mataye, mataitai, 


wife 




matataki 




Rago ragua 


ragaye,* ragaje 


idler 




raguaye, raguna 




uwa 


uwaye and iyaye 


mother and parent* 


Yaro 


yaraye and yara* 


boy 


yarinia 


yaraye, yara, and 


girl 




yamata 






Ni 




Baba 


babani 


eunuch 


Kaka 


kakani* kakoka 


grandfather, ancestors 


Manzo 


manzani 


messenger 


Wada wadania 


wadani 


dwarf 



26 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Nouns that admit of a broken stem or change of word 



MASC. FEM. 


PLURALS 


ENGLISH 


Baba 


mainya 


great man 


Bardi 


baradine 


horse soldier 


Bawa 


bayi,* bai. bawoyi 


slave 


bauya (S) 


bayi, bai 


female slave 


baiwa (K) 


bayi, bai 


female slave 


Da diya. dia, ya 


yaya,* diya (S), 


son, child, free 




yayaya 




Malam 


malamai, maluma 


mallam 


Miji namiji 


rnaza,' mazaje, 


husband, male 




mazai 




maehe 


mata 


woman 


Mutum 


mutane * (S) mut- 


man, person 


(mutume) 


antani (K) 




Falke 


fatake 


trader 


Kuturu 


kutare 


leper 


Sariki 


sarakai. saraki, 


king 




sarakuna * 




sarkania 


sarakai, saraki, 


reigning queen 




sarakuna * 




Sarmayi 


samari 


youth under twenty 


(samrai) or 






samri (gaure) 






Uba 


ubane (K), ubanai 


father 




(S) 




Wa 


yeyu 


elder brother 



Plurals unclassified 



Bara 



Bako 

Dodo 
Kafo 
Manomi 

(monomi) 
Makeri 
Tsofo 
Talaka 



barania barua, barori, servant 

barurua 

budurua badurai 
bakua baki, bakuna, 

bakokuna 
dodonai 
kafi 



monoma 

raakira 
tsofafi, tsofi 
talakawa 



virgin 
stranger 

sprite 
blind man 
cultivator 

blacksmith 
old man 
poor 



NOUN 

LIVING THINGS 

Common formation 



27 



MASC. 


FEM. 


AI 


-O-I UNA 


ENGLISH. 




Bika 




bikoki 


baboon 


Biri 




birai 


birori, biruna, 


monkey 








birari, biraye 




Bunsuru 




bunsurai 




he-goat 






and bun- 










suraye 






Dabbo 






dabbobi 


live-stock 


(dabba) 






and dab- 










bo ni 






dila 




diloli 


jackal 


Dukushi 


dukusa 


dukusai 




young horse 




dorina 


dorinai 




hippo- 










potamus 




fara 




farori faruna 


locust 




fara-n-dere 




farori - n - 


black locust 









dere 






gafia 




gafiyoyi 


rat 




goda 




gododi 


small dark- 










coloured 










antelope 


Gunzu 






gunzuna 


pig 


Jaki 


jakania 


jakai * 


jakuna 


ass 




and jaka 








Kada 






kadodi 


crocodile 


(kado) 










Kankeso 




kankesai 




cockroach 




kenwa 


kenwai 


kenwuna 


cat 




kunama 


kunamai 




scorpion 


Kurege 




kuragai 




jerboa 


Kurtumi 




kurtumai 




ox 


Kusu 




kusai 




mouse 


Machi ji l 


machijia 


machizai 




snake 


Rago 




ragai 


ragogi raguna * 


ram 


Rakumi 




rakumai 


rakumomi rakuma * 


camel 




shirua 




shiruyoyi 


hawk 




tagua 


taguai 


taguyoyi 


female 










camel 


Takarikari 


takarikarai 


bullock 


Taki 






takoki 


locust of 










sorts 


Zaka 


zakania 




zakoki 


lion, lioness 


Zomo or 




zomai 




hare 


zomu 











" j " is soft here, and " z " is almost " sh." 



28 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 







Ki 




Not used with living things 






Wa 




Not used with living things, persons 


only 






U 




MASC. 


FEM. 


PLUBALS 


ENGLISH 


Alfadari 


alfadara 


alfadaru 


mule 




gada 


gadu 


small reddish 








antelope 




hankaka 


hankaku and 


crow 






hankaki 




Maraki 


maraka 


maraku 


calf 


(mareki) 










tantabera 


tantaberu 


dove 


Zakara 




zakaru 


cock 






Je and Ye 






bera 


beraye 


rat 


Berdo 
Gadu (gyadu) 


gadonia 


berdaye 
gadaye, gadoji, 


pigeon 
pig 




gadania 


gaduna 




Kifi 


giwa 


giwaye 
kifaye 


female elephant 
fish 


Kudi (kuji) 


k iul a 


kudaje 


fly 




kura 


kuraye 


hycena 




mujia 


mujiye 


owl 


Meke 


mekia 


mekiye 


a species of eagle 


Zunzu 




zunzaye, zunzuaye 


bird 






Ni 






gara 


garani 


white ant 






Broken stem 




akuya (akwia) akuyai, akuyoyi, 


she-goat 






awakai, awaki * 




Doki 


bauna 


bakani, baunaye 
dawakai,* dawaki 


buffalo 
horse 


Kare 


karia 


dokuna (dowakai) 
karnai, karnuka 


dog 


Sa 


sania 


shanu 


bull, cow 




kaza 


kaji 


hen 




tumkia 


tumaki 


sheep 



NOUN 



29 



Unclassified 



MASC. 



Kwado 
Kwaro 



Kwikuyo or 

kurkwiyo 
(Zakara zabi) 
Tabri 
Toro 



FEM. 


PLURALS 


ENGLISH 


barewa 


bareyi 


antelope 


bisa 


bisaisai, bisoshi, 


animal 




bisashe * 




gamraka 


gamraki 


crested crane 


godia 


godi 


mare 


hankaka 


hankaki, hankaku 


crow 


kagua 


kagunai 


crab 




kwadia, kwaduna 


frog, toad 




kwari 


black moth 


kurichia 


kurichecheki, 


dove 




kurichiyoyi 






kwikuye 


young of animals 


zabua (sabua) 


sabi 


guinea fowl 




tabra 


castrated goat 




torone 


bull 



INANIMATE THINGS 
Common formation 

-O-I UNA 

adodi 
albasosi 



Ado (m.) 

Albasa albasai 

(m. or f.) 

Akurike(m.) akurikai 
Alama (f.) alamomi 

Alfuta alfutai 

(m. or f.) 
Aljifa (m.) aljifai * aljifofi 

or aljifi (m.) 
Alura alurai * alurori 

(m. or f.) 

Awoza (f.) awozai 
or awaza 
Baki (m.) 

Banto (m.) 

Bata (f.) batochi 

Bindiga (f.) bindigogi 

Buka (f). bukogi 

Bulala (f.) bulalai 

Bunu (in.) bunai 



aljifuna 
(aljifu) 



ENGLISH 

splendour 
onion 

fowl coop 

sign 

head kerchief 

pocket 
needle 
rib, side 



(bakakuna) mouth 

and bakuna 
bantuna towel 

small box 

made of skin 
gun 
tent 

whip of hippo- 
potamus hide 
grass for thatch, 
dark blue 
striped cloth 



30 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 





AI 


-O-I 


UNA 


ENGLISH 


Chibia (f.) 




chibiyoyi 




navel 


Chinia (f.) 




chiniyoyi 




thigh 


Daki (m.) 






(dakunkima) 


room, hut 




and dakuna* 


Danga (m. or f.) 


dangogi 




garden, fence 


Doiya (f.) 


doiyai 


doiyoyi 


doiyuna * 


yam 


Duggo (m.) 




dugogi 




drop 


or digga (f.) 










Dukia~(f.) 




dukoki and 




riches 






dukiyoyi 






Dundu (m.) 


dundai 


dundodi 


dunduna * 


yam 


Dunia (f.) 




duniyoyi 




world 


Fada (f.) 




fadodi 




blow 


Fada (f.) 




fadodi 




chief's court 


Fata (f.) 






fatuna 


skin 


Fikafike (m.) 


fikifikai 






wing 


Fukafuki 


fukafukai 






wing 


(m.) 










Filafile (m.) 


fulafulai 






paddle 


or fulafule 










Fitila (f.) 


fitilai 


fitiloli 




lamp 






(fitilu*) 






Fure (m.) 


furai 


furori 




flower 






(furaye) 






Fuska (f.) 


(fuskaikai) 


fuskoki 


fuskuna 


face 


Gaba (m.) 




gabobi 




front, breast 


Gamba (m.) 




gambobi 




a grass, a kind 










of hoe 


Gado (m.) 


gadai 


gadodi 


gaduna * 


inheritance 


Gado (m.) 




gadodi and 




bed 






(gadaje) 






Ganga (f.) 






ganguna 


drum 


Garike (m.) 


(garka) 




garikuna, 


enclosure 


or gerke (m. 


) 




gerkuna 




Garwashi 




garwashoshi 




burning char- 


(m.) 








coal 


Gembo (m.) 






gembuna 


ulcer on body 


Geza (m.) 






gezuna 


ear of corn, 










mane 


Gilmi (m.) 




gilmomi 




cross 


Gora (f.) 






goruna 


calabash, cup 


Goriba (f.) 


goribai 


goribobi 




a palm and the 










mats made 










of it 


Guga (m.) 




gugogi 


guguna 


bucket 


Gungume 


gungumai 






tree stump 


(m.) 










Gwaza (m.) 




(gwazoyi) 


gwazuna 


a kind of sweet 


or Goza 








potato 



NOUN 



31 



Al 


-O-I 


UNA 


ENGLISH 


Haba (m.) 


habobi 




chin 


Hako (m.) 


hakoki 




pitfall 


Hanchi (m.) 


hanchochi 




nose 


or hanshi 








Harufi (m.) harufai 






letter of 


or harifi 






alphabet 


Hainya (f.) hainyai also 


hainyoyi* 


hainyuna 


road 


hainyaiyai 








Harshi 




harshuna 


tongue 


(halshi) (m.) 


and halshina 


Hatsi (m.) hatsai and 


hatsoshi 


hatsuna 


corn, wheat 


hatsaisai 








Haskc (m.) haskai (S) 


haskoki (K) 


haskuna (K) 


light 


and hask- 








aikai (S) 








Hatiya (f.) 


hauyoyi (and 


hauyuna 


hoe 




hauyi) 






Hiska (m. or f.) 


hiskoki 





wind 


Jgia (m.) 


igiyoyi (and 




rope 


Iko (m.) 


ikoki 




power 


Iri (m.) irai 


irori (irare) 




kind, sort 




and (iri-iri) 






lyaka (m. orf.) 


iyakoki 




boundary 


Jika (m.) 


jikoki 


jikuna 


sack 


Jiki (m.) 




jikuna 


body 


Jigo (m.) 




jiguna 


post, beam 


Kango (m.) 


kangogi 




ruin 




(kangaye) 






Karufa (f.) karufai 






riding boots 


Kataruka (f.) 




katarukuna 


bridge 


or kaderko 








Kasua (f.) kasuai * 


kasuwoyi 




market 


Kilago (m.) kilagai 






hide 


Kiriji (m.) kirijai 






breast 


Kofa (f ) 


kofofi and 




door 




(kofanu) 






Kogi (m.) kogai 




koguna and 


lake, river 






kogina 




Kosfa 


kosfofi 




peel, dregs 


(kwosfa) (f.) 








Kufita (m.) kufitai 






riding boots 


or kufta 






with spurs 


Kugiya (f.) 


kugiyoyi 




hook, clasp 


kogia and 








kogua 








Kumbu (m.) kumbai 




kumbnna 


scale, finge 



nail 



32- 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



AI 


-O-I UNA 


ENGLISH 


Kurada (m.) kuradai 




small round 






hatchet 


Kurafu 


kurfuna 


hide whip 


(kurfu) (m.) 






Launi (m.) launai 


launoni also 


colour 




(launuka) 






and (launi- 






launi) 




Lebo (m.) 


lebuna 


lip 


Leferu (m.) leferai 




pad for 






donkey's back 


Lotu (m.) lotai 


lotochi lotuna 


season 


Lufudi lufudai 




quilted coat 


(m.) 






Madafa (f.) madafai 




cannon 


Malafa (f.) malafai 


malafuna 


large straw hat 


Marede (m.) maredai 




millstone 


Molo (m.) 


moluna 


music (banjo) 


Muddu (m.) 


mudduna 


a measure 


Muria (m. or f.) 


muriyoyi 


voice 


Raga (f.) 


ragoyi 


net bag 


Kami (m.) 


ramuna 


hole 


Randa (f.) 


randuna 


large earthen 






pot 


Rega (f.) 


reguna 


rags 


Riga (f.) 


rigogi also riguna * 


clothes 




(rigaigai) and 






(rigunoni) 




Rumbu (m.) 


rumbuna 


storehouse 


Saiyi (m.) 


saiyoyi 


shelter shed 


Saiga (f.) 


salgagi 


cesspit 


Sanda (m. orf.) 


sanduna 


stick 


Sanduki(m.) sandukai 




box 


Sanfo (m.) 


sanfuna 


basket 


Sarauta (f.) sarautai 


sarautochi sarautuna * 


kingdom 


Sarika(m.) 


sarikoki 


chain 


Sefa (f.) and 


sefofi 


spleen 


saifa 






Shekara (f.) shekarai 


shekarori and 


year 




(shekaru *) 




Shantali sbantalai 




kettle 


(santali) 






Sheria (f.) sheriai 




judgment 


Shia (f.) or 


shiyoyi 


quarter of a 


him 


shirori 


town 


Surdi (m.) sur(a)dai 


surdodi surduna 


saddle 


Sufadu (m.) sufadai 




inner shoe 


Tabo, (m.) 


tabuna 


dirt spot 



NOUN 



33 





AT 


O-I 


UNA 


ENGLISH 


Takalmi (m.) 


takalraai 


takalmomi, 




shoe 






also 










(takalma) 










and 










(takaluma) 






Takarda (f.) 


takardai 


takardodi, 


takarduna 


book, paper 






also 










takardu * 






Tanfasiia (f.) 


tanfasuai * (S) tanfasuwoyi 


needle 


Tafarnua (f.) 


tafarnai 






garlic 


Tago (m.) 






taguna 


shirt 


Tada (f.) 




tadodi 




custom 


Tafariki (m.) 




tafarkoki 




way, method 


Tagula (f.) 


tagulai 






bracelet 


Taiki (m.) 


(taiku) 




taikuna 


bag, bundle 


Tamraro (m.) 


tamrarai, 






star 


(tauraro) 


also (tam- 










r ai and 










(tamraru) 








Taru (m.) 






taruna 


net 


Tasunia (f.) 


tasunai 


tasuniyoyi 




story 


Taro (m.) 




tarori 




crowd, heap 


Tasa (f.) 




tasoshi 




cup 


Taska (f.) 




taskoki 




store-room 


Tasubi (m.) 


tasubai 






bead 


(chasubi) 










Toka (f.) 






tokuna 


ash 


Tofo (m.) 






tofuna 


leaf 


Tsafi (m.) 






tsafuna 


idol 


Tufa (f.) 




tufofi and 




shirt, clothes 


(tufua) 




(tufafi) 






Tudu (m.) 




tudodi 




hitt 


Tumbi (m ) 






tumbuna 


stomach 


Turuba (f.) 




turobobi 




path 


Tuta 




tutoshi 




flag 


Wakati (m.) 


wakatai 






time 


Wake (m.) 


(wakeke) 




wakuna 


bean 


Wando (m.) 






wanduna 


trousers 


Wuri (m.) 


wurai, also 


wurori 


wuruna 


place 




(wurarc) 








Yatsa (yasa) 




yatsochi* 


yatsuna 


finger 


(f.) 




yasosi* 










(yatsaitsai) 






Zargi (ra.) 






zarguna 


loop 


Zobi (ra.) 






zobuna 


ring 


Zunubi (m.) 


zunubai 






sin 




(zunaba) 









THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



U 

This list includes words of foreign origin 



SINGULAR 


PLURALS 


ENGLISH 


Albada (f.) 


albadu albadodi 


strip of cloth 


Alkaria (f.) 


alkariyu 


village 


Alkeba (f,) 


alkebu 


cloak 


Gargasa (f.) 


gargasu 


large fish with red 






tail 


Hamata (f.) 


hamatu 


arm-pit 


Kafada (f.) 


kafadu kafadodi 


shoulder 


Kagara (kagarua) 


kagaru 


barricade 


(f.) 






Kwarmi (m.) 


kwarmu 


socket, joint 


Labari (m.) 


labaru 


news 


Mashi (m.) 


masu 


spear 


Ragaita (f.) 


ragaitu 


idleness 


Ragaya (f.) 


ragayu 


supporting rope 


Rai (m.) 


raiu, raiuka 


life 


Refi (m.) (refo) 


refu, refuna 


branch 


Shegifa (f.) 


shegifu shegifofi 


mud house 


Silia (m. or f.) 


siliyu siliyoyi 


silk 


Takarda (f.) 


takardu and 


paper 




other forms 






(see previous 






list 




Tamraro (m.) 


tamraru and 


star 




other forms 






(see previous 






list) 




Zamani (m.) 


zamanu 


time, season 



Fili (m.) 
Gainya (f.) 
Gado (m.) 
Gauta (m. or f.) 
Gawoi (m. 
Gida (m. 
Gimba (f.) 
Guiwa (m.) 
Gujia (f.) 
Gwaza (f.) 
Hanu (m.) 
Kango (m.) 
Kulu (m.) 
Kusurua (m.) 



Je and ye 

filaye 

gainyaye, gainye 

gadaje, gadodi 

gautaye 

gawaye 

gidaje, gidadaje 

gimbaye 

guiwaye 

gujeye, gujiyoyi 

gwazoyi, gwazuna 

hanaye, haniia* (K) 

kangaye, kangogi 

kulaye 

kusuroyi 



cultivated plain 

leaf 

bed 

egg-plant 

charcoal 

house 

seed used as a bead 

knee 

ground nut (also geda) 

sweet potato 

hand 

ruin 

whip mark 

corner 



NOUN 



35 



iiua (m.) 
Suna (m.) 
Soro (tsoro) (m.) 
Wuya (wiya) (m. or f.) 
Waje (woje) (m.) 


ruaye, ruwaiwai 
sunaye,* sunanaki 
soraye 
wiyayi 
wosashe (wojaje) 


water 
name 
porch, etc. 
neck 
side, place 



Ka, Ke, Ki 



Gona (f.) 


gonaki 


farm 


Kauye (m.) 


kauyuka 


hamlet 


Kwabri (m.) 
or Kauri 


kwabruka f 
kaurori ( 


dead tree 


Kwana (m.) 


kwanaki,* kwanuka 


day of twenty-four hours 


Rai (m.) 


raiuka, raiu 


life 


Rana (f.) 


ranaki,* ranuka, 


day 




ranakai 




Suna (m.) 


sunanaki, sunaye, 


name 




Banna 




Tsuma (f.) 


tsumoki 


rags 


Wake (m.) 


wakeke, wakuna 


bean 


Wuka (f.) 


wukake 


knife 


Zaure (m.) 


zauruka 


porch 


Nouns that admit of a broken stem 


SINGULAR 


BROKEN STEM FORM OTHER FORMS ENGLISH 


Aiki, (m.) 


ayuka, ayuyuka, aikuna 


work 




aikoki 




Akoshi (m.) 


akusa 


wooden dish 


Aska (f.) 


asaki askoki 


razor 


Bashi (m.) 


basusuka 


debt 


Chiawa (f.) 


cbiayi 


grass 


Damcbi (m.) 


damasa 


upper arm 


Duchi (m.) 


duatsu 


rock 


Faifai (m.) 


fiyafai 


woven fan or dish- 






cover 


Farichi (m.) 


faruta (S) 


finger-nail 


Galma (f.) 


galemi galemun 


a j a a v s e o g r f ff*' oe 


Gulbi (m.) 


gulabo 


river, lake 


Gumki (m.) 


gumakai 


idol 


Itachi (m.) 


itatua (K) itshuna 


(S) tree 


(itchi) 






Jijia (f.) 


jiwoyi 


vein 


Jirigi (m.) 


jirage 


boat 


Kabaki (m.) 


kaboka 


heap 


Kai (m.) 


kawuna, kauna, 


head 




kawana, kanua 





36 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



SINGULAR BROKEN STEM FORM OTHER FORMS 



ENGLISH 



Kaimi (m.) 


kayami 


spur 


Karifi (m.) 


karafa karifuna 


strength, iron 


Kasko (m.) 


kasaki kasku 


pot, cup 


Litafi (m.) 


litatafi 


book 


Mafuchi (m.) 


mafelfechi 


fan 


Rijia (m.) 


rijoyi 


well 


Rotsi (m.) 


ratsa 


blow 


Takobi (m.) 


takuba 


sword 


Tukunia (f.) 


tukuane (tukwani) 


pot 


Wuri (m.) 


kurdi, kudi 


cowry 


Zuchia (f.) 


zukata zutochi 


heart 




Plurals unclassified 




SINGULAR 


PLURALS 


EKGLISH 


Abu (m.) 


abubua 


thing 


Algarib (m.) 


algaribi 


red and black seeds 






of a certain plant. 


Alhari (m.) 


alharini 


silk 


Birni (m.) 


birane and birnua 


city 


Bobawa (f.) 


bobaiyi 


foreign speech (in 






a bad sense) 


Chiawa (m.) 


chiayi 


grass 


Gare (m.) 


garuruka 


white tobe 


Gari (m.) 


garurua, garu- garigaru 


town 




ruka 




Garkua (f.) 


gariki 


shield 


Gashi (m.) 


gasusuka 


hair, u-ool 


Gatari (m.) 


gatara, gatura gatarua 


hatchet 


Geme (m.) 


gema 


beard 


Gera (gira) (f.), 


gerare, gerori 


eyebrow 


Giginia (f.) 


gigangani, gigin- giginai 


fan palm 




yoyi 








( 1. gourd used as 


Gora (f.) 


gororo 


water-bottle 






I 2. walking-cane 


Goro (m.) 


gworra 


kola nut 


Habaichi (m.) 


habaitai 


abuse, secret signs 


Habaki (m.) 


habaka 


cloud of smoke 


Haki (m.) 


hakukua 


grass 


Hakori (m.) 


hakora 


tooth 


Ido (m.) 


idanu (K) idanduna 


eye 


Ijia (f.) 


ido (S) 


pupil of eye 


Kafa (f.) 


kafafua, kafufu 


foot 


Kafo (m.) 


kafoni kafuna 


horn 


Kama (m. and 


karaanu 


likeness 


f. (rare)) 






Kashi (m.) 


kasusua, kassa 


bone 



NOUN 



37 



STNOTTLAE PLURALS 

Kasa (m. and kasashc,* kasaisai 



Kasko (m.) 


kasku 


Karkara (f.) 




Kaya (m.) 


kayayeki 


Kaya (f.) 


kayayua 


Kibia (f.) 


kibao 


Kufai (m.) 


kufaifai 


Kune (m.) 


kunua 


Kurji (m.) 


kuraji 


Kushewa (ku- 


kusheyi 


sheya) (f.) 




Kwoi (m.) 


kwoinyaye 


Magana (m. 


maganganu 


and f.) 




Magani (m.) 


maganguna, 




magunguna 


Rafi (m.) 


rafufuka 


Rafonia (f.) 


rafoni 


Rufogo (m.) 


rufogi 


Tafia (f.) 


tafifia 


Tulu (m.) 


tuluna 


Tumfafi (m.) 


tumfafia 


Turumi (m.) 


turami 


Wada (f.) 


wadata 


Wata (m.) 


watani,* wdtanai 


Zane (m.) 


zaniiwa, zanoa 



kasaki 
kakarori 



kiboyi 
kurareji 



rafuna 



watasbi 



ENGLISH 
land, country 

cup, pot 

plain 

load 

thorn 

arrow 

ruins 

ear 

scab 

grave 

egg 

word, language 

medicine 

stream 
storeroom 
storehouse 
going, travel 
pot 

a tree producing 
fibre for rope 
a mortar 
riches 
month 
cloth 



VERBAL NOUNS PLURAL 
Infinitives 

The infinitive when used as a noun forms the plural by 
reduplication with a change of form 



Chi 

Sha 

Gudu 

Koyo 

Rubutu 

Karat u 



chiy6-chiy6 eating 

8haye-8hay6 drinking 

fuje-guj6 running 

oyd-koy6 learning 

rubuche-rubuch6 writing 

karanch6-karanche reading 



Verbal Nouns in " -ia " 

This form takes the plural termination " -o-i." 
Tafia tafiyoyi travelling 



38 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 




KANO 



Baiwa 


baiwoyi 


Batawa 


batawoyi 


Chirawa 


chirawoyi 


Chidawa 


chidawoyi 


Fitaswa 


fitaswoyi 


Jefawa 


jefuwoyi 


Sayowa 


sayowoyi 


Sayaswa 


sayaswoyi 


Tarawa 


tarawoyi 


Yasuwa 


yasuwoyi 


Ziibawa 


ziibuwoyi 



SOKOTO 

basuwa basuwoyi 

bataswa bataswoyi 

chersuwa chersuwoyi 

chisuwa chisuwoyi 

fisuwa 

jefaswa 

sayoya 



fisuwoyi 

jefaswoyi 

sayawoyi 

saysuwa saysuwoyi 

tarsuwa 

yazwa 



tarsuwoyi 
yazuwoyi 
ziibsuwa ziibsuwoyi 



giving 

losing 

saving 

feeding 

pulling out 

throwing 

buying 

setting 

assembling 

throwing away 

pouring out 



PLURALS or COMPOUND NOUNS FORMED WITH PARTICLES 

Ba 



MASC. 


FEM. 


PLURAL 


ENGLISH OF 








MASC. SINGULAR 


Ba-haushe 


ba-hausa 


hausawa 


Hausa 


Ba-larabe 


ba-laraba 


larabawa 


Arab 


Ba-fulache 


ba-fulata 


fulani (fulbe is 


Fula 


(Ba-filache) 




the Fula plural) 




Ba-ture 


baturia 


turawa 


European 


Ba-tone 


batonia, ba-tona 


tonawa 


Ashanti 


Ba-gobiri 


ba-gobiria 


gobirawa 


Gobir man (Gobir 








is part of Hausa) 


Ba-sudani 


ba-sudania 


sudanawa 


Sudanese 


Ba-kano 




kanawa, kanowa 


Kano man 


Ba-zabarimi 




zabarimawa 


Songhay man 






(Zabarimi is the 








eastern part of 








Songhay) 




Ba-askare J 




askarawa 


soldier 


Ba-fadi l (or 




fadawa 


counsellor 


bafada) 












Da 




Da-n-kano 


ya-1-kano 


yaya-n-kano 


Kano man 


Da-n-alaro 


ya-1-alaro 


yaya-n-alaro 


carrier 


Da-n-alkaria 


ya-1-alkaria 


yaya-n-alkaria 


villager 


Da-m-banza 


ya-1-banza 


yaya-n-banza 


worthless person 



1 The association of " ba-" with any other than a place name 
is rare. 



NOUN 



39 



MASC. 

Da-m-birni 

Da-n-daki 

Da-n-doki 

Da-n-gari 

Da-n-rago 

Da-n-su 

Da-n-uwa 



ya-1-birni 

ya-1-daki 

ya-1-doki 

ya-1-gari 

ya-1-tumkia 

ya-l-su 



PLURAL 

yaya-n-birni 

yaya-n-daki 

yaya-n-doki 

yaya-n-gari 

yaya-n-rago 

yaya-n-su 



ENGLISH OF 
MASC. SINGULAR 
citizen 
servant 
colt 

townsman 
lamb 
fisherman with 



hand net 
ya-n-uwa (short brother 
for yaya-n-uwa) 

Mai 



All are common gender in singular, and masculine in 
plural, as are all nouns 



Mai-aiki masu-aiki 

Mai-chi masu-chi 

Mai-daki masu-daki 

Mai-doki masu-doki (masu- 

dawaki) 

Mai-gaskia masu-gaskia 

Mai gona masu-gona 

Mai-karia masu-karia 

Mai-magani masu-magani 

Mai-yaki masu-yaki 

Mai-hankali masu-hankali 

Ma 

Persons 



MASC. FEM. PLURAL 

Madumki madumkai 

Makiyi makiya 

Mahaife mahaifa 

Mafada mafadawa 

Makafo makafi 

Suffix -chi (m.), -chia (f ). (The " ma- 

Machiuchi machiuchia mdchiuta 

Mafauchi mafauchia mafauta 

Mahaukacbi mahaukachia mahaukata 

Makofchi makofchia makofta 

(makubchi) 

Makaranchi makaranchia makaranta 

Marubuchi marubuchia marubuta 

Masallachi masallachia masallata 

Masunchi masunchia masunta 



worker 

eater or big eater 

house-owner 

horseman 

speaker of truth 
cultivator or owner of 

farm 
liar 
doctor 
fighter 
wise man 



ENGLISH 

tailor 

personal enemy 
parent 
counsellor 
blind man 
is accented.) 
sick person 
butcher 
madman 
neighbour 

schoolboy 
writer 

praying person 
fisher 



40 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



MASC. and FEM. 

Madafa (f.) 
Madaffa (f.) 
Machidi (m.) 
Mafari (m.) 
Mafuti (m.) 
Magani (m.) 
Makari (m.) 
Mahayi (m.) 
Mariki 

Masallachi (m.) 
Mashayi (m.) 
Mazamni (m.) 



Mafauta (f.) 
Machiuta (f.) 
Mahaukata (f.) 
Makaranta (f.) 
Masunta (f.) 



Things 
PLURAL 

madafai 

madaffai 

machidai 

mafarai 

mafutai 

maganai 

makarai 

mahayai, mahayoyi 

marika 

masalatai 

mashayai 

mazamnai 



cannon 

kitchen 

feeding-place 

beginning 

resting-place 

outlook 

end 

step 

handle 

mosque 

drinking -place 

seat 



Suffix -ta (singular), -tai (plural) 

mafautai slaughter -place 

place of sickness 



machiutai 
mahaukatai 
makarantai 
masuntai 



place for mad people 

school 

fishing-place 



No prefix 

Suffix -ta (singular), -tochi (plural) 
(ch is in lieu of " t " before " i ") 

Chiuta (f.) chiutochi sickness 

Fauta (f.) fautochi slaughter 

Haukata (f.) haukatochi madness 

Karanta (f ) karantochi schooling 

Sallata (f.) sallatochi worship 

Sunta (f.) suntochi fishery 

The foregoing are examples of three meanings derived 
from the same stem the person, the place, the action, 
the latter, however, being without a prefix. The plurals 
of abstract nouns are rarely used in practice. 

PLURALS OF OTHER ABSTRACT NOUNS WITHOUT PREFIX 

Suffix -ncM (m.), -ntaka (/.) 

The first is of Kano origin and the other of Sokoto origin. 
Abstract nouns with these terminations can from their 
nature be but rarely put in the plural 

Sarkanchi sarkantochi sarkantaka sarkantakoki kingship 



NOUN 41 

A list of some of these nouns is given under the deriva- 
tion of the noun. 

It is to be noted that both forms take the plural 
termination "-o-i" adapted with the proper consonant. 

PLUBALS or COMPOUND NOUNS 

Prefix Abi-n- 

Compound nouns formed with this prefix do not usually 
take a plural. The plural of " abi-n-tsoro " could be 
rendered " abubua-n-tsoro " that is, things to fear ; but 
this rather directs the emphasis to the word " thing," and 
the compound practically becomes dissolved. 

The words " abinchi," food, and " abinsha," drink, are 
in such common use, however, that they have ceased to 
be regarded as having component parts, and so the plurals 
are formed on lines as if they were simple nouns, as 

Abinchi abinchai, abintochi 

Abinsha abinshai 

Prefix Wuri-n- 

If nouns compounded with this word are put in the 
plural, " wuri- " takes its ordinary plural form, and, as 
with " abi-n-, the compound noun becomes dissolved. 
Wuri-n-kwana wurare-n-kwana sleeping-place 

OTHER COMPOUND NOUNS 

Other compound nouns which do not take a plural to 
the first part of the word are rare 

Kandaki (kai-n-daki) kandakuna upper storey 

NOUNS WITHOUT PLURAL 

There are a great many nouns which do not admit of 
a plural. 

1. Nouns denoting mass cannot form a plural 

Zinaria (f.) gold Hazi corn Kura (f.) dust 

Azurufa (f.) silver Alkama (f.) wheat Zumua (m.) or 

Shinkafa (f.) rice Rua-n-zumua honey 



42 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

2. Parts of the body 

Jini (m.) blood Nama (m.) flesh Nono (m.) milk 

3. Abstract nouns expressing faculties of the mind 

Yirda (f.) belief, etc. Murna (f.) joy 

Tsoro (m.) fear Tamaha (m.) hope 

4. Most abstract nouns cannot form a plural (and others 
only rarely) 

Mugunta (f.) badness Keau (m.) beauty Tsarki (m.) holiness 
Bauta (f.) slavery Gaskia truth 

5. Nouns of position 

Bisa (m. and f.) top Tsaka (m. and f.) middle 

6. Designations of time 

Safe (m.) or safia (f.) morning Mareche (m.) evening 

7. Sundry 

Kama (f.) cubit Zaka (f.) land tax 

NOUNS WITHOUT A SINGULAR 

Nouns without a singular are rare. The following are 
some of which no singular form can be traced 

Dasashi (K), dasori (S) gums of the mouth 

Kekarai swelling in the hand.t 

Tuguai, tuguaye, taguaye twins 

USE OF SINGULAR FOR PLURAL 

There is a strong tendency among the Hausa people to 
use the singular for the plural. In this tendency they are 
only following the common practice of other West African 
languages, in which the plural suffix is an independent 
word or particle, and is movable to the last word in a 
sequence of words, it being incorrect, and indeed impossible, 
to affix it to more than one word. In such languages 
the phrase "ten big things" becomes "thing big ten," 
or " thing bigs " for " big things." The numeral or some 



NOUN 43 

similar word takes the place of the plural suffix, but 
cannot accompany it. 

In the chapter on the adjective it will, however, be seen 
that Hausa does not fall in with these languages beyond 
having the preference for the singular form over the plural 
form, and in this respect it lies closer to European 
languages in its construction. 

It is only in very correct Hausa, indeed it might be 
called pedantic, for the noun to be put into the plural 
form when there are qualifying words. When the noun 
stands alone it must of course be put in the plural number 
to complete the sense. Otherwise it is correct to use 
the singular. 

Examples 

Mutum biu sun zo Two men have come 

Sarakuna sun zo The chiefs have come 

Hainya-r-nan da duchi (or da This road is rocky 

duatsu). 

Ya yi shekara biu ban ganka ba It is two years since I saw you 
Kwana-mu goma muna tafia We have been ten days travelling 

Ku dauki kaya Take up your loads 

Andamre kaya duka ? Are all the loads tied up ? 

Muka beri kaya-mu a wanigari We have left our loads in another 

town (i.e., all together) 

(If the plural were used here, it would refer to each one's individual 
load separately. ) 

Shi ne ya fadi ku mutane dan He it is he tells (you) you sons of 

Adam Adam 

Shekaru - n - ka nawa ? Saura How old are you ? In three months 

wata uku en yi (or chika) / shall be twenty years old 

shekara ashirin 

Saura kwana uku ku gamma In three days more you will have 

aikinku finished your work 

Mugunta da suka yi ta komo The evil that they did came back 

bisa kainsu upon their own heads 

PLURAL FORMS WITH A SINGULAR MEANING 

There are few plural forms of nouns in Hausa which 
are used with a singular meaning in a slightly different 
sense, as 

1. 

Mache woman mata women 



44 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

but " mata " is commonly used as a term of respect in 
addressing any woman 

Sanu, mata ? How do you do, madam ? 

" Mache " is never used in such a way. 

" Mata " also means wife, as which it takes a plural, 

"mataye," etc. 

Enna matanka ? Where is your wife ? 
certainly not " Where are your women ? " But 

Mata nan suna noma ; bayi ne These women are ploughing ; they 

are slaves 

2. 

Wuri cowry shell kurdi cowries 

but " kurdi " is commonly used meaning money or price. 

PART IV 
CASE 

There is no inflection of the noun for case. 

As in English, the position of the substantive with 
regard to the verb decides whether it is nominative or 
accusative ; and what would be the genitive, dative, 
ablative, or locative cases are indicated by prepositions. 

It is under prepositions, therefore, that this subject is 
in reality treated. 

The following, however, is a brief outline of the 
declension of the noun with appropriate prepositions : 

SINGULAR 

Nom. mutum man 

Voc. kai mutum you man 

ke yarinia you girl 

Ace. mutum man 

Oen. -n-mutum ( = na mutum) of a (or the) man 

Dot. ga mutum to a (or the) man 

Abl. da mutum with a (or the) man 

Loc. a bainya on the road 

PLURAL 

Nom. mutane men 

Voc. ku mutane you men 

kai mutane you men 



NOUN 45 

Ace. mutane men 

Gen. -n-mutane (na mutane) of men 

Dat. ga mutane to the men 

Abl. da mutane with men or with the men 

Loc. 

SYNTAX OF THE CASES 

The nominative and accusative are used in the same 
position in a sentence as they are in English. 

Mutum ya chi nama The man ate the meat 

Mutane sun chi nama The men ate the meat 

Vocative 

In the vocative the pronoun " you " precedes an 
unqualified noun, and is distinguished for gender. 

In the plural the singular pronoun masculine may be 
used as well as the plural pronoun. This usage points to 
the supposition that the pronoun has degenerated into 
an interjection pure and simple 

Kai yaro I ka zo 1 You boy I come ! 

Ke yarinia ! ki zo ! You girl t come I 

Miji na 1 Mi ya sameka ? My husband ! What has happened to you ? 

In formal address the Arabic interjection " ya " may 
precede the pronoun or noun, as 

Ya sidi ! sir ! 

Ya ku Israilawa ! you Israelites I 

Genitive i 

This case is formed by two substantives connected by 
the preposition " na," of, the possessed object standing 
first, the possessor last, or it may be formed by two nouns 
in apposition in the same order but with no copulative. 
The latter construction is perhaps less common on the 
whole. 

"Na" in the masculine becomes "ta" in the feminine. 
These long forms are not very frequently met with, 

1 See particularly under Preposition " na." 



46 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

however, but are shortened and vary for euphony as 
follows : 

Masc. " Na " = " n," " m," " d," or omitted if the last 
vowel of the noun preceding is "a." 

Fern. " Ta" = " t," " r," " 1," according to dialect as well 
as euphony. In Kano " r " and " t " are preferred, but 
in Sokoto " 1." In Kano " n " is also used. Fre- 
quently the " r " is scarcely heard, and so it seems as 
if there were two nouns in juxtaposition, as is 
common in other West African languages e.g., 
Yoruba, Igara, Nupe, etc. Also the masculine 
form <; n " is commonly heard where the feminine 
would be technically accurate. 

Plural. In the plural " n " alone is used, in accordance 
with the rule of the language that gender is not 
recognised in the plural number. 

Examples 

Yaro-n-sariki the boy of the king 

Yara-n-saraki the boys of the kings 

Da-n-uwana The son of my mother i.e., brother, cousin, etc. 

Ya-t-malam ~\ 



J ihe P riest ' 8 
Ya-n-malam J 

Yaya-n-malam the priest's daughters 

Yaya-n-malamai the daughters of the priests 

Akwia-r-bako the stranger's she-goat 

Awaki-n-bako the stranger's she-goats 

Mutume-n-sariki the chief's man 

It is to be noted that the accent on the word represent- 
ing the object possessed is changed, as 

Yarinia the girl 

Yarinia-t-sariki the chief's girl 

Another way of expressing the genitive is the use of 
a possessive pronoun. 

Sariki matansa the chief his wife 

Example of Nouns in apposition 

Bako gari ba ka zo dadai ba A strange city to which you have 

never before come 



NOUN 47 

Dative 

To express the dative the usual prepositions are " ga " 
and " ma." 

Ya fadi ga bature or Ya fadi ma bature He said to the white man 
Ya bayes rua ga dokinsa He gave water to his horse 

If a place name is mentioned the preposition is omitted 

Ya tafia Kano He went to Kano 
Otherwise it is inserted 

Sun tafi ga wani gari They went to another town 

After the verb " to give," the preposition is often 
omitted and the position of accusative and dative inter- 
changeable 

Ba yaro keauta Qive the boy a present 

Ba da uwalsa Give the child to its mother 

If for a simple noun in the dative case there is sub- 
stituted a series of nouns in apposition, the preposition 
may still be dropped 

Shi ne ya fadi ku mutane dan Adam He it is who speaks to you, 

you sons of Adam 

Ablative 

It is not always possible to express this case directly in 
Hausa. In other West African languages the difficulty is 
even greater, and from the English point of view a circum- 
locution has to be made use of, as : " He took-it-out his 
hand " f or " He took it from him " ; " He got up at Kano 
he went Sokoto " for " He went from Kano to Sokoto " 

Na fi to daga Bornu / come from Bornu 

Yaushe ka samu wotsika gare-sa ? When did you receive the letter 

from him ? lit., towards 
him (the idea of motion 
being represented by 
" samu ") 

Compare the contrary idea 

Yaushe ka aike wotsika gare-sa ? When did you send the letter 

to him ? 
Anema dayawa gare-sa There will be required much 

from (lit., towards) him 



48 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Locative case 

The equivalent of the locative is effected by many pre- 
positions of place, but especially by "a" 

Doki shina tsaye a huinya The horse stands in the road 

Baya-n-gida behind the house 

A baya-n-gida behind the house (but more emphati- 

cally in one locality behind the 
house) 



CHAPTER III 
ADJECTIVE 

APART from numeral adjectives, which will be treated 
separately, the adjective is of two kinds simple and 
compound. 

Simple adjectives show gender and number, but not 
case. 

Compound adjectives do so also, except those com- 
pounded with " da," which show neither. 

GENDER 

The feminine gender is formed from the masculine of 
simple adjectives by the addition of " a," " ia " (" iya "), or 
" ua " (" uwa ") to the stem, the final vowel of the masculine 
form, whatever it may be, being dropped. 

In compound adjectives either the same rule may be 
followed or there may be no change, but in the single 
case of " nagari," good, there is an initial change. 

PLURAL 

In the plural there is no indication of gender at all. 
The plural is formed in the same way as with nouns, but 
there is a preference for the vowel " u " as a termination. 

DERIVATION 

Simple adjectives are those which cannot be derived 
from other parts of speech. 

49 P 



50 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Compound adjectives are formed from nouns with the 
prefixes " na-," of, " mai- " = owner, " mai-ras" or "ma-ras," 
the contrary of "mai-," " da- " = with, and " babu-," without. 

In addition to the foregoing the present and past 
participles are treated as adjectives. The present 
participle is formed by "mai-" or "ma-" being prefixed 
to the verb stem. The past participle is formed by an 
amplification of the stem. 



MASO. 

Algashi 

Baki 

Baba 



Banza 
Dainye 
Dogo 
Fan 

Gajere 

Gurgu 

Ja 

Karami 

Kankane 
Kadan 
Kakabra 
Kekashe 

Kore 
Mugu 
Rama, 
ramame 
Rawaya 
Sabo 
Shudi 
Tsofa 
Wofi 
Yofi 
Yarani 

Duka 



FEM. 



baka 
baba 



SIMPLE ADJECTIVES 



algasai, algasu 
babaku (S), babaki (K) 
babuna, mainya 



green 
black 



("baba" is in reality a noun meaning greatness) 



banza 


banzaizai (S), banzayi (S) 


worthless 


dainya 


dainyu, dainyoyi 


fresh 


dogua 


dogaye (S), doguna (K) 


tall 


fara 


farfaru or farfaru (S), farfare 


white 




(K), faraye, farare 




gajera (S), 


gajeru, gajerai 


short 


gajeria (K) 






gurgua 


guragu 


lame 


ja 


jajaye 


red 


karama, 


karama, karamai 


small 


karamia 






kankanwa 


kanana, kankana (K) 


small 


kadan 


kadan 


little, few 


kakabra 


kabrara 


fat 


kekasa, 


kekasu 


dry, dried 


kekasashia 






koria 


kworre 


green 


mugunia 


miyagu 


bad 


ramamia 




thin 


rawaya 


rawayu (S), rawayai (S) 


yellow 


sabua 


sababi. sabui 


new 


shudia 


shudodi, shuduna 


light blue 


tsofua 


tsofafi, tsofi 


old 


wofi 


wofuna (K) 


empty 


yofi 


yofaifai (Zanf) 


empty 


yarana 


yaranai, yaranoni (both S) 


ydlo w 




dayawa 


many 


duka 


duka 


every, all 



ADJECTIVE 



51 



COMPOUND ADJECTIVES 

1. Formed with "na," o/, with a noun. These are very 
few, but see, also ordinal numerals, which are formed also 
by this method 



Na-gari 
Na-kwarai 



ta-gari 
ta-kwarai 



na-gargaru 



good 
correct 



2. Formed with "mai"=owwer of, and a noun. The 
construction is obvious, and an unlimited number of 
adjectives can be made in this way 

FROM 

anfani = wse 

ar aha = cheapness 

fadi= breadth 

gaskia= truth 

hankali=care, etc. 

karifi = irow, strength 

keao = beauty 

r&i=life 

tsada = dearness 

zuchia= heart 

zurufi= depth 

3. The contrary of the foregoing class of compound 
adjectives is formed by suffixing the particle " -rasa " to 
" mai," and an equally large number of adjectives can 
be formed in this way. 

For " mai-rasa " " maras " x is often used, the meaning 
being the same, but " mairasa " is not changed for gender, 
whereas " maras " becomes " marashia " in the feminine 



use. and FEM. 


PLURAL 


ENGLISH 


Mai-anfani 


masu-anfani 


useful 


Mai-araha 


masu-araha 


cheap 


Mai-fadi 


masu-fadi 


broad 


Mai-gaskia 


masu-gaskia 


true 


Mai-hankali 


masu-hankali 


prudent 


Mai-karifi 


masu-karifi 


strong 


Mai-keao 


masu-keao 


fine 


Mai-rai 


masu-rai 


living 


Mai-tsada 


raasu-tsada 


dear 


Mai-zuchia 


masu-zuchia 


brave 


Mai-zurufi 


masu-zurufi 


deep 



MASC. 

Mai-rasa-karifi 

Maras-kariii or 

marashi-n-karifi 
Maras-hankali 
Maras-kachia 



FEM. 
mai-rasa-karifi 

marashia-karifi 
marashia-bankali 



PLURAL 
masu - rasa- 

karifi 
marasa-karifi 



ENGLISH 
powerless 

powerless 



marasa-hankali foolish 
marasa-kachia uncircumcised 

4. " Da," urith, compounded with nouns, makes adjectives. 
These adjectives can only be used predicatively and never 
attributively. They are without any idea of gender and 



1 Often pronounced " mara." 



52 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

number. An unlimited number of adjectives can be made 
in this way 

Da-keao fine Da-hankali careful 

Da-anfani useful Da-nauyi heavy 

Da-araha cheap Da-rai alive 

Da-bam different Da-yungwa hungry 

Da-yawa (shortened to diawa) many 

The opposite of these meanings is effected by the use 
of "babu," without (lit., " ba," not; "abu," a thing) 

Babu-keao no good 

Babu-anfani useless 

PRESENT PARTICIPLE 

The present participle (so - called) is formed by the 
prefixes " mai- " and " ma-," the former being of Sokoto 
origin, the latter of Kano. 1 With the former the verb 
stem remains unchanged, but with the latter the stem 
is changed for gender and number 

ENGLISH 

working 
fasting 

lending 
borrowing 

,, lending 
loving 



This participle is further treated under the verb. 

PAST PARTICIPLE 

The past participle passive, as in all languages, can be 
used as an adjective. Its formation is examined under 
the verb 

MASC. FEM. PLURAL ENGLISH 

Arare araria ararit lent or borrowed 

Ramtache ramtachia ramtatu 

The formation of the feminine and plural is strictly 
regular. 

1 According to Mischlich. 



MASO. 


FEM. 


PLURAL 


Mai-aiki 


mai-aiki 


masu-aiki 


Ma-aikachi 


ma-aikachia 


ma-aikata 


Mai-azumi 


mai-azumi 


masu-azumi 


Ma-azumchi 


ma-azumchia 


ma-azumta 


Mai-ara 


mai-ara 


masu-ara 


Mai-aro 


mai-aro 


masu-aro 


Ma-ari 


ma-aria 


ma-ara 


Mai-so 


mai-so 


masu-so 


Ma-soyi 


ma-soyia 


ma-soya, 






masowa 



ADJECTIVE 53 

USE OF NOUNS AS ADJECTIVES 

Names of countries ending in " -chi " can be used as 
adjectives, but unchanged for gender or number 

Hausanchi Hausa 

Larabachi (K), Larabanchi (S) Arab 

Fulanchi Fula 

Turanchi European 

Sudanchi African 

As 

Magana larabachi Arab speech 

Daki-n-sudanchi Soudanese hut 

Dakuna-n-sudanchi Soudanese huts (houses) 
but 

Biga-1-hausa Hausa cloth 

Riguna-n-hausa Hausa cloths 

For living things these forms are not used. The personal 
forms are used in apposition, and show gender and number 

Doki ba-larabe Arab horse 

Dawaki larabawa Arab horses 

Rago ba-haushe Hausa ram 

Raguna hausawa Hausa rams 

Akwia hausa Hausa she-goat 

Awaki hausawa Hausa she-goats 
or awaki hausa 

REDUPLICATION 

Simple adjectives can be reduplicated. Their meaning 
may be in some cases emphasised thereby, but equally 
the idea to be conveyed is " somewhat " or " something 
like." This can be best seen from examples 

Kadan kadan very little or very small 
but 

Yaro mugu mugu shi ke = Shina He is like a bad boy 

kaman yaro mugu 

Dogo dogo shi ke = = Shina He is tallish 

kaman dogo 

Sabo sabo shi ke = Shina kaman sabo It is like a new one 

Baki-baki blackish or dark bluish 

Bakin kerrin very black 

Fari-fari whitish or grey 

Ja-ja reddish 

Shudi-shudi light bluish 

Kore-kore light green 

NOTE. The masculine singular form seems alone to be used. 



54 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Compare also 

Kul kusa very near 

Ina da wata turuba keokeowa / have (know) another path, a 

very good one 

SYNTAX 

1. When the adjective is used attributively it may 
either follow the noun it qualifies, agreeing with it in 
gender and number, or it may precede the noun with the 
copulative preposition " n " (" na "), of, agreeing in gender 
and number. With the latter method, however, the 
plural is less commonly found. 

Examples of adjective following 

MASCULINE SINGULAR. 

Ta gani gida maikeao She saw a fine house 

Kai mutum maigaskia ne You are a man of truth 

Ta sa zane maizinaria ? Does she put on garments of gold ? 

Minene dawa ? Wani iri-n-ja- What is guinea corn ? A small 

n-kwaya kankane (Note con- kind of grain 

struction with two adjectives) 

Ta zuba rua kadan She poured out a little water 

Suka sa ta chiki-n-wani daki They put her into an unpleasant 

babu keao room 

Mutum maras-kurdi kama- n- A poor man is like a king with- 

sariki maras-karifi shi ke out power 

FEMININE SINGULAR 

Mache tagari tana kula da A good woman takes care of her 

iyalinta family 

Ke dia takwarai che You are a good daughter 

Mache mai-azume tana zamne A fasting woman sits yonder 

chan 



Dia-n-itache ninanu anchiresu The ripe fruits are plucked 

Ki ba su dia-n-durumi ninanu Give them the ripe fruits of the 

" durumi " tree 

Dawaki masugudu suna chan Yonder are galloping horses 

Ga dawaki masugudu chan See the horses galloping there 

Bature dayawa ya mutu (Note Many white men died 
the construction) 



ADJECTIVE 55 

Examples of adjectives preceding noun : 



MASCULINE SINGULAR 

Baba - n - mutum ba shi yi - n - A great man would not do so 

hakka 

Nauyi-n-kaya-n-nan ya fi kari- This heavy load is too much for me 

fina 

Ni karami-n-yaro gara ka bani I am a small boy ; you ought to give 

karami-n-kaya me a small load 

Bani tafasashe-n-rua Give me boiled water 

Ya kai su ga dogo-n-daji He led them to a large forest 

Ya kasshie baba-n-bunsuru He killed a large he-goat 

Karifi - n - mache sai yawa - n - The strength of a woman is much 

magana (proverb) talk 

Duka-n-mutane suka gan' shi All men saw him going 

yana tafia 



PLURAL 

Wani iri - n - abinchi babake - n- What kind of food do black men 
n i ut a in- su ke chi ? eat ? 

2. The possessive pronoun is appended to the noun, 
not to the adjective 

Ta tafi ga wuri-n-ta dafari enda She went to the first place she 

ta fito had come from 

Ya che ga dia-r-sa baba He said to his eldest daughter (lit., 

he said to his daughter the big 

one) 

3. " Duka," which has no feminine nor plural form, can 
be attached to either a singular or plural noun 

Ya fi gida duka It surpasses every house 

Gari duka ya mutu The. whole town died 

Abu duka da ni ke da shi ya He has received everything I had 
karba 

See also example in par. 1. 

Rana duka All day 

Sun tafi duka They have all gone 



56 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Predicative Use of the Adjective 

The verb " to be " is employed, the form " ne " being 
enclitic, as also is its feminine form " che " ; but the 
form " ke " is used with a pronoun 



Ni talaka ne 
Daki-n-nan kankane ne 
Karre da kurege ramamu su ke 
Masa - n - nan antoya su ? ii, 

toyayu ne 
Ba duka mutane su ke miagu ba 



/ am poor 

This room is small 

The dog and the fox were lean 

Are these cakes baked ? Yes, they 

are baked 
Not all men are bad 



All adjectives formed with " da," being from their nature 
only predicative, the verb " to be " is usually implied. 

The form of pronoun that is used is that ending in 
"na" for the most part. It is to be noted that in the 
negative form the " na " is cast off 



Shina da keao 

Suna dabam 

Bisa tana da rai tukun 

Shina da araha (tsada) 

Doki maigudu shina da anfani 

kwarai 

Ba ni da yungwa 
Ba shi da nauyi kama-n-saura- 

n-kaya 



It is fine (lit., It is with fineness) 

They are different 

The animal is still alive 

It is cheap (dear) 

A horse which gallops well is of 

great use 
I am not hungry 
It is not heavy like the rest of the 

loads 



Circumlocution to avoid Use of Adjectives 

In most West African languages it is found that the 
number of adjectives is very small. 

They are numerous in Hausa, but, nevertheless, many 
compound words which are treated as adjectives are 
readily divisible into their component parts which are 
not adjectives, and any idea that an adjective is being 
made use of can be cast aside. 

Besides the use of " da," the two commonest methods 
in Hausa for expressing the equivalent of the adjective 
is the use of the preposition "gare," to, towards, with 
a noun, and to use the verb "yi " also with a noun. The 



ADJECTIVE 



57 



verb "ji," to hear, feel, is also so used, but to a more 
limited extent : 

Gare 



Abinchi-n-nan zafi gare shi for 
Abinchi-n-nan shina da zafi 

Zuma dadi gare ta 

Mutume-n-wofi ba ya taba fada- 
n-gaskia ba, reshi - n - kumia 
gare shi 



This food is hot 

Honey is sweet 

A worthless man never speaks the 
truth ; he is shameless 



Yi 



Na yi murna 
Ya yi mini kunche 
Ruanga shina da zafi, bai yi 
sanyi ba 

Na ji dadi 



/ am glad (lit., I make joy) 
It is (too) narrow for me 
This water is hot, and not cold 



Ji 



I am happy (lit., I feel sweetness) 



COMPARISON 

The degrees of comparison are expressed by a circum- 
locution in Hausa the same as in other languages in West 
Africa. 

Comparative Degree 



1. Use of "fi," surpass, with an abstract noun. 



Ya fi ni karifi 

Ya fi ni da karifi 
Doki ya fi rago girinia 
Ya fi shi karami or ya fi 
kankanta 



shi 



Ya fi kowa girima 

Daki-n-nan ya fi daki-n-chan 

girima 

Mi kuna so ya fi wannan ? 
Riga-1-nan ta fi wachan keao 
Dana ya fi naka tsawo, amma 

naka ya fi nawa kauri 



Mutum wand a ya bi ta gaskia 
ya fi wanda ke 
fari-n-zuchia 



,-a fi wanda ke ratso hainya 



Shi maifadda ne, amma matasa 
ta fi shi yawa-n-magana 



hr 



He is stronger than I (lit., 

surpasses me (in) strength) 
(Not so good as the foregoing) 
A horse is bigger than a ram 
He is smaller than he (The latter 
is the more correct usage, " kan- 
kanta " being a noun, whereas 
" karami " is an adjective) 
He is greater than any one 
This room is bigger than that 

What do you want better than this ? 

This coat is better than that 

My son is taller than yours, but 

yours is stouter than mine 
The man who pursues truth is 

happier than he who follows 

error 
He is a quarrelsome man, but his 

wife can wrangle more than he 



58 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Tafia da rana ta fi tafia da fari- Travelling by day is more tiring 

n-wata gajia than travelling by moonlight 

Minene ka ke so wanda ya fi What do you want better than this ? 
wannan ? 

In sentences where in English comparison is expressed 
by adverbs, " fi " with an abstract noun is used in 
Hausa 

Da-n-chiako-n-zabua ya fi da-n- The young guinea-fowl grows more 
chiako-n-kaza samli-n-girima quickly than the young chicken 

(sainli - n - girima =quickness of 

growth) 
Jiki ya fi kune ji (proverb) The body hears better than the ear 

Ka fi shi yi-n-chiniki, don You trade better than he, for this 
wannan na fi sonka da shi reason I prefer you to him 

Note also 
Allah akber da ku God is more powerful than you 

2. To compare ideas, not things, the words " gara " 
and "guma" ("gwoma") are used; also "gwanda" in a 
similar sense in Kano principally 

Gara hakka It is better so 

Guma yao da jia Better to-day than yesterday 

Da na yi karia gara en mutu / would rather die than tell a lie 

Da na amre shi guma mugu-n- Rather than marry him may an evil 

chiwo ya kama ni sickness seize me 

Da babu wawa gwanda da wawa It is better to have a fool than no 

(proverb) one 

3. " Better " as applied to health is expressed by the 
nouns "dama" and "rongomi" with "ji," to feel. 

Ka ji dama ya fi jia ? Do you feel better than yesterday ? 

Na ji rongomi yao / feel better to-day 

Na ji dama yanzu ; zazabi ya / feel better now ; the fever has left 

sake ni me 

Ka ji dama kadan ? Do you feel a little better ? 

Shi talaka ne, ni ma, ina da He is a poor man, but I have 

kurdi da dama money in moderation 

4. To express the English "too" with an adjective 
several methods are adopted : 

(a) Combination of the material particle " ma " 
with the verb " fi," to surpass 

Mafi kunche Too narrow 



ADJECTIVE 59 

(6) " Yi," to do, followed by the preposition " ma "- 

Ya yi mini (for ma ni) wuya It is too difficult for me 

Kurdi-n-sa ia yi mini yawa The price is too much for me 

The meaning of " very " is equally conveyed 
Tsia ta yi masa yawa He was very poor 

(c) By the use of "fi." 

Ya fi ni wuya It is too difficult for me 

Nauyi - n - kaya - n - nan ya fi This heavy load is too much for my 
karifina strength 

(d) By the verb " faskare," overcome, etc. 

Ya faskare ni dauka It is too heavy for me to lift (lit., 

It is beyond my strength (to) lift) 

Babu abinda ya faskare mutane Nothing is too difficult for the 
Engliz English 

5. The verb "faye," exceed, is used as an equivalent 
for " fi." It may also be translated " very " or " too " 

Yara sun faye da worigi The boys were very fond of play 

Gidanga ya faye kankanta This house is too small 

Ka fayi barikonchi You jest too much 

6. "Too" and "very" may also be expressed by the 
preposition "gare," towards 

Abinchi-n-nan zafi gareshi This food is hot (implying too 

hot to eat) 

It may here be observed that where in English words 
of a comparative force are used, in African languages 
exactly the same meaning is conveyed by merely making a 
positive statement, of which the foregoing is an example. 

7. " More " used absolutely in English can be expressed 
by the noun " kari,' abundance. 

Ba na so kari ; ya issa / do not want more ; it is enough 

8. "Yi,"do, may also be used in the sense of "equal to"- 

K m .1 ta fi (hum's. i karifi-n-jiki, The hyaena is stronger than the 
amma ba ta yi ita hanzeri ba leopard, but is not equal to her 

in activity 



60 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Superlative Degree 
The superlative degree is expressed by : 

1. " Fi," to surpass, followed by "duka," all 

Ya fi duka karifi He is the strongest (lit., He excels 

all (in) strength) 
Mutume - n - nan ya fi duka This man is the cleverest of all 

hankali 

Allah yi fi duka girima God is the greatest of all 

Wannan ya fi duka nauyi This is the heaviest 

2. By " gaba-n-duka da," before all 

Yana (or shi ne) gaba-n-duka He is the strongest 

da karifi 
Shi ne gaba-n-su duka He is the greatest 

3. By "gaba ga duka," before all 

Amma Tebib shina da bara, shi But Tebib had a servant who was 
ne baba gaba ga baruansa chief of all the servants 
duka 

4. By " ga," to, only 

Yana (or shi ne) da karifi ga He is strongest 
duka 

5. A reduplicated form of "fi" is sometimes used in 
forming either comparative degree or superlative 

Wannan mafifichi daga wadanan This (is) the best of these 

6. The word "very" in English maybe expressed by 
" faye," and in other ways as seen under the comparative 
Makafi sun faye talauchi Blind men are very poor 

It may also be expressed by reduplication 
Kadan kadan Very little 

NUMERALS 

The Cardinals 
(Those given first are in commonest use) 

1 Daia (pronounced generally " dea "), guda 

2 Biu 

3 Uku 



ADJECTIVE 61 

4 Fudu (hudu in Katsina dialect) 

5 Biar, bial, biat (in Sokoto) 

6 Shidda 

7 Bokoi. Written bakoi 

8 Tokos. Written takos 

9 Tara 

10 Goma 

11 Goma sha daia or, in continuous counting, " sha daia " for short 

12 Goma sha biu or sha biu 

13 Goma sha uku or sha uku 

14 Goma sha fudu or sha fudu 

15 Goma sha biar or sha biar 

16 Goma sha shidda or sha shidda 

17 Goma sha bokoi or sha bokoi 

18 Ashirin biu babu or ashirin gaira biu 

19 Ashirin daia babu or ashirin gaira daia or babu daia 

20 Ashirin, ishirin ; hauya ; laso (S) ; gomia biu 

21 Ashirin da daia 

22 Ashirin da biu 

28 Talatin biu babu 

29 Talatin daia babu 

30 Talatin; gomia uku; laso da goma ; hauya da goma 
40 Arbain ; gomia fudu 

50 Hamsin 
60 Sittin 
70 Sebbain 
80 Tamanin 
90 Tissain 

The foregoing decades can also be constructed with gomia, laso, 
and hauya 

98 Dari gaira biu ; dari biu babu 

99 Dari gaira daia or dari daia babu 
100 Dari (deri) ; mia ; minya ; zangu 
150 Mia wa hamsin or dari da hamsin 
200 Metin; me tain (Not dari biu) 
300 Dari uku 

400 Arba mia ; arba minya 

500 Hamsa mia ; hamsa minya ; dari biar 

600 Dari shidda 

700 Dari bokoi 

800 Dari tokos 

900 Alu gaira mia 

1,000 Dubu ; alif ; zambar (rare) ; zangu goma 
1,100 Alu wa minya 
1,200 Alu wa metin 
1,300 Dubu (or alif) da dari uku 
1,400 Alu wa arba mia 
1,500 Alu wa hamsa mia (or minya) 
1,600 Dubu da dari shidda 
1,700 Dubu da dari bokoi 



62 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

1,800 Alfin gaira me tin 

1,900 Alfin gaira minya (or mia) ; alfin gaira dari 

2,000 Alfin; alfain ; zambar biu (Not dubu biu) 

3,000 Talata ; zambar uku 

4,000 Arba ; zambar f udu 

5,000 Hamsa ; zambar biar 

6,000 Sitta ; zambar shidda 

7,000 Sebaa ; zambar bokoi 

8,000 Tamania ; zambar tokos 

9,000 Tessaa ; zambar tara 

10,000 Zambar goma 

100,000 Zambar dari 

200,000 Zambar metin 

1,000,000 Zambar dubu : zambar alif 



(1) Notes on the Cardinals 

Guda. The word "guda" means head or unit. It is 
often used together with the .other numerals below ten, as 
well as being used alone instead of "daia," as "guda 
daia" or "guda" simply, 1; "gudu uku," 3; ashirin 
da guda biar, 25. (See further under syntax of numerals.) 

Goma sha daia, etc. In counting the "goma" is com- 
monly omitted for brevity, a feature which is also found 
in most other West African languages where the expres- 
sion is too long or cumbersome. 

Ashirin biu babu. The two numbers next below the 
decades are expressed by using " babu," nothing or without, 
or "gaira," less, as "talatin daia babu," 29; "dari gaira 
biu," 98. This system is also applied to the two decades 
below the hundreds after the first hundred, as "metin 
gaira ashirin," 180. 

Hauya. The meaning is a score, and it is only used in 
counting cowries, as " hauya biu," 40 ; " hauya uku," 60. 

Laso, 20, is also used in counting cowries. 

Zangu, 100 Used in counting cowries. 

Gomia. The pure Hausa plural form of "goma." It 
was the form in use before the introduction and common 
acceptance of the Arabic forms for all numerals between 
20 and 100. It is still preferred among parts of 
the population that have come less under the Arabic 
influence and are uneducated. The merchants, educated 



ADJECTIVE 63 

persons, mallams, etc., naturally affect the Arabic forms 
for preference. 

Kororo. This word is used south and west of Zaria to 
denote a bag containing 20,000 cowries. 

Numerals of Arabic Origin. In some of the higher 
numerals the Arabic form has so far taken the place of 
the pure Hausa forms that it is quite incorrect to use the 
latter, which are obsolete. This applies, amongst others, 
to the numerals 200, 400, 900. 

Compound Numbers. The rule for forming compound 
numbers is to place the largest numbers first and connect 
each succeeding numeral by inserting " da," and, as " dubu 
da dari tokos da ashirin da daia," 1821. The only excep- 
tion is that " sha " takes the place of "da " from 11 to 17. 

Wa is the Arabic for " and." It is used when all the 
numerals are of Arabic origin. 

(2) Cardinal Numerals Gender and Number 

The cardinal numerals do not vary for gender, but those 
up to ten can take a plural form on rare occasions. The 
plurals are : 

Daia none Shidda shidodi 

Biu biunai Bokoi bakoa 

Uku ukoki Tokos takoshi 

Fudu fudodi Tara tarori 

Biar biani Goma gomia 

(3) Combination of Cardinal Numerals with Personal 
Pronouns 

Daia-n-mu or daia-mu one of us 

Biu-n-mu two of us 

Uku-n-mu three of us 

Fudu-n-mu four of us 

Biani-n-mu five of us 

Shidda-n-mu six of us 

Bakoa- n-mu seven of us 

Takoshi-n-mu eight of us 

Tara-n-mu nine of us 

Goma-n-mu ten of us 

Ashirini-n-mu twenty of us 

Hamsini-n-mu fifty of us 



64 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Tissaini-n-mu ninety of us 

Dari-n-mu or darini-n-mu a hundred of us 
Alifi-n-mu a thousand of us 

" Ku " you, " su," them, may be substituted for " mu " as necessary, 
as 

Daia-n-ku one of you daia-n-su one of them 

Biu-n-su two of them 

For the numbers above " two," however, it would seem 
to be better, and certainly more usual, to use a more 
extended phrase, as 

Fudu daga chiki-n-ku four of you 

Biu daga chiki-n-mu two of us 

Daia-n-su shina chewa wannan One of them was saying this meat 

na ma da kiba is fat 

When the cardinal number represents the whole of the 
assemblage instead of a portion, as above, the suffix " -di " 
is added. 

Daiadi-n-nan this one 

Biudi-n-nan these two 

Duka ukudi-n-nan all three of these 

Fududi-n-su the four of them 

Biardi the five 

Shiddadi the six 

Bokoidi the seven 

Tokosdi the eight 

Taradi the nine 

Gomadi the ten 

Daridi the hundred 

Dubudi the thousand 

(4) Syntax of Cardinal Numerals 

The cardinal numerals usually follow the noun they 
qualify. The noun as a rule takes the plural form, though 
this is not invariably the practice, and the numeral " two " 
especially almost invariably follows the noun in the singular 
number. 

If the numeral precedes, it on>y does so in such cases as 
those given hi the previous paragraph, and " n " is used as 
a copulative. 

Mutum biu two men 

Shina da bindiga da baki biu He has a double-barrelled gun 

Ka ani awaki talatin Give me thirty goats 



ADJECTIVE 65 

Ki kawo mini moda zinaria Bring me a million gold cups 

zambar dubu 

Ina tamaha mutane da suka / think the people who were caught 

kama tare da ni ba su fi ba with me were not more than two 

dari biu ko dari uku or three hundred 

Na gani taguaye biu anyashie / saw two twin children thrown on 

su bisa hainya suna kuka the road crying 

Rakuminmu daia One of our camels 

Su duka biu sun mutu The two of them died 

After such nouns as those compounded with "mai" a 
simple noun may be inserted before the numeral 

Masu-gaskia mutum ashirin da daia Twenty-one righteous men 

When the noun is qualified by both an adjective and a 
cardinal numeral, the numeral may be placed immediately 
after the noun with the adjective next, the latter being 
treated as in apposition to the noun 

Ido-n-sa daia, mai-girima, ga One of his eyes, a large one, was 

tsaka-n-hanchi on the middle of the nose 

Muka tafi da barua - n - Tebib We went with two of Tebib's servants, 

biu, da bara-n-sariki tare da and with the king's servant, lo- 

bawa-n-sa daia, kuruma gether with a slave who was deaf 

Guda. The following are examples of the uses of "guda," 
one 

Guda nawa ? How many ? 

Kwoi guda nawa na sayerua ne ? How many eggs are there for sale ? 

Guda . . . guda One , . . another 

Shi do guda, guda ta tsire (//) he takes one, the other escapes 

Guda guda = daia daia One at a time 

Daia. " Daia," when used correlatively, corresponds with 
the expression "the one . . . the other "- 

Mache daia tana da dukia da- One woman had much property, 
yawa, mache daia tana da the other woman had but little 
dukia kadan property 

" Daia " can also be translated " the same " 

Mu duka muka zamna ga wuri daia We all sat at the same place 
Su duka daia ne They are all the same 



66 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

" Daia " can never be used independently as a noun as 
it may be in English. A concrete noun must always 
be added 

Mutum daia shina kora mutum One man is driving two before 
biu him 

The cardinals can be used as adverbs. 

Ya yi kuka daia. Ya yi kuka He cried out once. He cried out 
biu twice. This is literally He made 

one cry, etc. 
Na ji daia daia / understand a little 

The verb " to be " is used with numerals as follows 

Kurdinsa ba su dayawa ; zam Its price is not much ; it is 
bar dari da hamsin ne 150,000 cowries 

( 100,050 =zambar dari da guda hamsin) 

5. Etymology of Numerals 

Taking the languages of West Africa as a whole, the 
commonest system of numeration is on a base of five, 
more or less disguised or evident, with the higher numbers 
on the basis of twenties (scores). 

The Hausa numeration, on the other hand, is purely 
denary, like several languages to the southward of it and 
to the south-eastward. In Hausa, though the introduction 
of the Arabic has dispossessed many of the purely indigenous 
names, the older names are still used for counting cowries, 
which it is more convenient to deal with in twenties that 
is, the sum of all the fingers and toes, making " one man 
complete." 

The following are the etymologies of most of the 
numerals : 

Daia. Uncertain and difficult to trace, as is the word 
for "one" in very many languages. 

Guda. Compare "gudio" in Doai; "gade" in Bode; 
"gadsi" in Ngodsin. 

Biu. Compare " ful " in Ron ; " vul " in Sura ; " bolo " 
in Bolanchi ; " vuel " in Montol ; " vel " in Ankwe ; " flo " 
in Gurka ; " bab " in Angas. 

Uku. Compare "kun" (" kul ") in Sura "kun" in 
Montol, Ankwe, and Gurka ; " kunu " in Bolanchi, Tangale, 



ADJECTIVE 67 

and Awok; "kwan" in Angas ; "koan" in Ngodsin; 
"akoan" in Bode; "ko" in Doai; "kuji " in Buta. 

Fudu. Compare "fudu" in Ngodsin, Doai, and Bode; 
"fudi" in Buta; "fodo" in Bolanchi ; "pu" in Ron; 
"feir" in Sura; "fer" in Ankwe and Montol; "fier" 
in Angas. 

Biar. Compare " beddi " (" badi ") in Bolanchi ; " pad " 
("pat") in Sura; "pad" in Montol, Ankwe; "pfad"in 
Doai; "fad" in Ngodsin; "pate" in Angas; "puat" in 
Tangale and Awok. 

Shidda. Of Arabic origin. 

Bokoi (bakoi). If the numerals seven and eight, as well 
as sometimes six and nine, are examined in the languages 
mentioned in connection with the foregoing numerals, it 
is found that the following syllables represent " five " : 
Sura, "po"; Bolanchi, "bau," "bo"; Montol, "pa"; 
Ankwe, "po," "pu"; Angas, "po." There is in these 
syllables some similarity to "ba" in "bakoi," but this 
syllable is not found in Hausa in any other numeral. As 
to the second syllable in " bokoi," it seems to have no 
relationship anywhere. 

Tokos. No sure etymology seems to offer itself for this 
numeral either. "To" is the root for "five" in the 
BaNtu languages, and "kos" may be connected with 
"uku." It would require to be explained, though, how 
a BaNtu root should have come in. 

Tar a, . Nothing . 

Goma. Compare "guma" in Ngodsin; "goma" in 
Doai ; " guamo " in Tangale. 

The decades twenty to ninety are all of Arabic origin, 
but little changed. 

Dari is a pure Hausa word. 

Minya and mia. Both of Arabic origin. 

Zangu. Uncertain. 

Metin and metain. Arabic. 

Dubuis also found in Kanuri as "dubu"; "debu" in 
Teda, Bagirmi, Longone, Mandara ; and "thba" in Coptic. 

Alif. Arabic. 

Ziambar. Compare " diomber " in Songhay. 

A Ifin. Arabic. 



68 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



OBDINAL NUMBERS 

The ordinal numbers are formed by prefixing the 
genitive particle to the cardinals, "na" for the masculine, 
"ta" for the feminine (there being no plural), with one 
exception. 

This exception is " the first," and, as is customary in most 
languages, West African included, it is not formed from 
the word " one." In Hausa the word " na-fari " is derived 
from the verb "fara," to begin 

MASC. FEM. ENGLISH 

na-fari ta-fari first 

na-biu ta-biu second 

na-uku ta-uku, etc. third 

As in other West African languages, after "ten," when 
the numerals become compound words, the ordinal form is 
commonly dropped, and the cardinals are reverted to. 

Connected with the ordinal numbers and formed in the 
same way are some adjectives 

MASC. FEM. ENGLISH 

Na-baya ta-baya last 

Na-gaba ta-gaba foremost 

Na-tsaka ta-tsaka middle 

Na-bisa ta-bisa upper 

Na-kasa ta-kasa lower 

Also 

Farko first Karshe last 

Examples of Syntax of Ordinals 

Na zamna ga wurina na-fari / sat down in my place first 

Mutum uku su tashi, biu daga Let three men get up, two of them 

chiki-n-su su dauko rua, na- to draw water, the third one to 

uku-n-su shi nemo itache fetch wood 

Farko-n-dawaki The first of the horses 

Karshe- n-dawaki The last of the horses 

Da sunka ketare daia, biu, a When they had crossed one, two, at 

na-uku sunka issa wuri-n-kasa the third they reached dry land 

Yaro ya yi sukua rakumi so- The boy galloped the camel three 

uku, a na-fudu ya tafo ya times, at the fourth he came, he 

dauki yarinia ya ajieta bisa took up the girl, he put her on 

rakuininsa his camel 



ADJECTIVE 69 

ADVERBIAL NUMBERS OR MULTIPUCATIVES 

These are formed by prefixing to the cardinals "so," 
or, as it is sometimes pronounced, " sau " 

So-daia once So-biu twice So-uku three times 

So-goma ten times So-dari hundred times 

Derivation 

This seems to be the same word as " sau," foot-print or 
sole of the foot, and so in combination with the numerals 
it acquires the idea of a step. Compare the corresponding 
use in Twi of " peng," a stroke ; in Mende " heima," sitting 
down; in Angas " shi," a foot : all of which go to prove 
that " so " is a noun. 

Syntax 

So-daia kuma Once again 

So-nawa ka tafi Sokoto ? Na How often have you been to Sokoto ? 

tafi Sokoto so-uku / have been to Sokoto three times 

Uku-uku biu nawa ke nan ? Twice three are how many ? 

DISTRIBUTIVES 

The distributive numerals are formed by repeating the 
cardinals 

Ya kedaya shilling goma gotna He counted them out by ten shillings 

(Kedaya (S)=kirga (K)) 

Ya bada riguna biar biar ga He gave five cloths to each of the 

yara-n-sariki chief's sons 

Ya aikesu biu biu He sent them two by two 

Ya bada daia daia ga kowane- He gave one to each of them 

n-su 

Kada ka kirga kurdinka shidda Do not count your cowries in sixes 

shidda, kirgasu biar biar count them in fives 

I'.iasn dubu dubu Pay them a thousand each 

Examples akin 

Nawa nawa ? How many each f 

Guda nawa T How many f 

Kwoi guda nawa na saycrua How many eggs are there for sale ? 

ne ? 

Nawa nawa anasayerua T (or How much are they sold for each f 

akesayesda su) 



70 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Nawa anasayesda su ? How much are they (as a whole) ? 

Ni kan ba ma-aikitana kurdi / give my servants two hundred and 

metin da hamsin hamsin fifty cowries each daily 

kwana daia daia 

Massara kurdinsa goma sha bial Indian corn is fifteen cowries a-piece 

sha bial ne kwanaki-n-damana in the wet season 

Doiya guda nawa ka sayo ? Ta How many yams did you buy ? 

dari uku a baki - n - hamsin Three hundred cowries' worth at 

hamsin fifty (cowries each) 

It will be noticed from the above sentences that in 
repeating the numeral to form the distributive idea, if it 
is compound only the latter part is repeated. 

FRACTIONAL NUMBERS 

These are, with the exception of " a half," borrowed 
from the Arabic, and are rarely used. 

" Half " is expressed by " shashi," of which the etymology 
is not known, or "rabi," from "raba," to divide. Each 
of these words may be translated by " a part " instead of 
an exact " half," and this is found to be also the case in 
many other West African languages. 

The fractions of Arabic origin are 

Sulusi a third 

Rubui a fourth, a quarter 

Humusi a fifth 

Sudusi a sixth 

Subui a seventh 

Sumuni or tumuni an eighth 

Tusui a ninth 

Ushuri a tenth 

The plurals are " sulusai," " rubuai," " ushurai," etc. 

All these numbers can be expressed by a circumlocution, 
which is always resorted to for fractional parts smaller 
than a tenth. 

One-eleventh = daia (or guda) chiki-n-goma sha daia 
One-twelfth = daia (or guda) chiki-n-goma sha biu 
One- thirteenth = daia (guda) chiki-n-goma sha uku 
Three-sevenths =subuai uku 

" A tenth " as applied to a tithe or land tax is called 
" zaka." 



ADJECTIVE 71 

Syntax 

Ya bani sashi He gave me half 

Sun bani sashi- n-uku They gave me the third part 

Na raba shi uku, na ba kowa I divided it into three parts, I gave 
rabo-n-sa each his portion. (Note, in this 

the cardinal is used) 
Mun yi tafia shashi-n-rana We travelled half the day 



CHAPTER IV 
THE PRONOUN 

The pronoun is divided into the following classes : 

1. Personal. 

2. Relative. 

3. Demonstrative. 

4. Interrogative. 

5. Indefinite. 

6. Reflexive. 

7. Emphatic. 

8. Reciprocal. 

1. THE PERSONAL PRONOUN 

The personal pronoun shows gender, number, and case. 

(1) Gender. This is distinguished in the 2nd and 3rd 
persons singular only. All the other persons, singular and 
plural, are of common gender. 

(2) Number. The plural pronouns are indicated by 
different words from the singular, and are not formed from 
the singular by the addition of regular plural terminations. 
The 2nd person is, however, possibly an exception. 

(3) Case. The vocative is distinguished in the 2nd 
person singular, as "kai!" masc., "ke!" fern., though 
these are in reality only the disjunctive forms of the 
personal pronoun. The objective case has different forms 
from the nominative in the singular, but not in the plural. 
The genitive case is formed in all persons except the 1st, 
by the use of the preposition "of" "n" ("na") masc., 
" t " (" ta ") fern., with phonetic variation, as a prefix 

72 



PRONOUN 



73 



to the objective form. The 1st person singular has a 
separate form, as will be seen. The dative is formed 
with the preposition "ma" to the objective form. 

Special Uses of the Personal Pronoun 

The 3rd personal pronoun is used in Hausa not only 
as a substitute for the noun, but also as a necessary 
complement to it when nominative. It thus assists to 
identify the gender of the noun. The tense of the 
verb is also dependent upon the pronoun, which takes 
different forms, either with or without the assistance of 
particles. 

Tabular Statement of the Various Forms of Personal Pronoun 



SING. 
1 

2(m.) 
2(f.) 
3(m. 
3(f.) 

PLTT. 
1 
2 
3 

SING. 

1 

2(m.) 
2 .) 

3(m.) 



3(f.) 
PLTT. 
1 



A 

ni, nia 1 
kai 
ke 
shi 
ita 



mu 
ku 

su 



B 
ni 

ka ; kai 

ki 

shi ; sa ; i 

ta 



mu 
ku 
su 



C D 

na na 

ka ka 

ki kin 

ya; i (ye) ya, 

ta ta 



mu 
ku 

su 

F 



kana 
kina 

shina ; yana ; : 
yina, yena 

tana 

Minna 
kuna 
suna 



ka 
kika 
ya, yeka 

ta 



mun 
kun 
sun 

G 

naa, na; ni 

(Sokoto) 
kaa, ka 
kii, k! 

sli ii, shi 

yaa, yfi 

tail, tfl 



munka ; muka 3 muu, mu also 
lima, ML. 

kunka ; kuka kuu, ku also 
kua 

sunka ; suka suu, su also sua, 

sa 



1 " Nia" is interrogative. See under interrogative pronouns. 

2 " Yana " is commonly written, but rare in conversation. 
a " Munka" is of Sokoto origin ; " muka " of Kano origin. 



74 



SING. 
1 

2(m) 
2(f.) 
3(m.) 
3(f.) 

PLTJ. 
1 

2 
3 

SING. 
1 

2(m.) 

2(1.) 

3(m.) 

3(f.) 

PLIJ. 
1 

2 
3 



H I 

-na -ta 

-n-ka- -r-ka ; -1-ka or -t-ka 

-n-ki -r-ki; -1-ki, etc. 

-n-sa ; -n-shi -1-sa ; -1-shi 

-n-ta 1-ta 

-n-mu -1-mu 

-n-ku -1-ku 

-n-su -1-su 

K L 

tawa mani, mini, mana 

taka maka, ma 

taki maki, miki 

tasa ; tai. tashi masa; mashi; 

mis hi ; mai 

tata mata 



nawa 

naka 

naki 

nasa; nashi; nai 

nata 

nainu 
naku 
nasu 

M 

ni na 
kai ka 
ke ki 
shi ya 

ita ta 



tamu 

taku 
tasu 



m a m u ; 
muna : 



m u m u 
mana 



maku ; muku 



masu ; musu 



ku 



mu 

munka 

ku 

kunka 
su 

sunka 



I. "1," "t," "r," are interchangeable for euphony. 

H and I. The copulative may be omitted. 

3rd person " sa " is of Kano origin ; " shi " of Bornu 
origin. Both are in general use, but " i " is more 
commonly heard in Sokoto and Katsina. 

In Kano "mass" is heard for "masa"; "tass" for 
"tasa," etc. 



Uses of Foregoing Forms 

Used in answer to question " who ? " 

Simple form. 



A. Disjunctive. 

B. Objective. 

C. Used with aorist tense. 

D. Used with past tense. 

E. Continuous tense, usually present. It 
special verb construction which is examined 
verb. 

P. Used with narrative perfect tense. 
G. Used with future (i.). 



entails a 
under the 



PRONOUN 



75 



H. Possessive inseparable, when thing possessed is 
masculine. 

I. Possessive inseparable, when thing possessed is 
feminine. 

J. Possessive separable when thing possessed is masculine. 

K. ,, ,. feminine. 

L. Dative. 

M. Reduplicated. 

Example of Possessive Pronoun in Combination with Noun 

Plu. ubanena 
ubanenka 
ubanenki 
ubanensa 
ubanenta 
ubanenmu 
ubanenku 
ubanensu 

uwayena 

uwayenka 

uwayenki 

uwayensa 

uwayenta 

uwayenmu 

uwayenku 

uwayensu 

Notes 

(1) In "uwalka," etc., for "1" with other nouns "r" or 
"t" may be used for euphony. In these forms "n" is 
often substituted for " t " or its variants if the possessor 
is a man. It seems as if there is an objection on the 
part of a man to apply a feminine form to himself, however 
correct gramatically. A similar disinclination is observ- 
able in other languages, as in French when after " son 
excellence" "elle" would be strictly correct, but the 
tendency is to revert to " il " at the first possible 
opportunity. 

(2) Forms without copulative. These are in common 
use, and are a reversion to the statement of the possessive 
phase by words in apposition only, as has been discussed 



My father 


ubana 


ubana 


Your (m.) father 


ubanka 


ubaka 


Your (.) father 


ubanki 


ubaki 


His father 


ubansa 


ubasa 


Her father 


ubanta 


ubata 


Our father 


ubanmu 


ubamu 


Your father 


ubanku 


ubaku 


Their father 


ubansu 


ubasu 


My mother 


uwata 


uwata 


Your (ra.) mother 


uwalka 


uwaka 


Your (t.) mother 


II W. tiki 


uwaki 


His mother 


uwalsa 


uwasa 


Her mother 


uwalta 


uwata 


Our mother 


uwalmu 


uwamu 


Your mother 


uwalku 


uwaku 


Their mother 


uwalsu 


uwasu 



76 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

under the noun. Or it may be that both " n " and " t " 
have been modified for euphony into "r," which after 
long "a" is scarcely heard. 

(3) The possessive pronoun is incorporated in the word, 
and the accent is thus moved to the new penultimate' 
as, "ubanmu," "uwasa," "ubanensu." 

Syntax of Personal Pronouns Nominative 

1. The pronoun agrees with the subject with which it 
is in apposition in person, gender, and number 

Yaro ya gani The boy sees 

Yara ba su gani mutum ba The boys do not see the man 

Mache ta tafo The woman comes 

Mata ba su tafo ba The women do not come 

2. The same rule is observed when there are more than 
two predicates belonging to the same subject. 

Kura ta tafo, ta kawo nama, ta The hycena came, she brought meat, 

bayes ga dianta, da ita kua she gave it to her offspring, and 

ta taba kadan she too tasted a tittle 

Namiji ya kama babe, ya dar- The man caught a locust, he tied it 

ime shi, ya aje up, he laid (it) aside 

3. Two or more nouns in apposition are followed by 
a pronoun in the plural 

Yaroda ubansasuna zuafarauta The boy and his father are going 

(lit., coming) hunting 

Yarinia du uwata, su duka biu, The girl and her mother, both of 
zuchiansu ta bache them, their heart was broken 

The omission of the 3rd personal pronoun is very rare 
except (1) in poetry or proverbs ; (2) before " na," i.e., 
"shina," etc., are shortened to "na"; (3) with the verb 
"to be," "ke" or "ne" 

Yaro-n-nanyache bawa-n-sariki The boy said the chief's slave had 

ke (or shi ke) da doki the horse 

Gama kafirawa kan yerda suabo Because the heathen believe in evil 

(poetic) (non-religion) 

Yarona na da mirda-n-chiki, ba My boy has gripes, he cannot ease 

shi iya baya-n-gida himself 

Wuyana na yi mini zogi My neck hurts me 



PRONOUN 77 

Rashi-n-tuo kan chi wake ak Having no " tuo" one must eat beans 
wana before going to bed (" Tuo " 

is a sort of porridge of guinea 
corn a staple dish.) 

Wani machiji baki na nan A black snake was lying there 
kwanche 

Combination of pronouns 
Mu je da ni Let us go, you and I 

Examples of Syntax of Possessive Pronoun 

INSEPAEABLE 

Diarku Your (plu.) daughter 

Abi-na My thing (i.e., my property) 

Ya-r-uwamu Our sister 

Zuchiata ba ta so ba wari-n-rua (lit., my heart) did not like the smell 

of the water 
Mata-r-wanene ke nan ? Matata Whose wife is this ? She is mine 

che 

Enna abokinka ? Where is your friend ? 

Ka zamna ga hanu-n-damana Sit at my right hand 
Mugu-n-gatarinka ya fi sare ka A bad axe is better than an offer to 

bani (proverb) cut (lit., Your bad axe is better 

than the cutting you give me or 
will do for me) 

Garinsu ba da giritna ba Their town was not large 

Kada ku kafa gida - n - zane - Do not pitch my tent there 

na nan 
Enna matanka ? Where is your wife ? 

Although " mata " is feminine, "n" is commonly used. 
The more correct use is " mata-ka " or " mata-r-ka." If the 
meaning were " Where are your women ? " " mata," being 
the plural of " mache," " n " would be correctly used. As 
will, however, be seen under prepositions, there is a tendency 
to use the masculine form "na" and to ignore the 
feminine. 

SEPARABLE 

Ya tasa His sister 

Ka bani nawa Give me my own 

Ni baka naka / shall give you yours 

Suka che, na wani nc ? ta che They said Whose is it ? She said 
masu, naau duka to them, For all of you 



78 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Mache ta che, yariniata tana da The woman said, my daughter is 
keao, taki ba ta da keao ba beautiful, (but) yours is not 

beautiful 

Akwia nan tawa che The goat is mine 

Gidanga naku ko nasu ne ? Ba 7s this house yours or theirs ? It 
namu ba ne is not ours 

Tamu che It is ours (i.e., a thing of feminine 

gender) 

Kowa ya chi shinkafa-r-ranche Whoever eats borrowed rice it is hit 
tasa ya chi (proverb) own he eats 

Suka tashi da ita da baiwa tata They arose both she and her slave 

Instead of the possessive or genitive case the dative 
may be found 

Chiawa da ka rena ita ta kan The grass you despise may pierce 
tsokane maka idanu (proverb) your eyes 

Plural Possessive Pronouns 

It has been seen that in the adjective there is no 
distinction of gender in the plural number. The same 
applies to the possessive pronouns. Nouns which are 
feminine in the singular are therefore without gender 
in the plural. 

The following examples illustrate this 

Mata tasa His wife 

Mata-n-sa His wife and also his wives 

Dokata My command 

Dokokina My commands 

Kafa tasa His leg 

Kafafu-n-sa His legs 

Mata tasa ta bata amre His wife spoilt her marriage, i.e., 

broke her marriage vows 

Mata-n-sa suka beri shi His wives left him 

Other examples of the possessive pronoun, and some 
of its idiomatic uses, are given under the preposition " na." 
The objective pronoun follows the verb 

Ya ba ni He gave it me 

Ka ba ni dana Give me my child 

Na ba ka / give (it) you 

Sai ya gani kai Until he saw you (with emphasis 

on " you ") 

Na son kai / like you 

Mu kama shi We caught him 



PRONOUN 79 

Muna kama-n-sa We are catching him 

Kura ta bi shi The hycena followed him 

Kura tana bi-n-sa The hycena is following him 

Rana duka ina nema-n-sa, ban All day I am seeking him, I do not 
same sa ba find him 

The peculiar construction that follows the verbal pronoun 
ending in " na " is to be observed. It is more fully 
examined under the verb, but it may be here mentioned 
that a noun form of the verb is produced thereby, which 
requires for its full amplification that a possessive pronoun 
be added. The above sentences are therefore literally 
we (are) of-his-catching, or "on" for "of," etc. 



The objective pronoun 3rd person singular is often 
omitted where it can be readily understood from the 
context, and also in poetry 

Mache ta manche danta chiki-n- The woman forgets her child in the 

daji; kura ta gani, ta dauka, bush; the hycena saw (it), took 

ta kai, ta boye (it), carried (it), (and) hid (it) 

Giso ya dauka sanda-sa, ya aje The spider took his stick, he laid 

kiisa kansa (it) close to his head 

Kawo kori-n-ka, kawo baka-n- Bring your bows and arrows if such 

ka en ta wada ma (ma = maka) are your treasured possessions 

Indirect Object for Direct Object in English 

Ya bada mani = ya ba ni He gave me 

Su bayes garesa = su ba shi They gave him 

This is because these forms of the verb, as shown in 
the chapter on the verb, only admit of an indirect object. 

Combination of Personal Pronouns 

When two pronouns are combined the first is in the 
plural number, and they are connected with " da," and. 
With the exception of the connecting link, this idiom is 
found as far off as the Mende language 

Gobe mu tafi da kai en gani To-morrow you and I will go and see 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



2. RELATIVE PRONOUNS 

Simple form without copulative 
m., f., and plu. da 

,, with copulative 

masc. and plu. -n-da, 

fern. -r-da 

Compound 

masculine wanda 

feminine wadda 

plural wadanda 

The short and the long forms are commonly inter- 
changeable to suit the euphony or emphasis of a sentence. 
In the short form the copulative preposition "n," of, may 
be inserted or omitted, euphony being here also the 
principal influence 

Mutum wanda shina zua or The man who is coming 

Mutume-n-da shina zua 
Mache wadda tana zua or The woman who is coming 

Mache da tana zua 
Mutane wadanda suna zua or The people who are coming 

Mutane-n-da suna zua 
Doki da ya gudu ya fadi or The horse that ran away fell 

Doki-n-da ya gudu ya fadi 

For " abu wanda," the thing which, the abbreviated form 
is the one in common use " abinda." 

Objective Case 

In the objective case a pronoun may or may not follow 
the verb 

Abinda na gani zani fadi or What I have seen I will relate 

Abinda na ganishi zani fadi 
Dakinda ankagina ya rushe jia or The house which was built collapsed 

Dakinda ankagina shi ya rushe yesterday 

jia 
Akwia da ka gani or Akwia-r-da The goat which you saw 

ka gani 



PRONOUN 81 

Addition of Personal Pronoun 

When the relative pronoun is used with a noun in the 
nominative case it is followed by the personal pronoun 
the same as is the simple noun 

Yaro wanda ya gudu The boy that ran away 

Exceptions are found 

Ita che da ke yin hankali ga She it was who was kind to the 
bayi slaves 

Etymology 

A clue to the etymology of the relative pronouns is 
furnished by the optional use of the personal pronoun 
in the objective case in such a sentence as 

Mutum wanda ka nemeshi for The man whom you sought 
mutum wanda ka nema 

In most West African languages the relative pronoun is 
absolutely non-existent, or at least very poorly indicated, 
co-ordinate sentences being universally used. If, there- 
fore, from this analogy " da " be no more than the con- 
junction "and," Hausa furnishes an example of a language 
in which the primitive construction is in use side by side 
with the more advanced which has been developed from 
it. Accordingly, the above quoted sentence can be trans- 
lated in the form in which the objective pronoun is used 
Mutum da ka nemeshi The man and you seek him 

This is also shown in the following sentence 

Da kaya da mu ke da su And the loads which we have 
Mashi - n - nan da na soki The spear with which I pierced 
ubanki da shi your father 

What the " wa " in the longer forms may mean exactly 
is obscure, but it is the same word as is found in the 
lengthened forms of the demonstrative pronouns and in 
the indefinite pronouns. That it has an independent 

F 



82 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

value is seen from studying the action of the genitive 
copulative embodied in the words. 

In "wa-n-da," the masculine form, "n," i.e., "na," 
remains unchanged as it must when following words 
having a masculine meaning. 

In "wa-d-da," "wa" seems to acquire a feminine 
meaning from the word in the feminine gender which 
it follows. The "n" therefore becomes a modification 
of "t," as "1" or "r," etc. "Wadda" is therefore 
derived from " wa-l-da," or " wa-t-da," etc., and the 
intervening additional consonant has the effect of ensuring 
that the vowel of " wa " shall be short as it is in " wadda." 

In the plural, which is of course the same for both 
genders, the same peculiar plural termination " da " is 
found which is also found in the demonstrative pronouns, 
"^adanda" is therefore composed of "wa-da (da=plu. 
suffix) -n-da." 

The plural form "wadanda" is contracted in Katsena 
and Sokoto to " wa'anda," and in Kano and Zaria to 
" wanda." 

Further Examples 

Nominative relative, long form, dependent 

Fada wanda ba ka iya ba amaisai The fight which you find too much 

wasa (prov.) for you turn into play 

Abubua chan wadanda na ga The things that I see moving yonder, 

motsinsu, ko birayi ne ko are they monkeys or dogs ? 

karnuka ? 

Abinda na gani, wanda ya fi In my opinion the best thing for us 

anfani sai niu tail to do is to go 

Objective relative, long form, dependent 

Abinchi wanda shi ke so The food he likes 

Matatai daia wadda ya ke so One of his wives whom he loved 

Ba su kashe mutume nan wanda They do not kill the man who stole 

ya sache doki the horse 

Dambaria ya chainye gutsiata The mouse has eaten my nuts which 

wadda ni ke so-n-chi gobe / wanted to eat to-morrow 

Short form nominative dependent 

Abinda ba naka ba ne, kaka The thing that is not yours how 
zaka bayes T can you give it away ? 



PRONOUN 83 

Short form, objective, dependent 

Wani gari ne da uwaka zata Where is the town to which your 
kaika ? mother is going to take you ? 

Riga-n-da ka bani ta tsofa The. coat which you gave me is old 

Ya tafi gari-n-nan da ya soki He went to that town where he 
sariki ya mutu stabbed the chief so that he died 

Sun goda masa bayinda suka They showed him the slaves which 
kama they had caught 

Ba ni da rakuma da zan baka / have no camels to give you 

Independent form nominative 

Wanda kana yi masa alheri, shi He to whom you do kindness and 

ko, ya kan ki yi - n - godia, he refuses to be grateful is a boor 
butulu ne (prov.) 

Wanda ya sayemu daga Bornu He who bought us in Bornu 

Independent form objective 

Ta basu rua da faraufarau She gave them water which was very 

clear 
Ina so wanda uwaka ta ba ka / want that which your mother gave 

(Sokoto) you 

Ba ni da wanda uwaka ta baka, / have not that which your mother 
sai ina da wanda wana ya bani gave you, I have only that which 

my elder brother gave me 

Mata-m-Bornu aikinsu daia ko As to the women of Bornu there is 
nan wanda na sani one kind of work they do which 

I know 

Two co-ordinates sentences may be substituted for 
the use of the relative 

Ga jirigi, suanene suna chiki ? See that boat, who are in it f for 

Who are in the boat which I see ? 

Use of " mai- " 
Mu masuaiki mugunta We who work iniquity 



3. DEMONSTRATIVE 1*110 NOUN 

The demonstrative pronoun has two forms. One stands 
before the noun and the syllable " wa " enters into its 



84 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



composition ; the other follows the noun and is the same 
word less the " wa." 



FORM STANDING BEFORE THE NOUN FORM FOLLOWING 

MASC. FEM. MASC. FEM. 



-n-nan, n-ga -1-nan, -1-j 
-r-ga 



This wannan wa-nan 

wa-ga, 
wanga wa-r-ga 

These wada-n-nan wada-n-nan -n-nan, -nga -n-nan, -nga 

wadanga wadanga 

That wa-n-chan wa-chan, -n-chan -1-chan, 

wa-r-chan r-chan 

Those wada-n-chan wada-n-chan -n-chan -n-chan 



INDEFINITE PLURAL 
wada wada 



Examples 

This horse wannan doki doki-n-nan 

wanga doki dokinga 

This mare wanan godia-1-nan 

godia godia-1-ga 

waga godia 

These horses wadannan dawaki dawaki-n-nan, 

wadanga dawaki dawaki-nga 

These mares wadannan godiyoyi-n- 

godiyoyi, nan, 

wadanga godiyoyi- 

godiyoyi nga 

That horse wanchan doki doki-n-chan 

doki chan 



Other Examples 

Litafi-n-nan, litafinga CHAN hainya-r-chan 

Mutane-n-nan yaro-n-chan 

Mache-nan 

Mutume-n-nan, mutumenga mutume-n-chan 

Kofalga 

Abi-n-nan abi-n-chan 

Kasanga 



PRONOUN 85 

Etymology 

"Nan," "chan," and "ga" are the equivalents of the 
adverbs " here " and " there." That they are not adverbs 
at all in Hausa may be deduced from their employment. 
They are in fact nouns, and are treated as such. Hence 
the copulative " n " ; so that literally translated 

Litafi-n-nan, litafi-n-ga mean the book of this place 
Litafi-n-chan the book of that place 

Riga-1-chan ,, the coat of that place 

The same construction is in " wa-n-nan," and " wa-n-ga," 
though what "wa" may be precisely requires further 
examination. 

As has been explained under nouns, the copulative may 
be omitted, leaving the two nouns in apposition. Hence 
the following equivalents are equally correct 

Wanan for wannan Litafi nan for litafi-n-nan 

Riga chan for riga-1-chan 

When it sounds better the copulative is commonly 
omitted. 

The fact that " nan " and " chan " are nouns is further 
borne out by their uses with predicates. 

" Shina nan." He is at this place. Compare " shina 
gida." He is at home. It is to be noted that whenever 
a verb has to be placed after the pronoun ending in " na," 
the verb becomes a substantive. This is explained under 
the verb. 

That " nan " is not an adverb of place is still further 
borne out in the phrase "shi ke nan," so it is. 

These words " nan " and " chan " are probably in them- 
selves compound words. The parts "na" and "cha" 
represent present and distant position. " N " is a 
formative suffix of some kind. It may be connected with 
the locative suffix of Kanuri, also "n," or it may be the 
preposition " n," of, with a somewhat different usage. 
That the final "n" is variable and separable is borne 
out by one example " miji-nal-mata " in a poem called 
"Mutane zina " (footnote given in Charlton's "Hausa 
Reading Book"). 



86 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

From the foregoing it can be seen that any change for 
gender depends on the copulative alone, but in the long 
forms "wanga," "wa-ga," or "wa-r-ga" it is not quite 
apparent why/ there should be any change, as the gender 
of the copulative depends upon the unchanged preceding 
syllable or word "wa." 

Remarks on Usages, etc. 

The longer are naturally more emphatic than the shorter. 

" Nga " is a dialectic variation of " nan." 

" Wanga," " waga" are Sokoto and Zanfara forms. 

"Wainen" (masc.) and "wai'en" (fern.) are Katsina 
forms of " Wannan," etc., to which place they are rather 
strictly confined. 

" Wankai " is a Zaria form for " wanchan," without 
inflection for gender used by the " talakawa Zaria." 

Examples of Syntax 

Wannan mutum talaka ne This man is poor 

Ki koiya mani waka nan Teach me that song 

Yaronga shina *yin fada That boy is fighting 

Whilst "chan" expresses strongly distance "nan" is 
commonly indefinite. 

Dokinga nika ba na iya sayinsa This horse of yours I cannot buy it 

Ba na so-n-chi-n-tuo-n-nan / cannot eat that food 

Masu-kaya biunga su sake ka- These two carriers have changed 

yansu their loads 

In the translation of the Lord's Prayer " nan " is given 
an emphatic use, as, " Ka ba niu rananga abinchi-n-yao 
da gobe." Give us this day our daily bread. 

Mu wadanan uku anhaifc mu ga We three were born at the same 

gari daia place 

Da ya tashi dawuri wadanan Had he started early the horsemen 

masudawaki dfi ba su tar- would not have overtaken him 

sheshi ba 

(In the last sentence " wadanan " is essentially weak.) 




PRONOUN 87 

Abubua nan These things 

Yaranga suna yi-n-fada Those boys are fighting 

Ya rasulu allahi deddi fadi shi prophet! it wa/ God's saying of 

ke wada suka kada maulana old that those 'who despised the 

master 

Mu gani kaka aboki nan n?wa We see how this* my friend if he 

en ya zo ya ji tsoro comes will be afraid 

Kurdi kadan nan ne This money is not enough (is small) 

Na baka dia nan tawa / give you this my daughter 

In many of its usages the demonstrative "nan" has 
very little demonstrating power as regards place. It is 
more easily translated by the definite article in English. 

In this way some compensation is made for an apparent 
deficiency in the Hausa language. In Kanuri it is also 
found that a weakened demonstrative does duty for a 
definite article. 

Mutume-n-nan da ya manche The man who forgot his stick has 

sandansa ya dawoyo come back 

Ta dauki hazi nan She took the millet 

Labaringa ke nan (Sokoto) This is the news 
Labarin ke nan (Kano and Zaria) 

Abinnan yana wurina The thing is with me 

Amma Bitrus ya tashi tsaye But Peter stood up with the eleven 

tare da goma sha daia-n-nan 



Correlatives 

" Wannan . . . wannan " and " -nan . . . -nan " ; are 
equivalent to " this . . . that " 

Ka so wannan litafi ko wannan 1 Do you like this book or that ? ( 
Wannan and nan for wannan . . . wannan 

Wannan ba nan ba ni ke so This not that I want 

Wannan mutum ba nan ba ni / want this man, not that 



ke so 



Other Examples 



En wannan ba ya yi maka dadi // this does not please you, perhaps 

ba, halama wanchan ya yi that will 

Zabua nan ta yi kwoi goma sha This guinea fowl laid thirteen eggs 

uku bar ta dena, wachan ma and has ceased ; that one how- 

tana nema-n-guribi ever is seeking a place to lay in 



88 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Wannan can be used independently as a noun 

Wannan ya kare This has finished 

Wannan ba na so shi ba This (man) I do not like him 

Wannan ne wayo da na baki This is the advice which I give you 

Wannan barao ne This is a thief 

Wannan namiji ba mache ne This is a male not a female 

Wanene wannan a kof a-r-dakina Who is that at the door of my 

house ? 

FINAL "N" 

It may here be noticed that a final "n" is sometimes 
added to nouns, especially at the end of a phrase or sentence. 
It is not a firmly expressed "n," and is somewhat nasal. 
It is possibly primarily euphonic, but it commonly has 
the effect of expressing emphasis, and so puts the noun 
into the definite state, or, in other words, it has the effect 
of the definite article. Its use is optional. 

This final "n"was not recognised by the older writers 
on Hausa, possibly because it is more commonly used in 
the centres of the Hausa country to which they had not 
access, and because it is more apparent in writing than 
in speaking. 

As it is a detail of the language that has received much 
discussion of late, it may be here stated that a not 
dissimilar use of "n" is found in at least one other 
West African language. In far distant Temne, for in- 
stance, "ng" occurs at the end of some pronouns and 
adverbs to make a convenient termination when they 
are used at the end of a preposition or absolutely. 
Also as an extension of this use it expresses emphasis. 
It is, however, quite distinct from the article which is 
a prefix in that language. If, therefore, this use of "n" 
exists in one other language besides Hausa, there will 
undoubtedly be found other languages which have a 
similar practice. 

This "n" in Hausa is not to be confused with the 
preposition "of." The latter is often written at the end 
of a noun when in reality it is connected with the 
noun that follows. Writing it attached to the first of 
two nouns is merely a convention. It must, however, 



PRONOUN 89 

be added that in some instances it is hard to say whether 
the "n" is really the preposition or the special "n" 
here referred to 

Uban ya che da keao The father said, all right 

Ya che da uban He said to the (or his) father 

Ya fita a garin He left the town 

Daga bayan Musa ya yi yaki After this (or behind them) Musu 

made war 

Ban sami maganin ba / did not find the medicine 

Duka garin ba mache maikeao In the whole town there was no 

kama tata woman as beautiful as she 

Ya tafo ga wurin enda machiji He went to the place where the snake 

shi ke was 

Ya che da matan kun gama aiki- He said to the women, have you 

n-abinchin ? finished preparing the food ? 

Mutumen ya che da sariki The man said to the chief 

With Words other than Nouns 

Domin ta hanbare ka ga addini That it may kick you away from 

religion 

Ku yi abinchi " iri-iri " kamin Make ready every kind of food 
en zo before I come 

Examples of the absence of final " n " are numerous 
in this grammar. 

4. INTERROGATIVE PRONOUN 

The following pronouns are used in asking questions : 
Independent Forms 



SINGULAR PLURAL 




MASC 


FEM. MASC. 


FEM 


Who, which 
What 


wa, 
wane, 
wanene 
mi, 


wa, 
wache, 
wacheche 


suwa, 
suwane, 
suwanene 




mine. 








minene 










Attached Forms 




Which 


wane 


wache 


wadane 



Etymology. The longer forms are made up with the 
masculine and feminine forms of the verb " to be " suffixed 



90 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

to "wa" and duplicated in the longest forms for 
emphasis. 

Plural. The plural of the independent forms is made 
by the personal pronoun " su," they, prefixed to the stem 
" wa." This use of "they" to form the plural of nouns, etc., 
is found in other languages in West Africa, and is dis- 
cussed in the chapters on the plural and the pronoun in 
" The Languages of West Africa." 

Independent Forms. When used independently before a 
verb they require the 3rd personal pronoun as if they 
were nouns. Where the latter is omitted the reasons 
are the same as those given for the nouns under personal 
pronouns. 

Examples of Syntax 

(MASCULINE FORMS) 

Wa ke chan ? or Wane ke chan ? Who is there ? 

Wa ka ke ? or Wane ka ke ? Who are you ? 

Kai wanene ? Who are you ? 

Wa ya yi wannan ? Who has done this ? 

Wane ya yi wannan ? Who has done this ? 

Mutume-n-nan, wanene ? Who is this man? 

En ji wa Let me hear who! i.e , who says 

so ? This is in answer to the 
summons, " wai ka zo," you are 
told to come 

Wanene wannan ? Who is this ? 

Wanene chiki-n-su ? Which of them ? 

Wanene (or wane) shina iya Who can buy it ? 

saiyensa ? 

Chiki-n-ku wa ke zua farauta da Which of you is coming hunting 

ni ? with me ? 

Wa ya fada maka labari nan ? Who has told you this news ? 

Wane maikiddi ? Who is the drummer ? 

Wa je shiga rijia ? Who will enter the water-hole ? 

Dan wanene 8onof"who-is-it"; son of so-and-so 

Wa ke da litafi-n-sariki ? Who has the chief's book? 

Wanene na ku duka ya chainye Which of you has eaten all the 

nama duka ? meat ? 

It will be noticed from the foregoing examples that the 
different forms " wa," " wane," and " wanene "are largely 
used to suit the euphony of the sentence. 



PRONOUN 91 

The following are all equally correct 

Wa ya che maka haka ? \ 

Wane ya che maka haka ? I Who said so to you ? 

Wanene ya che maka haka ?J 

Of these the first and the third are said to be the 
commonest except in Zaria. 

The difference between them depends on no more than 
the pleonastic insertion of the verb " to be," which can also 
be done in English, as, Who said so to you, or, Who is 
it that said so to you ? 

Idiomatic Use of " wane " 



is it, may be used as a substantive in 
the sense of " so-and-so "; as 

Enna wane ? Where is so-and-so ? This is liter- 

ally Where is " who -is -it" ? the 
name not being known. 

The corresponding word to " wane " in respect to things 
is "kaza " 

Na bashi abu kaza / give him such-and-such a thing 

Muka yi kaza da kaza We did thus and thus 

Independent Forms, Feminine 

Wacho che chan ? Who is there ? 

Wache ta yi wannan ? Who has done this ? 

Wache chiki-n-su ? Which of them ? 

Mache nan, wache che ? Who is this woman ? 

Wacheche mache tafari ? Who was the first woman ? 

Independent Forms, Plural 

Suwa kc chan ? suwane ke Who are there ? The latter is the 

chan ? more harmonious. 

Suwanene ? Who are they ? 

Wadanan mutanc, suwancnc ? Who are these men ? 

The following is an irregular usage 

Wane mutane ku nan ? Who are these men 

(NOTE. Miller writes " woni.") 



92 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Independent Form applied to Things 



NO RENDER AND NO PLURAL 



Mi ya fadi ? Mine ya fadi ? 

Minene ya fadi ? 

Kana yi-n-mine ? 

Minene wannan ? 

Mine ya sa ka zo ? 

Minene shina chi tumaki-na ? 

Mine da Engliz ? 

Fada mani minene su ? 

Mi ya faru ? 

Mi zani yi yao ? 

Minene wani abin-nan ? 

Gudu-n-mi ki ke yi ? 

Kuka-n-mi ku ke yi 



What did he say ? 

What is it he said ? 

What are you doing ? 

What is this ? 

What has made you come ? 

What is it that destroys my sheep ? 

What is it in English ? 

Tell me what they are ? 

What has happened ? 

What shall I do to-day ? 

What is that other thing ? 

What are you running away for ? 

What are you shouting for ? 



Forms coupled with the Noun Masculiue Singular 



Wane mutum ya gudu ? 
Wane yaro shi ke da hima ? 

Wane launi tsuntsu shi ke da 

shi? 
Wane lokachi ya zo ? 

Wane mutum ke nan wanda 

akakama jia ? 
Wane iri-n-hali garesa ? 
Wane lokachi ne yanzu ? 



Which man has run away ? 
Which is the diligent boy ? lit., 

Which boy he is with diligence 
What colour is the bird f 

What time did he come ? or 

When . . .? 
Who is the man that was caught 

yesterday ? 

What sort of character has he ? 
What is the time now ? 



Here " wane " is masculine to agree with " hali." If a 
feminine word is substituted for "hali," "wane" takes 
the feminine form. 

An exception as to agreement occurs with the word 
"iri," kind, in the phrase " what kind of." To all intents 
and purposes its existence is ignored as to gender, and it 
is treated as part of the interrogative pronoun itself 



Wane iri-n-mutum ? 
Wache iri-n-mache ? 
Wadane iri-n-mutane 



What kind of man ? 
What kind of woman ? 
What kind of men f 



PRONOUN 93 



Forms coupled with the Noun Feminine Singular 

Wache yarinia ta ke da hima ? Which girl is diligent ? 

Wache hainya ya tafi ? Which road has he gone ? 

Wache mache che wanan What woman is this that comes ? 

wadda ta zo ? 

Wache iri-n-fitila ke nan ? What sort of lamp is this ? 

Mutum maidukia, wache iri-n- As regards a rich man, what kind 

riga shi kan sa ? of dress does he put on ? 



Form joined to the Noun, Plural 

Wadane mutane ke nan ? What men are these ? 

or 

Wadanan mutane, suanene ? What men are these ? 

Wadane mata suna kuka ? Which women are screaming ? 



Possessive Interrogative Pronoun 

This is formed by putting "na," of, before the inter- 
rogative pronoun. 

If standing alone the longer forms are used " na- 
wane ? " " na-wanene ? " " na -wache ? " etc. 

If accompanied by a noun the short form is commonly 
used, " n-wa " following the noun. 

If the object possessed is feminine the preposition " n " 
becomes " 1," etc., as with nouns. 

In the plural, " -n-wa " is found, of course, irrespective 
of gender 

Na-wanene ya bache ? Whose is lost ? 

Doki-n-wanene ke nan? or Whose horse is this? 

Doki-n-nan na wanene ? 

Doki-n-wa ke nan ? 

Dia-r-wacheche ki ko ? Whose daughter are you ? 

Dia-l-wa ki ke ? ,, 

Dia-t-wa ki ko ? 
Yaya-n-wa sunka yi worigi nan ? Whose children have played here ? 

Mata-n-wa ta kawa gishiri ? Whose wife was turned into salt ? 



94 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Ban sani ba na wanene 
Tumaki-n-wa ke nan ? 



I do not know whose 
Whose sheep are these ? 



Interrogative 1st Personal Pronoun 

The 1st personal pronoun has a special interrogative 
form. It is chiefly used in answer to a question. 



Nia? 

Nia na fada maka ? 

Nia che ? 



Is it I ? 

Is it I who said so ? 

Is it I ! (fern.) 



5. INDEFINITE PRONOUNS 



SINGULAR 



Someone, something, a wani wata 

certain person or thing. 

Used adjectivally and 

pronominally 

Another wani wata 

Any one, every one, each kowa, kowa, 

one. Used as a pronoun kowane, kowache : 

kowaneno kowachechc 
Any, every. Used as an kowane kowache 

adjective, and it pre- 
cedes the noun 
Anything, everything komi,. 

whatsoever it be, what- komine . 

soever kominene 



PLURAL 
BOTH GENDERS 

wadansu, 
wansu, wasu 



wadansu 



It will be noticed that the indefinite pronouns which are 
composed with the particle " ko " have the same forms 
as the interrogative pronouns 



So-and-so 

Such and such a thing 

The one . . . the other 

Some . . . others 

No one 

No one ivho 

Nothing 



wa ne 

kaza 

wani . . . wani wata . . 

wasu . . . wasu wadansu 

ba kowa, babu kowa 

ba wanda, babu wanda 

ba komi, babu komi 



wata 

. . wadansu 



PRONOUN 95 

"Kowane " is combined with the plurals of the personal 
pronouns 

Kowane-n-mu 
Kowane-n-ku 
Kowane-n-su 

FEMININE 

Kowache-n-mu each of us 

Kowache-n-ku each of you 

Kowache-n-su each of them 

In the same way that the particle "ko" is prefixed 
to the interrogative pronouns to form the indefinite 
pronouns, it may further be prefixed to certain adverbs 
taking away their interrogative force and substituting an 
indefinite or distributive idea 

Enna ? where Koenna anywhere, everywhere, wherever 

Yaushe ? when Koyausho at any time, always, whenever 

Yanzu now Koyanzu even now, immediately 

Kaka ? how ? Kokaka anyhow however 

It is to be noted that attached to "yanzu" which has 
not an interrogative force, "ko " has a different force also. 

Gender and Number 

Gender and number are but secondary considerations 
in the indefinite pronouns, especially when used as 
substantives. 

Kowa, etc., pronominal 

Kowa ya sani sarki Every one knows the chief 

Akoi kowa chiki-n-daki ? Is there any one in the house ? 

Kowa ya gane shi Somebody has seen him 

Kowa ya zo nan gobe, en yi Any one who comes here to-morrow, 

masa keauta / will give him a present 

Kada ka fadi ga kowa, kadan na Do not tell any one, if I hear you 

ji ka fadi ga wani ina buganka have told any one I will beat you 

Kowa ba shi ganc shi ba No one has seen him 

Babu kowa chan There is no one there 

Ba kowansu (Sokoto) Not one of them 

Ba kowa achikinsu (Zaria) 

Kowane ya tafi hainya dabam Each one went a different road 

Kowane-n-mu Each of us 

Kowache ta tafi hainyanta Each woman went her way 

Kowane da zaya zo nan gobe en Whoever comes here to-morrow 1 

yi masa keauta will give him a present 



96 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Kowane, etc., adjectival 

Kowane yaro ya tafi hainya Each boy went a different, road 

dabam 

Kowache yarinia ta tafi hain- Each girl went her road 

yanta 

Kowache safia anadada muna Each morning blessings are added 

albarka to us 

Examples of Syntax 

Wani, etc., adjectivally 

Wani mutum ya yi karia Some man has lied 

Wata mache ta yi karia Some woman has lied 

Wasu mutane sun yi karia Some men have lied 

Mu rubuta magana - n - wani Let us write the story of a man, 

mutum da na ji daga Bornu which I heard in Bornu 

Ban tafi wani wuri ba / did not go anywhere 

Doki-n-wani mutum ya mutu Some one's horse is dead 

Nan garin dai, ba wani mai- Here in this town, indeed, there was 

saida zuma sai wane no one sold honey except so-and-so 

Wani, pronominally 

Masallachi nan, akwoi wani That mosque, is there any one in- 

achiki ? Aa, ba kowa side ? No, no one 

Ni koiya ga wadansu / shall teach others 

Wani ya tafo daga Hadija Some one has come from Hadija 

W a ni = another, others adjectivally 

Babu wani sarki dunia There is no other king in the world 

Wata rana Another day 

Wani, another, pronominally 

Naka ba ya fi na wani ba Yours is not heavier than any other's 

Ni koiya ga wadansu I shall teach others 

Use of wani in singular for plural (Sokoto) 

Wani mutane ya tafi gari-n- Some people went to the country 
Bauchi tari tari of Bauchi in large numbers 

Komi, etc. 

Akoi komi chiki-n-rami I Is there anything in the hole ? 

Ya fadi komi am ma ban ji ba He said something but I did not 

hear 

Komine ta roko Allah, Allah Whatever it was she asked God, 

ya bata God gave her 

Komi da ka bani ni ke so Whatever you give me I like it 

Komi ka yi na BQ Whatever you do I like it 



PRONOUN 97 

Abinda ka ke yi duka . . . Whatever you do . . . 

Babu komi chiki-n-rami Nothing in the hole 

Ba shi fadi komi ba He said nothing 

Ba shi yi maki komi He will do you no harm 

Sarikin Kano ya fada masu babu The chief of Kano said nothing to 

komi them 

Ba su che ba komi They did not say anything 

Ba ya beri komi sai gasusuka He left nothing but the feathers 

Wa-ne 
This is literally " Who is it ? " 

Enna wane ? Where is what's his name ? 

Ya che, daga gari sarakin wane He said (/ come from) the country 

of King Somebody. (" King " 

is in plural) 

Wani . . . wani, etc. 

Wani farke ya tafi Kano, wani One trader goes to Kano, one to 

ya tafi Sokoto Sokoto 

Wata mache ta yi daria, wata One woman laughed, the other cried 

ta yi kuka 

Wadansu suna chi-n-nama, wad- Some eat meat, others do not eat it 

ansu ba su clii ba 

Wadansu mutane suna kiwo Some mind camels, others work the 

rakuma, wadansu suna noma farms 

Sundry Negative Idioms (see also under Adverbs) 

Ba abinda babu There is nothing short 

Babu daiansu. Babu daia Not one of them 
chikinsu 

Ba wanda for ba kowa 

" Wanda," the relative pronoun, is made use of instead 
of "kowa" in negative sentences. Such short sentences 
as " Ba kowa chan," etc., are exceptions. With a 
dependent sentence " ba wanda " is used. 
Ba wanda zaya yi shi sai ni No one shall do it but me 

Here " ba kowa " would be quite incorrect. 

"Ba kowa" may be translated by "nobody," but "ba 
wanda ya " = " there is no one who." In the latter 
phrase in both English and Hausa there is a relative 
idea instead of two co-ordinate sentences 

Babu wanda ya san' shi There was no one knew him 

Abinda fadawa sun fadi ba What the king's council orders no 
wanda shi ke da iko shi sake one has the power to change 

Q 



98 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



6. REFLEXIVE PRONOUN 

The reflexive pronoun is formed with the aid of the 
noun "kai," head. 



Kaina 

Kainka 

Kainki 

Kainsa 

Kainta 

Kainmu 

Kainku 

Kainsu 



or kanka 
or kanki 
or kansa 
or kanta 
or kanmu 
or kanku 
or kansu 



myself 
yourself (m.) 
yourself (f.) 
himself 
herself 
ourselves 
yourselves 
themselves 



Examples of Syntax 



So kainka, wani ya kika; ki 

kainka wani ya soka 
Ba ya kula da kainsa ba, ya sa 

kainsa (or ya maida hanka- 

linsa) garin cheton wadansu 
Ya bata kansa 
Ta gamu da kuda suna dafa 

kansu 



Love yourself, others will _hate you ; 

hate yourself, others will love you 
He cared not for himself but he set 

himself to save others 

He destroyed himself 
She met some flies who were cook- 
ing for themselves (story) 



7. EMPHATIC PRONOUN 

These are, similarly to the reflexive pronouns, formed 
with "kai," head, with the addition of the preposition 
"da," with 

Ni dakaina / myself 

Kai dakainka or kai dakanka you yourself (m.) 

Ke dakainki or ke dakanki you yourself (f.) 

Shi dakainsa or shi dakansa he himself 

Ita dakainta or ita dakanta she herself 
Mu dakaimu or mu dakainmu or mu dakanmu we ourselves 

Ku dakainku or ku dakanku you yourselves 

Su dakainsu or su dakansu they themselves 

The objective forms of the foregoing only differ in 
the 2nd singular and 3rd feminine singular, which are 
"ka dakainka," "ki dakainki," "ta dakainta." 



PRONOUN 99 

In syntax the personal pronoun follows the foregoing 
when it is the subject of the verb 

Ni dakaina na tali 

Ke dakainki ki ke da laifi 

Ko ni dakaina sai ina tafia ga 

kafata 
Su dakansu ba su so su sha- They themselves did not like to 

rua nan drink of that water 

"Kadai," only, alone, is also used with the personal 
pronoun. Possibly " kadai " is derived from " kai," 
head, and "daia," one 

Ni kadai / alone 

Kai kadai you alone, (in.) 

Ko kadai you alone (f.) 

Shi kadai he alone 

Ita kadai she alone 

Mu kadai we alone 

Ku kadai you alone 

Su kadai they alone 



8. RECIPROCAL PRONOUN 

There is only one reciprocal pronoun, " juna." 

It is unchanged for gender or number. 

With the past tenses "juna" often stands alone at 
the end of the sentence, but with present and future 
tenses it is joined with the personal pronouns plural by 
"n" or by "da," sometimes also by "ga." 

" Juna " alone 

Sun fada juna They spoke together 

Sabada girimansu ba su iya They cannot pass each other on 
wucho juna account of their size 

With "n" 

Ba su so juna-n-su ba They do not love each other 

Muna yi-n-fada juna-n-inu We are fighting amongst ourselves 

Zaku yi-n-fada juna-n-su They will fight amongst themselves 



100 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



With "da" 



Mun yi murna da juna 
Zaku yi-n-fada da juna 
Muna soyeya da juna-mu, gama 
kowa yana ba abokinsa gaskia 



We rejoiced with one another 
You will fight with one another 
We are at fellowship with each 

other because each trusts his 

friend 



With "ga 



Suna raba kurdi ga junansu 



They divide 
themselves 



the money among 



CHAPTER V 
THE VERB 

PART I 
DERIVATION 

There are in Hausa primitive and derived verbs. 

The origin of the former cannot be ascertained from the 
language itself. Amongst them are such verbs as " chi," 
eat; "sha," dnnk; "ji," hear. 

Derived verbs are formed in a variety of ways. It is 
always by the addition of a suffix, either with or without 
some modification of the stem, never by means of a 
prefix. 

Class 1 

An indeterminate root receives a final vowel expressing 
rest, or motion to, or motion from, as 

Dauki, take up ; dauko, take up and give me ; dauka, lake up and 
take away. 

Kawo, carry to me ; kai, carry or carry away. 

Class 2 
Suffix "ta " to form verbs from nouns, as 

Tsorata, to frighten one, from " taoro," fear. 
101 



102 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Class 3 

Reduplication to form frequentative or intensitive verbs, 
as 

Buge-buge, from " buga," strike. 

Or by part reduplication, as 

Raraba, scatter, from "raba," divide. 



To an indeterminate root " che " or " ta " is added, the 
former having rather present and future meanings, and 
being frequently intransitive, and the latter having a past 
meaning and a transitive sense, as 

Manche and manta, to forget. 

Glass 5 

Certain primitive verbs take a number of suffixes. There 
is practically little or no change of meaning attached, but 
they have special uses, and may change the verb from a 
transitive one to an intransitive one, and vice versa. As 
each form can be conjugated, they can be treated as 
separate verbs as much as are the verbs in Class 1. 

The suffixes in question are : " -da," " -shi," " -yes," 
" -s," " -sda," as 

Ba, bada, bashi, bayes, bayesda, to give. 
Zuba, zubas, zubasda, to pour. 

Class 6 

"Nye" may be added together with some slight 
modification of the vowel of the root. It is an intensitive 
particle. 

Chi, to eat ; chainye, to devour. 

Class! 

A noun is seldom used as a verb, but many 
verbs in English can only be translated into Hausa 



VERB 103 

by the use of a noun with "yi," make, or "ji," hear, 
feel. 

Yi girima, to grow, lit., make greatness. 

Ji dadi, to be pleased, lit., feel happiness or sweetness. 

Class 8 

Some derived verbs are nouns without change of form, 
but it is always doubtful whether to assume that the verb 
is derived from a noun or that the noun is derived from 
a verb 

Man, a blow or to strike. Tashi, rising or to rise. 
So, love or to love. 

Class 9 

To some verbs, but not all, the termination " -a " may 
be added, the stem being unchanged. A sort of present 
participial form is so produced, but though this form may 
be translated as a verb in English it is in reality a noun, 
and has, accordingly, been treated as such. See under 
derived nouns, Class 8. 

This termination may be written as " wa " after "a," 
"e," "o," "u," and "ya" after "i." 



Derived Verbs- Class 1 

The terminal vowels are modified to indicate change of 
meaning. 

" A " = motion from the speaker. The accent is on the 
last syllable. 

"0"=motion to the speaker. The accent is on the 
last syllable. 

" I," "e," or " u " = indicate rest or uncertain direction, 
but they are also interchanged for euphony. 

Not by any means all verbs in the Hausa language 
admit of these change of vowels. A knowledge of those 
that do can only be acquired by practice. 

This use of the termination " u " must not be confused 



104 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

with the passive form, which will be explained in its 
proper place. 

When the pronoun has the termination "na" it is 
generally found that the verb ends in "a" also. (See 
under this tense in chapter on verb.) 

The following are examples of the foregoing changes 
applied to a certain number of verbs 

Buga, strike 

Ya bugi yaro He struck the boy 

Bugi yaro ! Hit the boy ! 

Ya huge shi He beat him 

Na huge duchi / struck a stone 

Buga shi ! Beat him ! 

Na buga kafata ga duchi / struck my foot against a stone 

ina bugu-n-yaro I am beating the boy 

Ina bugu-n-sa (or bugu-n-shi) I am beating him 

Buga kofa 1 Knock at the door 

The termination " o " does not seem to occur with this 
verb. In all the examples of " buga " given above it is 
seen that the sense of direction scarcely applies. It must 
therefore be assumed that the variations are all for 
euphony, which will be apparent if an attempt be made 
to use the wrong vowel. 

Dauka, take 

Dauki I Take it ! 

Dauki riga ! Take the cloth 

Na dauke ta I took it 

Dauka ta ! Take it ! 

Ya dauka kaya He took up the load 

Zani dauka-1-riga / am going to take the cloth 

Dauko ! Take and bring it here 

Dauko shi ! Take it down 

Ya dauke shi He took it up 

Dauke su ! Take them away ! 

Ku dauki kaya Take up your loads 

Dauki sabuni mai-issa Take enough soap 

Same. 

Ya sami riga He received the cloth 

Sami riga Accept the cloth 

Na same shi I have received it 



VERB 



105 



Sama ta ! 
Na samu doki 
Na samu mutane 



Accept it ! 

I have received the horse 

I found the men 



(" Hainya ta samu," there is a road, or the road is found, or now exists. 
This is the passive verbal form, and has no connection with the 
scale of vowels indicating direction, etc.) 



Mi ya same ka 
Komi ya sama se 
Ba ya samu ya shiga 
Ya samu wata guda 
Na samu rongomi, na 
dama, na samu sanki 



What is the matter with you 
Whatever befalls him 
He could not enter 
He spent one month 
I feel better 



Kama 



Na kame doki 

Na kama yaro a bisa doki 

Kama ! 

Kamo ! 

Ya kama hainya 

Ba ni kama 

Ya kamu kifi 

Kifaye nawa munka kamo ? 

Daga gari nan kishirua ta kamo 

mutane 
Ku mayes mamu rakumamu da 

kuka kamu 



/ caught the horse 

I caught the boy on the horse 

Catch it and go ! 

Catch it and come I 

He took his road 

I would not believe (it) 

He caught the fish 

How many fish have we caught ? 

In that land thirst seized the people 



Damre 



Na damre kaya 

Na damra fit ila a bisa kaya 

Adamra siliyu dama hauni 

(poetic) 
Andamre kaya duka ? 



/ tie the load 

I tie the lamp on the load 

Chains shall be bound on their 

right and left hands 
Are all the loads tied up ? 



Komo 



Komo 1 
Koma 1 

Ya koma daki-n-sa 
Ya komo dakina 
Tun ba akoma ba 
En in 11 komo mu futa rana daia, 
kana mu tafi su 



Come back ! 
Oo back I 

He has returned to his house 
He has come back to my house 
Until there is no return 
When we come back we will rest 
one day, then we will go fishing 



" Komo," " koma," being radically verbs of motion, it is 
not possible for them to take the terminations "i," "e," 



106 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

or " u " ; and the same applies to other verbs which 
cannot be dissociated from any idea of motion : 

Dawoyo 

Dawoyo ! Return here ! 

Dawoya ! Return there I 



Gudu! 
Gudo! 
Kadda ka gudu ! 



Gudu 



Fita 



Ya fita da shi He went off with it 

Bana ta fita The sun has risen 

Ya fita nagari He has turned out well 

Fito ! Come out I 

Enda rana ta ke fitowa Where the sun comes out from 

Nema, seek 

Bawana ya tafi nema-n-yaro, My slave has gone to look for the 

ba ya same shi ba, kai ka tafi boy. He has not found him. 

ka nemo shi Do you go and look for him 

Suka che ku nemo masa mache They said find a wife for him 

Aiki, send 

Na aiki wani Kano / have sent some one to Kano 

Na aiko wani nan / sent some one here 

Ya aikoni He sent me here 

Ya aikini He sent me there 

Sariki ya aiko agaishe ka The chief has sent to salute you 

Koiya, teach Koiyo, learn 
Allah shi koiya muna hainyansa May God teach us His way 

Fada, tell 

Ya fada mani He told me 

Ya fadi gaskia He spoke the truth 

Muna fadi, ba mu boiye ba We tell you, we do not hide it 

Kun ji fa, mun fadi ... Do you listen, we say . . . 

Fadi, fada, fall 
Ya fado daga bisa doki He fell off the horse 



Sayo 



VERB 

Sayt, to buy, sell, barter 
Sell to me 



107 



Wanke, wash 
Wanko Wash and bring it back 

Rubutu, write 
Ya che ya iya rubutu, ya rubuta He said he could write ; he wrote 

The following are some other verbs that admit of 
these changes 



Aje (azhe) 


azha 




put 


Beri 




bero 


leave 




fesa 


feso 


spit 




issa 


isso 


reach 




jefa 


jefo 


throw 




fa ma 


gamo 


meet 


Karbi 


arba 


karbo 


receive 


Rufe 


rufa 




cover 




sapka 


sapko 


alight 




shiga 


shigo 


enter 


Tafi 




tafo 


go, come 


Ture 


tura 




thrust 



Some verbs appear in longer forms owing to the final 
vowel not being changed 

Bi biyo follow 

ja jawo draw, towards 

Kai kawo carry, bring 

Kiraye kira kirawo call 

Je (zhe) za-(-pronoun) zo go, come 



Derived Verbs Class 2 

Suffix " ta " to nouns. These verbs are few in number 

Tsorata to frighten one from tsoro fear 

Taurata to harden oneself tauri hardness 

Shaworata to hold a consultation ,, shawora consultation 



108 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Derived Verbs, Class 3 

Reduplication to form intensitive or frequentative verbs. 
Either the whole verb is repeated, or more commonly only 
the first syllable 



Buge-buge, 

bubuga, bubugi 
Chainye-chainye 
Chichika 
Fakake 
Gushe-gushe, 

gurgusa 
Sansanche 

Tsatsaga 

Tatara 

Zazaga 



to beat much 

to be gluttonous 

to fill up 

to grope for 

gush out frequently 
or abundantly 

explain much, under- 
stand much 

tear to pieces 

pick up or out 

to shake up, walk 
about 



from buga to strike 

chainye to devour 
chika to fill 
? fake to hide 
to gush 



gusa 



Sosoke 



to pierce with many 
holes 



tara 
zaga 



soke 



to know 

tear 

to gather 

to shake, 
walk back- 
wards and 
forwards 

to pierce, 
prick 



Ya bubugi yara 

Mutane suka bubuge ta ta mutu 

Munka soso ubane-n-mu 

Zasu rurubuta takardu 

Ku kakashe raguna 

Ya kakashe su duka 

Kaddadai ajita yi sagara raai- 

kirkira (poetic) 
Ku dadauka abinchi 
Ina so-n-gagaida mainya 
Suna gagani-n-mutane 
Shashafesu da tsuma 



He beat the boys well 

The men beat her till she died 

We have loved our fathers 

They are going to write letters 

Kill sheep 

He exterminated them 

Let her not be heard calling fowls 

with a loud voice 
Each one of you take some food 
I wish to salute each of the elders 
They see men 
Wipe each of them with a rag 



It is to be noted that whenever there is a reduplicated 
form of the verb and the noun is in the plural, the noun 
usually has an indefinite sense. 



Derived Verbs. Class 4 

In this class are verbs which may end either in "che " 
or " ta," these terminations being added to the root which 
has no separate existence as a word. The meaning in 



VERB 109 

either case is the same in English, but their uses are 
slightly different. 

The following are some verbs of this nature 

Manche manta forget 

Bache bata destroy, lose 

Kwanche kwanta lie or lay down to sleep 

Jiche- jita turn upside down 

Jirkiche jirkita 

Lalache lalata (1) be idle ; (2) perish 

Rubuchi rubuta write 

Rikiche rikita (1) be confused ; (2) confuse 

The form ending in " che " is more commonly intransitive. 

This form is used for preference with present and future 
meanings. The form in "ta" has for preference a 
transitive and a past meaning. 

Because a verb ends in "che" it does not invariably 
follow that there is a form in " ta." 

It is further to be noted that the "ta " form can never 
be used as a substantive. The " che " form is commonly 
used as such, however, as " lalachi," idleness. 

Na jiche koria / turn the calabash upside down 

Na jita koria a bisa-n-ta / turned a calabash upside down 

over it 

Na rubuchi litafi / write a book 

Na rubuta suna-n-sa a bisa litafi / wrote his name upon the book 

Kada ka manta Do not forget 

Abi-n-nan ya bache mani / have lost this thing 

Su baohe tare They perish together 

Malika ya batansu The angel shall afflict them 

Ya bata hainya He lost the way 

Derived Verbs. Class 5 

To the terminations, "-da," " -shi," " -s," "-yes," 
" -yesda "it is not possible to assign any precise meaning 
in English. 

The effect of their addition to the primitive verb is to 
make it transitive, intransitive, causative, or by making 
the word itself longer to supply suitable words to make a 
statement more formal or dignified. 

All forms can be conjugated. 



110 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Their effect upon the primitive verb can be best seen 
from illustrations. 

Da. This may be the preposition "with." In any case 
that rendering will satisfy the majority of instances of its 
use quite clearly 

Ba give Bada give up 

Sayi barter Saida barter with = sell 

Tara collect Tarda come up with, overtake 

In monosyllabic verbs ending in " i," " da " is sharpened 
to "ta," as 

Ku yita aiki Get on with your work 

Bita hainya nan Go by this road 

See further examples under "yi" in chapter xii. 

Yes gives an intransitive force 

Bayes give up 

If " da " is added to " yes " a transitive force is resumed. 
Na bayes / give up Na bayesdashi / give it up 

S gives intransitive force. 

Shi gives a transitive force to an intransitive primitive 
verb, but is added to transitive verbs without change of 
meaning. It takes a pronoun only as direct object, not 
a noun. 

Examples 

Ba, give. Transitive 

Ya bani kurdi He gave me the money 
Ya bashi ita He gave her to him 

NOTE. " Ba " is only followed by the recipient as a second direct 
object if the latter is a pronoun. If a noun " bada " is used. The 
relative position of the two objects is changeable. 

" Bada " always requires a preposition before the indirect 
object. 

Ya bada kurdi ga mutane He gave money to the men 

Na bada kurdi ga kai / gave the money to you 

Na bada ita gare shi 7 gave her to him 

Na bada shi ga kai / gave him (or it) to you 



VERB 



111 



Other phrases : 



Bada daria 
Bada tsoro 
Bada laifi 

Also 



cause to laugh 
inspire fear 
condemn 



Hainya ta badamu zua gari 
Muka bada fuska ga garimu 



bada girima honour 
bada hainya make way 
bada gaskia justify 



The road led us to the town 

We turned our face to our country 



Examples of other forms of"ba" 



Na bashe shi ga kai 
Ya bayes (or bayas) 
Na bayesda shi 

Sariki ya che ka bashi abinsa. 
To, na bayes 



Ba ka bashi tufafinsa ba ? 
bayes or na bayesda su 
Ka bayes ga mutume chana 
Za-abashieni sabada bashi 



Na 



I give it to you 

He gave (it) up 

I gave it up 

The chief says you must give him 

his property. All right, I will 

give (it) 
Have you not given him his clothes ? 

I have given them 
Give it to the man there 
I shall be given on account of a 

debt 



Saiya, barter, etc. 

Various forms : " saida," " saishe," " sayes " (" sayas," 
"sayar," "sayer "), "sayesda" ("sayarda," "sayerda"). 
Before a pronoun "saiya" is usually found as "saiye." 
"Saiyo" is to buy and bring back. 

The forms " saida," " sayesda " (or " sayerda ") are 
always transitive. 

"Saiyes" ("saiyar") is intransitive. The other forms 
may be both. "Saishe" is only used before a personal 
pronoun. 



Ina so en saye rnkumi, enna 

akesamunsa ? 
Masu - i .ik ii in i euna chiki - n - 

kasua, suna saye da sayerua 
Na saida rago ga shi 
Na saida shi ga shi 
Ya saishe shi 
Ya saida ita 



/ want to buy a camel. Where are 

they to be found 
The owners of the camels are in the 

market. They buy and sell 
I sold the ram to him 
I sold it to him 
He sold it 
He sold her 



112 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Ya sayes (sayas) 
Ka sayes abinda ba ka iya so 
Da Kelowi sun saida ni 
Sun saye ni wuri-n-wani mutum 
Sun sayes ni ga Salah bin Omer 
Ina so ka kai zane-n-nan wuri- 
n-dilali, shi saida shi. Idan 
ya sayer ka karbi kurdi ka 
sayo mani rago, ka kawo 
saura-n-kurdi 
Doki-n-nan na sayerua ne ? Aa, 

ansayesda shi jia 
Ka tafi ga wani ka saiyo 
Nawa nawa akesayesda su ? 
Nawa anasayesda su ? 
Suna sayesua dukiansu 
Abubua duka ambayes gareni 



He sold (it) 

Sell (it) whatever you may not want 
They sold me to the Kelowi 
They sold me to a certain man 
They sold me to Salah bin Omer 
I want you to take this cloth to the 
broker to sell. When he has sold 
it take the money and buy for me 
a ram. Bring back the rest of 
the money 
Is this horse for sale ? No, it was 

sold yesterday 

Go to some one else and buy 
How much each ? 
How much are they (in a lump) ? 
They are selling their goods 
All things are delivered unto me 



NOTE. "r" is found as a phonetic variation for " s," but 
always employed at the end of a sentence. 



Bata, to lose, spoil 



Ya bata da kurdinsa 

Ya bata da shi 

Ya batashe shi 

Ya batas 

Shi yaro ne, shina batasua 



He lost his money 

He lost him or it 

He lost him (or it) 

He lost (it) 

He is a boy and will spoil it 



Bache, to be spoiled 

The various forms of " bata " are used for this verb, which in itself 
admits of no variations 



Abi-n-nan ya bache mani 
Yaro ya bache mata 



/ have lost the thing 
The boy was lost to her 



Fita, to take out, go out 



Ya fita da mutum 

Ya fita da shi 

Ya fishe ni 

Ya fitas 

Na fishe ka 

Ya fitasda riga-sa 

Shi fishe mu aiki mutane zina 
(poetic) 

Su sa fitasua kurkono. (" Fita- 
sua " is " fitas " with the termi- 
nation " ua ") 



He pulled the man out 

He freed him 

He released me or pulled me out 

He pulled (him) out 

I dismiss you 

He took off his coat 

He separates us from the work of 

adulterers 
They made the guinea worm come 

out 



VERB 113 

Tashi, to rise 

Other forms " Tada," "tashe," "tayes," "tayesda," 
" taso." 

Saidai shi tada haba yi jaki He would merely lift up his chin 

berbera (poetic) and bray like an ass 

Na tada manzo I sent a messenger 

Ka tasheni da sasafe Wake me very early 

En na tashe yaranku kua zo // / raise up your children, will 

you come ? 

Hadari ya taso masu a chikin The storm descended on them in 

daji the forest 

Chi, eat 

Ki cbl nama ! Eat meat (" you " is feminine) 

Na chishe shi / gave him to eat, I fed him 

Ya chida doki da dawa He fed the horse with guinea corn 

Ya chida shi da dawa He fed him with corn 

Ya chiyes He has fed, or eaten (it) 

Jefa, throw 

Na jefada abu / threw a thing 

Na jefada shi / threw it 

Na jefashe shi I threw it 

Na jefas 7 threw 

Other forms" jefshi," " jefasda," " jefda " = " jefada " ; 
also found as " shepta " and " shebda." 

Ajefo bar takardu-n-aiku namu We shall be placed according to the 
(poetic) list of our deeds 

Yas or yes, to throw away 

Na yada shi (yada = ya-r-da = I threw it away 

yasda 

Na yashe shi 7 threw it away 

Ya yas 77e threw (it) away 

Ta yada zane She threw off her cloth 

Tara, assemble 

Ya tara mutane He collected the men 

Ya tarasu He collected them 

Suka tara gari They are of one town 

Uwa in uka tara We have one mother 

Ya tarda mutane He assembled the men 

Ya tara da su He collected them. 

H 



114 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Ya tarshe su 
Ya tarda chiwuta 
Na tarda shi 
Ya taras 

Ka tarshi mu ji dadi (poetic) 
Kadadai ka tara hanuka don 
tsoro-n-beri (poetic) 



He assembled them 
He will contract a disease (poetic) 
/ overtook him 
He collected (them) 
Help us to feel happy 
Although you put both your hand* 
to it for fear of losing it 



Tsaya, stand 
Other forms tsai, tsayi, tsaishie. tsaisa 



Na tsaya daidai 

Ya tsaya 

Ni na tsaya ga litafi nan 

Malaiku su tsaida zugazuganta 

(poetic) 
Da ya fara chewa sun tsaisa sa 

Na tsaitse shi 

Kowane zashi tsayesda wannan 

mutum zaakasshe shi 
Sun sani mi ya tsaishie ni haka 



I stand upright 

It is finished 

I hit upon this book 

The angels will lift up the bellows 

When he began to speak they 

stopped him 
I got before him 
Whoever shall detain this man shall 

be killed 
They kneiv what delayed me so 



Kawo, bring 

Kauda (=kawo da) take away, abrogate; 
kawas, kaushi 

Chira, save 



Kawasda, remove, 



Ya chirada mutum daga rua 
Ya chirada ni daga rua 
Ya chirashe shi 
Ya chiras 



He saved the man from the water 
He saved me from the water 
He saved him 
He saved (him) 



Zuba, pour 



Ya zubada rua 
Ya zubada shi 
Ya zubsh6 shi 
Ya zubas 
Zubasda mia 

Also 

Amsa, amsashi 

Bi, bishe 

Mu roke ta'ala shi bishemu 

hainya 
Cheta, chetas 
Issa, ishe, iyes, iyesda 



He poured the water out 

He poured it out 

He poured it out 

He poured (it) out or It gushed out 

To expectorate violently 



answer 
follow 
We beseech the Exalted One to 

direct our steps 
save 



VERB 115 

Gaji, gasda, gashi weary 

Gama, gamshe fit, please, meet 

Gaya, gaida, gaishe salut 

Kawo, kauda, kawasda, kawas, carry 

kaushi 

Kada, kayes condemn 

Koshi, kosda, koshada satisfy 

Kwanche, kwanta, kwantas lie down 

Koiya, koiyas teach 

Kada su koiyas chikin sunan That they should not teach again in 

Isa the name of Jesus 

Lasa, lasda, lashe lick 

Murda, murshi twist 

Sani, sanasda, sanda, sanaswa know 

Shida, shishi descend 

Zarana, samshi sit, set down 

Ku samshisu kasa hamsinham- Make them sit down in fifties 

sin 

Wohalla, wohalshi, wohalda trouble 



Derived Verbs Glass 6 

The intensitive particle u nye" is added to some slight 
variation of the stem of a primitive verb 

Sha drink shainye swallow greedily 

Chi eat chainye, devour (as wild beasts) 

Taya help tainye help 



Derived Verbs Glass 7 

Many nouns which have not a related verb form can only 
be used as predicates with the aid of the verb " yi," to do, 
or " ji," to hear. They can only take an indirect object 

Muka yi zanche We conversed 

Yi girima To grow 

Further examples of the use of "yi" are given under 
idiomatic expressions. 

In Sokoto, Zanfara, and Katsina " wo " is commonly 
used for " yi," as " wo takarda," send a letter , " wo yaki," 
wage war. 



116 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Use of "it'" 

V */ 

The verb " ji " is combined with substantives or 
adjectives similarly to " yi," and must be equally regarded 
as a form-word " Ji tsoro," to be afraid ; " ji haushi," be 
angry ; " ji kumia," feel pity ; " ji dadi," be pleased. 

The object which is indirect is expressed by adding the 
possessive pronoun to the noun 

Ba ka ji tausayi mu You felt no pity for us 

Ba na ji-n-dadi-n-hawanki, I do not feel comfortable riding you, 

kura hycena 

Ka ji dadi-n-hawana ? Do you like riding me ? 

Derived Verbs Glass 8 

Nouns and verbs of same form 

Ya fadi masu He said to them 

Da ya kare fadi-n-sa When he had finished his speech 

Duma ta lalachi The world perishes 

Lalachi Idleness 

Ba magana ! Do not talk ! 

Don Allah ya badamu so-n- Because God has given us a love of 

kwana sleep 

Tambaye-n-nan da ka ke yi The question you ask (make) 

Kana yi-n- magana Hausa ? Do you speak Hausa? 

Koiya na Shaitan The teaching of Satan 

Su dora kira They raise a cry 

Ya kira shi He called him 

Suna magana banza They talk nonsense 



PART II 
DIVISION OF VERBS 

Verbs are of two kinds transitive and intransitive. 
The transitive verb requires an object. 
The intransitive verb denotes a state, feeling, or action 
which terminates in the doer or agent. 

Some verbs in Hausa are (1) only transitive ; others 



VERB 117 

(2) only intransitive ; (3) some, primarily one or the other, 
may be used in the opposite sense without any change of 
form ; and (4) yet others by taking an addition to the stem 
can be recognised as transitive alone or intransitive alone. 

This last feature is not found in the English language, 
where there is in general nothing in the look or appearance 
of a verb, unless its intransitive counterpart is known (e.g., 
raise, rise ; set, sit), which renders it possible to tell 
whether it is transitive or intransitive. 

Causative verbs are, of course, all transitive. 

The following are examples of the different kinds of 
transitive and intransitive verbs : 

(1) Verbs only Transitive, 
Gani, to see ; ji, to hear ; kawo, to bring 

(2) Verbs only Intransitive 
Zo, come ; tafi, go ; zamna, sit down 

(3) Verbs both Transitive and Intransitive in Meaning 

Kiwo, tend a flock, graze, feed 
Boye, hide, hide oneself, be hid 
Chika, fill, be full 

(4) Verbs whose Form Indicate whether Transitive or 
Intransitive 

Transitive 

Verbs formed from nouns with suffix " ta " (see class 
2 of derived verbs); also verbs ending with "ta" which 
have corresponding intransitive forms ending in "che." 

The termination "shi" (see derived verbs, class 5); 
also the termination "yesda." 

Intransitive 

The termination " che " usually ; also the termination 
" yes " ; also verbs ending in " u " which are formed from 
transitive verbs by the change of the final vowel. Many of 
the latter are usually found only in the 3rd person singular, 
and so a middle voice may be said to be produced. 



118 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



The suffix " wa " may be added to this form (see 
examples under present participle). 

This intransitive ending " u " must be carefully distin- 
guished from the termination " u," which many transitive 
verbs take, without ceasing to be transitive, either for 
euphony or to indicate absence or neutrality of direction. 
These are discussed in class 1, Derived Verbs. 



Some Intransitive Verbs in "u" 



Budu, to be open 
Bugu, to be beaten 
Dadu, to be increased 
Dafu, to be cooked 
Damru, to be bound 
Faru, to happen 
Fasu, to be broken 
Furu, to be burning 
Godu, to appear 
Gamu, to meet 
Haifu, to be delivered 
Kaf u, to be fastened 
Karu, to be added 
Kasu, to be slain 
Kuntu, to be loosened 
Matsu, to be narrow 
Mutu, to die 
Nadu, to be rolled up 
Niku, to be ground 
Rabu, to depart 
Ragu, to be decreasing 
Retu, to be swinging 
Rufu, to be shut 
Sanu, to be known 
Shimfudu, to be spread 
Taru, to be assembled 
Wazu, wasu, to be dispersed 
Yiwu, yiu, to be done 
Zubu, subu, to be gushed out 



from bude, to open 

buga, to beat 

dade, lengthen 

dafe, to cook 

damre, to bind 

fara, to begin 

fashe, to break 

fura, to kindle 

goda, to show 

gama, to join 

haife, to beget 

kafa, to fasten 

kara, to add 

kashe, to kill 

kunche, to untie 

rnatse, to squeeze 

nade, to coil 

nika, to grind 

raba, to divide 

rage, to lessen 

reto, to shake to and fro 

rufe, to shut 

sani, to know 

shimfude, to spread 

tara, to collect 

wasa, to disperse 

yi. to do 

zuba, to pour 



This form is used in a reflexive sense, and also follows 
the same verb in the passive voice for emphasis 



Mutum ya bugu 
Dundu ya dafu 
Kofa ta budu 
Kofa ta rufu 



The man is beaten 
The yam is cooked 
The door stands open 
The door is shut 



VERB lid 

Tukunia ta fasu The pot is broken, has broken 

itself 

Jirigi ya rabu The boat is split 

Ka tara mutane da zasu yi- Collect the men to work. They are 

aiki. Sun taru collected 

Ta ga wata akwia ta half u She saw a certain goat which had 

just brought forth 

For Emphasis 

Adamre shi, shi damru Let it be tied so that it is tied fast 

or tie it tight 

Abugashi shi bugu Let him be well beaten 

Ayishi, shi yiwu Let it be done well 



PART III 
AUXILIARY VERBS 

There are three forms of the verb "to be." 

They have gender. 

They refer to present and past time, but not to future. 

They are 

Ke (m. and f.) Che (f.) Ne (common) 

For the future the verb "zama," to become, is used. 

There is no auxiliary " have," nor is " have " a possessive 
verb. The place of the latter is taken by the preposition 
"da," with. 

The following is the conjugation of the auxiliary verbs 

ni ne ni ke 

kai no ka ke 

ke che (f.) ki ke (f ) 

shi ne shi, ya, yi ke The negative forms are 

ita che (f.) ta ke (f.) the same with " ba 

urn ne mu ke ... ba." 

ku ne ku ke 

su no su ke 

"Ke" 

"Ke" is used both as an auxiliary to form one of 
the present tense forms of other verbs, and also as a 



120 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



substantive verb. In the latter capacity it usually 
requires the complement to precede it 



Da ka ke or Kai, da ka ke 

Sania ta ke 

Dana ke nan 

Shi dana shi ke 

Enna ku ke ? 

Shi ke nan 

Ba da ka ke ba 

Jia ni ke nan ni daia 

Yarinia da ka gani ita ke nan 

Ka tafi ke nan har abada 



You are a free man 

It is a cow 

This is my son 

He is my son 

Where are you ? 

So it is 

You are not a free man 

Yesterday I was here alone 

The girl you see it is she 

You are leaving in fact for ever 



Ne 



This form is usually enclitic. If a pronoun is added it 
may follow in its capacity of complement, but if the person 
is the 3rd singular, it is commonly omitted 



Ni ne 

Da ne ni 

Da ne kai 

Kai ne sariki ? Ni sariki ne 

Yaro ne or, less commonly Yaro 

ne shi 

Kai dansa ne 
Kano da gari karami ne. 
Ni danfari ne, su ne na baya 



It is I 

I am a free man 
You are a free man 
Are you the chief? 
It is a boy 



I am the chief 



You are his son or Are you his son ? 
Kano was formerly a small town 
I am the first born, they are after 
me 



In the following examples " ne 
whole sentence 



becomes enclitic to a 



Gurubi-n-ido ba ido ba ne (prov.) 

Allah shi ne ya ba ni 

Wani mutum maihalbi ne shina 

da mache 
Ba zaka kai ni wurin malamin 

nan ba ne ! 
Mu kuma duka shaidu ne ga 

wannan 

Compare the following 

Allah shi nc abada 
Allah shina kocnna 



A substitute for the eye is not the 

eye 

It was God gave it to me 
A certain hunter had a wife 

Will you not take me to this mallam? 
We also are all witnesses of this 



God is eternity (or for ever) 
God is everywhere 



VERB 121 

Che 

This feminine form may be substituted for "ne," but 
not for "ke" 

Dia che ni / am a free woman 

Dia che ki You are a free woman 

Sania che ita or sania che It is a cow 

Ba dia che ni ba / am not a free woman 

Ita mache che It is a woman 

Ni, fa, ba akwia che ba, mache As for me, I am not a goat, I am 

che ni a woman 

Kama da wani ba wani ba che Likeness to another it is not the 

(prov.) same person 

(The noun phrase " ba wani ba," i.e., not another, ends in 
"a," and so is treated as feminine, probably by a very 
pedantic mallam). 

" Ni che " is not found, but only " ni ne " of whichever 
gender. In " Dia che ni " the feminine form is used after 
" dia," " ni " being treated as a complement. 

Emphasis on the Pronoun 

If emphasis is required on the pronoun, it is placed at 
the beginning of the sentence 

Shi dana ne // is my son 

Ita diyata che She is my daughter 

Idiomatic Uses of'ne" 

"Ne" is sometimes added almost pleonastically to the 
end of an answering sentence for emphasis. 

In answer to such a question as " What do you want ? " 
one hears 

Na zo wurinka ne I have come to see you (lit., / have 

come to your place, it is) 

Also 

Na sani ne / know of course 

Some of the examples given under "ne" above also 
exemplify this. 



122 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

" Ne," preceded by the pronoun, sometimes stands before 
the main sentence for the same purpose 

Shi ne, shi ke shakka azaba-n- He it is, he doubts the pains of hell 

lakhira 

Shi ne, na fada maka It is as I told you 

Shi ne, uba na yara goma He it is, the father of ten boys 



Omission of Pronoun 

The 3rd personal pronoun singular is sometimes omitted 
with " ne." This is common in negative sentences 

Sariki ne da doki for Sariki shi The chief has the horse 

ne da doki 

Banza fari - n - ido babu gani A bright eye that cannot see is 

(prov.) worthless 

Also omitted with " ke " 

Enna ke yi maka zogi ? Where is the pain ? 

Yao da gobe ke sa gini-n-rijia To-day and to-morrow are like 
da alura (prov.) having a well dug with a needle 

After the relative pronoun 

Suna tareya da duka-n-abinda They were collecting everything they 
ke garesu had 

The verb " to be " itself is often understood 

Akoi Allah, ba shi gabas, ba shi There is a God, he is not in the 

yama east, he is not in the west 

Gaskianki You are right (lit., your (f.) truth) 

Da-n-zomo wayo gare-i (gareshi) The young hare is cunning 

Enna sariki ? Where is the chief? 

Kurdinsa nawa ? How much is it ? 



Other Ways of expressing " to be " 

The form of the pronoun ending in "na" is used, the 
verb "to be " itself being understood. 



VERB 



123 



For this " na," which is the same particle as the preposi- 
tion "of," in all probability, in Sokoto and Katsina the 
preposition "a" is sometimes substituted. 

The conjugation is as follows 



ina, nina l 

ka na, kaina ' 

kina 

shina, yana, yina 

tana, ita na ? * 

muna 

kuna 

suna 



ma 

kai-a 

ke-a (ki-a = ki-e) 

shi-a, yi-a 

ita-a 

mu-a 

ku-a 

su-a 



In the negative the 
terminations omitted. 



This second form is distinct from the future (I) 
form. 

It must here be noted that while the forms of the 
pronoun with auxiliary " ina," etc., and " ni ke," etc., are 
used for the present tense conjugation of verbs, the form 
" ni ne," etc., is not so used. 



-na " Forms 



Shina nan 
Shina gida 
Bature na gida 
Ba shi nan 



He is here 

He is at home 

The white man is at home 

He is not here 



Ki-e wa ? 

Da ki-e da wa ? 

I-a gaba suna binsa 

I-a daga chikin rijia nan 

Mai-algeta i-a masa busa 

Gari a nan 

Sarki a da talakawa, ba 

kawa a da sariki 
Shi-a baba 



" -A " Form 

Who are you ? 

And who are you with ? 

He is before, they follow him 

He is in that well 

The bagpipeman, he was blowing 

for him 
The town is there (Note omission 

of pronoun as with " na.") 
tala- The king owns the poor, not the 

poor the king 
He is a great man 



1 In these the emphasis is on the pronoun, 
in interrogation, nor in independent sentences. 



They are not used 



124 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

The following is obscure 

Ki-e ma en zaki shiga ki shiga But you, if you are going to enter, 
ki kawo enter and bring it 

Future 
Use of "zama " 

Ka zama da You will become free 
Ki zama diya (f.) 

Ba ka zama da ba You will not become free 

Na zama mala mi / shall become a priest 

To have 

Hausa agrees with all x West African languages of what- 
ever group in having no auxiliary " to have." 

To describe possession the preposition "da," with, is 
used. The form of the pronoun which accompanies it is 
most commonly that with the suffix " na." The auxiliary 
" ke " is, however, also not uncommonly used 

Ina da kurdi / have money 

Su ke da su They have them or are with them 

There is, however, a slight distinction in making use of 
the foregoing. For instance, in " Ina da shi " and " Ni ke 
da shi " the first is used in making a plain statement, 
and the second for preference in answer to the question 
" Who has it ? " 



To express tense that is, point of tune adverbs are 
added 

Ina da shi yanzu / have it now 

Wanda ya ke da shi da ya ba ni He who had it before gave it to me 

Instead of " da " it is often possible to use some other 
preposition such as "gare." 

Other examples of the use of " da " may be found under 
prepositions. 



1 The author has not found a single instance of the contrary. 



VERB 125 

Meaning conveyed by use of two nouns in apposition, 
one formed with "mai" 

Da kishiyoyi nan babu mai-da And those rival wives had no 

children 



PART IV 

CONJUGATION OF THE VERB 

There are two voices active and passive. 

There is no change of form for mood, but two participles 
are distinguished. 

Tense carries no inflection of the stem, but the pronouns 
are subjected to some modification, and particles are added 
in certain tenses. 

The following is the conjugation of "so," to love, like, 
want : 

Active Voice 

It is to be noted that in the negative both " ba " are put 
in in all tenses, but the second " ba " is often omitted in 
practice. 

AORIST OR COMMON TENSE 

AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE 

1 na so also ni so ba na so ba or ban so ba 

2 (m.) ka so ba ka so ba 

(f.) ki so ba ki so ba 

3 (m.) ya so ba ya so ba 

(f.) ta so ba ta so ba 

1 mu so ba mu so ba 

2 ku so ba ku so ba 

3 su so ba su so ba 

PRESENT I 

1 ina so ba ni so ba also ba na so ba 

2 (m.) kana so ba ka so ba 

(f.) kina so ba ki so ba 

3 (m.) shina (yana, yina) HO ba shi, ya, i, so ba 

(f.) tana so ba ta so ba 

1 muna so ba mu so ba 

2 kuna so ba ku so ba 

3 suna so ba su so ba 



126 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



PRESENT II 

1 ni ke so also na ke so ba ni so ba 

2 (m.) ka ke so 

(f.) ki ke so 

3 (m.) shi (ya, yi) ke so 

(f.) ta ke so 

1 mu ke so same as negative of Present 1 

2 ku ke so 

3 su ke so 

PAST I 

1 na so 

2 (m.) ka so 

(f.) kin so 

3 (m.) ya so also shi so, shin so 

(f.) ta so same as aorist 

1 mun so 

2 kun so 

3 sun so 

PAST II 

1 na so 

2 (m.) ka so 

(f.) ki ka so 

3 (m.) ya so 

(f.) ta so same as aorist 

1 muka so (K), munka so (S) 

2 kuka so (K), kunka so (S) 

3 Suka so (K), sunka so (S) 

FUTURE I 

1 naa so, na so ba na so ba 

2 (m.) kaa so, ka so ka ka so ba 

(f.) kii so, ki so ba ki so ba 

3 (in.) shii so, shi so ba shi so ba 

yaa so, ya so ba ya so ba 

(f.) taa so, ta so ba ta so ba 

1 muu so, mu so ba mu so ba 

2 kuu so, kii so ba ku so ba 

3 suu so, su so ba su so ba 

Robinson gives "mua," "ma," "kua," "sua," "sa ; 
"eo" plural. 



VERB 127 

FUTURE II 

1 zani so or zan so or za en so ba zani so ba 

2 (m.) zaka so ba zaka so ba 

(f.) zaki so ba zaki so ba 

3 (m.) zashi (zaya, zai), so ba zashi (zaya, zayi) so ba 

(f.) zata so ba zata so ba 

1 zamu so ba zamu so ba 

2 zaku so ba zaku so ba 

3 zasu so ba zasu so ba 

FREQUENTATIVE I 

1 iii (or na) kan so ba ni kan so ba 

2 (m.) ka kan so ba ka kan so ba 

(f.) ki kan so ba Id kan so ba 

3 (m.) shi (ya) kan so ba shi kan so ba 

(f.) ta kan so ba ta kan so ba 

1 mu kan so ba mu kan so ba 

2 ku kan so ba ku kan so ba 

3 su kan so ba su kan so ba 

FREQUENTATIVE II 

1 ni ka so ba ni ka so ba 

2 (m.) ka ka so ba ka ka so ba 

(f.) ki ka so ba ki ka so ba 

3 (m.) shi (or ya) ka so ba shi (ya) ka so ba 

(f.) ta ka so ba ta ka so ba 

1 mu ka so ba mu ka so ba 

2 ku ka so ba ku ka so ba 

3 su ka so ba su ka so ba 

This is a very doubtful tense. Robinson says " ka " is 
an abbreviation of "kan," and also a poetical future. 
Harris supports him that "ka" = "kan"; also Edgar. 
Mischlich calls it a Sokoto variation of "ni ke so." 

SUBJUNCTIVE 

1 on so (n'so) kada en so 

2 (m.) ka so kada ka so 

(f.) ki so kada ki so 

3 (m.) shi (ya) so kada shi (ya) so 

(f.) ta so kada ta so 

1 mu so kada mu so 

2 ku so kada ku so 

3 su so kada su so 



128 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

IMPERATIVE 

2 (in.) so, ka so kada ka so 

(f.) so, ki so kada ki so 

2 ku so kada ku so 

" Kar " is found for " kada " in Kano. " Ba " is also 
sometimes substituted for "kada," but is not repeated 
after the verb. 

Passive 

AOBIST 

1 asoni ba asoni ba 

2 (m.) asoka ba asoka ba 

(f.) asoki ba asoki ba 

3 (m.) asoshi, asosa ba asoshi, asosa, ba 

(f.) asota ba a so fa ba 

1 asomu ba asomu ba 

2 asoku ba asoku ba 

3 asosu ba asosu ba 

PRESENT I. 

1 anasona anakamnata ba anasona ba ba anakamnata 

ba 

2 (m.) anasonka anakamnarka ba anasonka ba ba anakamnarka 

ba 

(f.) anasonki anakamnarki ba anasonki ba ba anakamnarki 

ba 

3 anasonsa anakamnatasa ba anasonsa shi ba anakamna- 
anasonshi ba tasa ba 

(f.) anasonta anakamnatata ba anasonta ba ba anakamnata- 

ta ba 

1 anasonmu anakamnarmu ba anasonmu ba ba anakamnar- 

mu ba 

2 anasonku anakamnarku ba anasonku ba ba anakamnarku 

ba 

3 anasonsu anakamnarsu ba anasonsu ba ba anakamnarsu 

ba 
PRESENT II 

1 a-ke-soni ba asoni ba 

2 (m.) a-ke-soka 

(f.) a-ke-soki 

3 a-ke-soshi 

(f.) a-ke-sota same as aorist 

1 a-ke-somu 

2 a-ke-soku 

3 a-ke-sosu 



VERB 

PRESENT II. INVERTED 
To correspond to the active form " ni, su ke so 



120 



1 


ni akeso 


ni akaso 




2(m.) 


kai akeso 


kai akaso 




m 


ke akeso 


ke akaso 




3(m.) 


shi akeso 


shi akaso 




(f.) 


ta akeso 


ta akaso 




1 


mu akeso 


mu akaso 




2 


ku akeso 


ku akaso 




3 


su akeso 


su akaso 




(See note on Frequentative in Active.) 


PAST I 


1 


ansoni 






2(m.) 


ansoka 






(f.) 


ansoki 






3(m.) 


ansosa, ansoshi 


1*0 


ansota 




same as aorist 


1 


ansomu 






2 


ansoku 






3 


ansosu 






PAST II 




KANO 


SOKOTO 




1 


akasoni 


ankasoni 




2(m.) 


akasoka 


ankasoka 




CO 


akaso ki 


ankasoki 




3 


akasosa 


ankasoshi 




(f.) 


akasota 


ankasota 


same as aorist 


1 


akasomu 


ankasomu 




2 


akasoku 


ankasoku 




3 


akasosu 


ankasosu 




FUTURE I 


1 


aasoni 




ba aasoni ba 


2(m.) 


aasoka 




ba aasoka ba 




aasoki 




ba aasoki ba 


3 


aasoshi 




ba aasoshi ba 


CO 


aasota 




ba aasota ba 


1 


aasomu 




ba aasomu ba 


2 


aasoku 




ba aasoku ba 


3 


aasosu 




ba aasosu ba 



FUTURE II 

1 zaasona zaakamnata ba zaasona ba ba zaakamnata 

ba 

2 (in.) zaasonka zaakamnarka ba zaasonka ba ba zaakamnarka 

ba 

(f.) zaasonki zaakamnarki ba zaasonki ba ba zaakamnarki 

ba 



130 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

3 (m.) zaasonshi zaakarana-tasa ba zaasonshi ba ba zaakamna- 

tasa ba 

(f.) zaasonta zaakamnatata ba zaasonta ba ba zaakamna- 

tata ba 

1 ' zaasonmu zaakamnarmu ba zaasonmu ba ba zaakamnarrau 

ba 

2 zaasonku zaakamnarku ba zaasonku ba ba zaakamnarku 

ba 

3 zaasonsu zaakamnarsu ba zaasonsu ba ba zaakamnarsu 

ba 

These are all noun forms after " zasu," etc. =they will go 
to the loving of them. The possessive pronoun is masculine 
after " so " and feminine after " kamna." 

Compare " Zasu kamna-r-mu," They will love us ; " Zamu 
kamna-r-su," We will love them. 

The noun form is not always strictly adhered to, hence, 
zaasoni, zaasoka, etc. 

FREQUENTATIVE 

1 akansoni ba akansoni ba 

2 (m.) akansoka ba akansoka ba 

(f.) akansoki ba akansoki ba 

3 (m.) akansoshi ba akansoshi ba 

(f.) akansota baakansotaba 

1 akansomu ba akansomu ba 

2 akansoku ba akansoku ba 

3 akansosu ba akansosu ba 

SUBJUNCTIVE AND IMPERATIVE 
SUBJUNCTIVE IMPERATIVE BOTH 

1 asoni kada asoni 

2 (m.) asoka asoka kada asoka 

(f ) asoki asoki kada asoki 

3 (m.) asoshi asoshi kada asoshi 

(f.) asota asota kada asota 

1 aaomu kada ascmu 

2 ascku asoku kada asoku 
5 asosu aaosu kada isosu 

It ; s seen that these forms are the same as in the aorist. 

NOTE. In the foregoing tenses " shi " and " sa " are commonly 
interchangeable, the former being preferably Sokoto, the latter 
Kano dialect. 



VERB 131 

USES or THE TENSES 
Aorist 

This is an indeterminate tense. It is an unemphatic past, 
a vague present, and, if the context permits, may have a 
future significance. It is in common use both when pre- 
cision is quite unimportant and also in narration 

Ba ka ji ba ? Do you not hear ? 

Na ji kishirua I feel thirsty? (lit., thirst) 

Ba abinda ban yi ba There is nothing I do not do 

Gobe da sasafe mu tashi We shall start very early to-morrow 

Ban yerda ba / do not agree 

Na ki, ba ya issa ba / refuse it is not enough 

Rua ya tafassa ? Has the water boiled ? 

Ya yi dimi amma ba ya tafassa It is hot, but it has not boiled yet 

ba tukuna 

Ta che, to, mu je en ganshi She said, good, we will go so that 

I may see him 

Mu yi gara-n-fuska ; kana mu We wash our faces, then we bathe; 

yi wanka ; mu sasa sababi-n- we put on new clothes 

tufafinmu 

Mu je, mu gani, na magani-n- We go and see, that is proof of a 

makariachi (prov.) lie (lit., medicine for a liar) 

Gobe mu chi saura To-morrow we eat the remains 

Yaro nan ya iya tafia ? ya tan" Can that boy do the journey ? 

mans Certainly he will go 

Kwana shidda mu gama aiki In six days we shall finish the work 

nan 

Present I 

This is both the simple present and the present con- 
tinuous. In narration it may be translated by the 
imperfect. 

The verb itself acquires a substantival force, and if it 
admits of it, takes the termination " wa " or " ya," though 
sometimes exceptions are made. If the verb is defective 
in the " wa " (ya) form it remains unchanged in appearance, 
though not in force. 

For this reason, when the verb is a transitive one the 
direct object is attached by the copulative " n," being in 
the possessive case; and if other verbs are added in 



132 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



sequence they too assume a substantival force and are 
joined with the copulative "n." 



" WA " OB " YA " TERMINATION USED 



Enna kana tafia ? 

Shekara goma yana tafia har 

ubansa ya hanashi 
Enna ubanka ? Shina tafowa 
Tana zua Kano 
Muna soyeya da junamu 

Da na ganshi shina tafia (or ya 

ke tafia) 
Suna isowa gulbi 



When are you going ? 

He had been travelling for ten years 

until his father stopped him 
Where is your father ? He is coming 
She is coming (going) to Kano 
We are at friendship with one 

another 
When I saw him he was travelling 

(As) They were getting near the river 



In the following sentence the noun force is strengthened 
by the addition of a personal pronoun 



Shina tafia tasa sai ya gamu da 
kwado 



He travelled until he met the toad 



UNCHANGED FOEM 



Kulum gari ya waye ina addua 
Saanda ka tada su suna fada da 

juna ? suna yi 
Enna shina zamne ? 



Always at daybreak I pray 

When you came upon them were 

they fighting ? They were 
Where is he staying ? 



WITH DIRECT OBJECT 



Ina gina rami (for Ina gina-r- 

rami) 
Mi kana yi ? Ina yi-n-aiki (or 

ina aiki) 

Ina so-n-ubana. Ina so-n- Allah 
Ina ji-n-yungwa da kishirua 
Kana yi-n-aiki ? 
Muna kamna-tasa gama ya ri- 

gaya ya kamnachemu 
Ina sonsa, da shi kua shina sona 



/ am digging a hole 

What are you doing ? I am working 

1 love my father. I love God 

I am hungry and thirsty 

Are you working ? 

We love Him for He first loved us 

I love him and he loves me (Note 
the possessive form in " so-na ") 



Ina so-n-kawa malami (for ina 
so-n-kawa-r-malami) 



SUBORDINATE VERBS ADDED 

/ want to become a mallam 



VERB 133 

In this sentence " so " is masculine, and " kawa," ending 
in " a,'' feminine. Compare 

Kana so ka kawa maimagani Do you ivant to become, a doctor ? 

in which all the forms are pure verbs 

Ina so-n-saye-n-turmi goma I want to buy ten cloth-strips 

NEGATIVE 

The "na" termination of the pronoun is dropped, but 
the verb is still treated as a substantive 

Kadan ba ka tsoro-n-allah ba shi // you do not fear God He does 

sonka not love you 

Ba su samu-n-abinchi They find no food 

Mugu - n - mia ba ta karewa a Bad soup does not get finished in 

tukunia (prov.) the pot 

Gulbina ba shi chi - n - mutum My river does not eat a man in the 
tsaka sai gefe. Wuka (riddle) middle but at the bank. A knife 

(which cuts at the edge) 
Kowa ya halbe zaki ba shi Every one shot at the lion but did 

samu-n-sa not get him 

Ba ka sona ; ni, ma, bani sonki You do not love me ; and I, I do 

not love you 

/ * 

Compare, on the other hand 

Har gari duka ya tashi sun yi, Then all the town arose, they try, 
sun yi, ba su eamu ba they try, but they do not get him 

The following are examples of pure nouns used after 
pronoun in " -na," thus confirming the change of verbs 
into substantives in this tense 

Tun ina yaro Since I was a boy 

Don sariki shina mugu-n-sheria J Because the chief is unjust in his 

judgment 

The following is an example of mixed idiom 

Ina so-n en tambaye ka instead I want to tell you 
of Ina so-n-tambayenka or ina 
so en tamhaycka 

1 See note, later, on omission of pronoun in this tenso. 



134 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

As with nouns, the copulative may be omitted 

Kulum kulura suna kashe mutane They are killing people without 
(for kashe- m- mutane) cease 

As with pure nouns, sometimes the copulative preposition 
is not put into its proper gender 

Ina kirra-n-ka for ina kirrarka / am calling you 
Sai ya gani gawa anadaukansa Except he sees the corpse being 
zua wuri-n-bizne taken to the cemetery 

Etymology 

It is to be noticed that the pronoun in "na" cannot be 
followed by any of the forms of the verb "to be," e.g. 

Shina gida He is at home 

Shina nan He is here 

Suna baya They are behind 

From this it is clear that the two words are not in the 
same relation to each other as they would be if the con- 
necting link of the verb "to be " were possible, but omitted 
in practice. 

It might, therefore, be assumed that the syllable u na" 
of the pronoun is no other than the preposition "of," not 
readily translateable, however, uniformly into "of," as 
indeed it is not in many other cases also. 

USE OF PRESENT I. WITH FUTURE MEANING 

Kadan na fushe ta, kuna ba ni // / pull her out, will you give me 
ita en yi arime ? her in marriage ? 

WITH PAST MEANING 

Ina tamaha shl bani kurdinsa I thought he would give me all his 
duka money 

OMISSION OF PRONOUN 

The personal pronoun is a necessary adjunct to the verb, 
the latter being incomplete without it. If a noun precedes 
the verb as the subject, the 3rd personal pronoun still 
has to be employed. 



VERB 135 

In this tense, however, the 3rd personal pronoun is 
commonly omitted when the noun-subject is mentioned, 
which is a further indication that the verb has been changed 
into a noun, rendering the pronoun superfluous. This is 
seen from studying such a phrase as " the hat of the chief." 
The Hausa would not say " hat he of the chief," but simply 
" hat of chief." 

Hence the sentences 

Malami na sha-n-gia munafiki ne The mallam who drinks beer is a 

deceiver 
Doki nan na sayerua (or sayesua) Is this horse for sale ? 

ne ? 

Abega na tamaha . . . Abega thinking , . . 

Kowane na sha-n-taba . . . Whoever smokes tobacco . . . 

Wata na bada haske The moon is giving light 

Da hiska na busawa, rairai na When the wind blows the sand goes 

shiga ga idanunka into your eyes 

Kadan k^iganigemida-n-uwanka When you see your brother's beard 

na chi-n-wuta, shafa naka rua catch fire, pour water on your 

own 

If the pronoun " shina " were in any of the foregoing 
sentences used, the noun must be treated as out of the 
sentence, standing in apposition by itself, and having no 
connection with the predicate. 

The uses of "shina" and "yana" are not always 
in terchan geable . 

"Shina" is preferred before a noun and verbs with 
"wa" termination 

Abokin mijinta shina bisa itache Her husband's friend was up a tree 
yana kallon abinda ta ke yi watching what she was doing 



Present II 

This tense is only very rarely interchangeable with the 
foregoing. It is purely a verb form, and it has none of the 
complexity of construction which the foregoing has. It is 
used in asking questions, and especially in answering them. 
It is precise as to tune, otherwise the aorist is used. In 



136 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

narration it is often convenient to translate it by the 
imperfect tense. 

The object usually precedes the sentence 

Mi ku ke yi ? Aiki mu ke yi What are you doing ? We are 

working 

If the latter statement had not been made in answer 
to a question, it would be in the form of " Muna yi-n- 
aiki." 

Mi su ke yi yanzu ? Suna chi- What are they doing now ? They 
n-abinchinsu are eating their food 

From this example it is seen that the idea of continuity 
is stronger in Present I. than in Present II. 

Mi ku ke kawowa ? Abinda What are you bringing ? What we. 

muka samu chiki-n-kasua found in the market 

Suka che, domi muke fasawa ? They said, Why are we delaying ? 

In the foregoing the noun form of the verb is used. 

Ubana ni ke so or ubana ni ka so / love my father 

Shi ni ke so or shi nika so I love him 

Shanu ya ke kashe or shanu He kills oxen 

shika kashe 

Da na ganshi ya ke tafia When I saw him he was travelling 

Kowa ya ke yi shi Whoever shall do it 

Abinda na ke so The thing which I want 

Mi ya sameku, ku ke kuka What is the matter with you that 

you are howling 

A perfect sense may even be found 

Tun da, bar kwanaki nan, For a long time back till this day, 
mutane-n-Rimo su ke pesshi- the people of Rimo have plundered 
n-hainya the road 

Also a future sense 

Chiki-n-wannan lokachi ka ke At this season wilt thou then restore 
mayar (mayas) wa Israila da to Israel their kingdom 
mulki ? 



VERB 



137 



Past I 

This is the tense that indicates simply past time, and it 
is often best translated by the perfect in English 



Daga enna mutume nan ya taf o ? 

Ya fada mani ya fito daga 

Kano. Ban san' abinda ya 

kawo shi ba 
Kun rataye tufafi ? 
Ta che da mu : kun gamu da 

wani azne maidauka-n-nama ? 

Muka che, mun gamu da shi 
Na so shi, shi kua shina so na 
Ni, na yi murna 
Kin gani ? 
Kin san abinda ya kawo ni garin 

nan ? 



Whence has this man come ? He 
told me he came from Kano. I 
do not know what has brought him 

Have you hung up the clothes ? 
She said to us : did you meet a 

certain pagan carrying meat ? 

We said: we met him 
I loved him, he too loves me 
I rejoiced 
Did you see it ? 
Did you know what brought me to 

this country ? 



Pastil 

This past only differs from the preceding in the plural 
forms, and in the 2nd person singular feminine. It is to 
be noticed that in past tense I. the 2nd person singular 
feminine also takes a termination. There are four uses 
of this tense (1) in questions; (2) in matters of fact; (3) 
in narration; (4) for emphasis. 

There is no negative form, that of the Past I. being 
used 



Enna magani-n-da kika debo ? 

Mi kika gani ? 

M ut 11 MI daia sunka buga 

Dakuna nawa sunka gina ? 

Enna mutane sunka kwana ? 

Fulani sunka chi Kano 

Mu munka buge shi 

Ku kunka yi aiki 

Su sunka yi sata 

Saanda muka komo muka ga 

kayanmu duka sun bache 
Muka tafi kasua, muka zamna, 

muka yi chiniki, muka komo 
Yaushe sunka zo ? 



Where is the medicine you helped 

yourself to ? 
What have you seen ? 
They have beaten a man 
How many huts have they built ? 
Where have the men slept ? 
The Fulani captured Kano 
We have beaten him 
You have worked (well) 
It is (indeed) they who have stolen 
When we came back we saw that 

all our loads were spoilt 
We went to the market, we sat down, 

we did trade, we have returned 
When did they come ? 



138 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

In dependent sentences there may be a future signi- 
ficance 

!dan suka zo gobe // they come to-morrow 

Tyayenta sunka gane ta suna Her parents seeing her rejoiced and 
murna da kuka shouted 



Future I. and II 

There are two future tenses with the same meaning. 
In one the verb remains and is treated as a verb through- 
out. In the other the verb stem becomes a substantive 
in the same manner as in Present I. 

Future I. is formed by a reduplication of the vowel 
of the pronoun, though some writers consider that it is 
an "a" that is appended throughout. 

Future II. is formed by employing the verb <: zani," etc., 
/ will go. As one says " zani Kano," / am going to Kano, 
so the Hausa also says, "zani zamna," / am going to sit 
down. The idea of actual motion is modified to that of 
futurity. 1 

Other tenses may also have a future significance from 
the context. It is the practice when two future tenses 
follow each other to use Future II. first, followed by 
Future I. 



Examples of Future I. without Object 

Kaa zama talaka You will become poor 

Gobe da sasafe mfi tashi We will start very early to-morrow 

Komi zaayi masu ba sua beri ba Whatever may be done to them, 

they will not give it up 
Kadan ba ka zuba mai chiki-n- // you do not pour oil into the 

fitila ta mutu lamp it will go out 

Ni tafi ga sariki da ni che masa / shall go to the chief and say to 

him 
Babu abinda zaya sa sua tabani Nothing he could do would make 

them touch me 



1 See " The Languages of West Africa," chapter on the verb. 



VERB 



139 



With Object 



Ina tamaha ni same sa da rai 
Idan ka tafi wurinsa ya fada 

maka labari 
Idan ka so na yi kokari 
To, na kara shi 

Kadan na bashi takarda sh! 

tsage ta 

Yi hankali, shii huge ka 
Kadan na yi shiri ni kirrawo ka 



/ think I shall find him alive 

If you go to him he will tell you 

the news 

If you like I will try 
All right I will add to it or increase 

it 
If I give him the book he will tear 

it 

Take care or he will hit you 
When I am ready I will call you 



Examples of Future II 
Without Object 



Zasu chi 

Zaku mutuwa 

Chiki-n-Bida zamu kwana da 

dere 
Da zata mutua, ta che . . . 

Mi zamu yi ? 

Zata je ta gani 

Ba zaya kwana nan ba sai 

Lokoja 
... en zasu tafowa Aghat 

Yanzu za en je en sai sabo 
Zani tafia en gani abokina 
Zani en fara waka 
Zaka hadu chiki 



Kaka Sariki ze zamna goburo ? 
(ze=zai) 

With Direct Object. 

Zani dauka-1-riga 



They go to eat or they will eat 

You will die 

We are going to sleep in Bida 

When she was about to die, she 

said . . . 
What shall we do 
She will go and see 
He will not sleep here but at 

Lokoja 
. . . with the intention of coming to 

Ghat 

Now I will go and buy a new one 
I am going to see my friend 
I am going to begin my song 
You will be swallowed up inside 

(Note. Hadu is a verb with a 

passive meaning.) 
How can the King remain wifeless ? 



Insertion of preposition ''of,'' "n" 



Babu abinda zashi samu-n-ka 
Ya kan rika nemi yada zashi 

samu-n-riba a wurina 
En zasu chi-n-tuo-n-su suna 

buga baba-n-kube 
Da komi zaka tambaye-n-su ka 

che kadan ka yerda 
Zani saye-n-wannan bunsuru 



/ will take the shirt. Lit., / am 

going to the taking of the shirt 
Nothing shall happen to you 
He is always trying to find a way 

to make a profit out of me 
When they go to food they strike 

a big bell 
And whatever you ask them for, 

you say, if you please 
I will sell this he-goat 



140 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Examples of Use of Verb Stem Form of Verb when Noun 
Form in Existence 

Mata chan ta che ba zata tafi That woman said she will not go 

ba sai mun zo before we come 

Ba zaka iya dauka-n-ta (for You cannot take it up quickly 
dauka-r-ta) maza 

Amma abokina yaushe zashi But when will your friend come ? 
tafo? 

Yaushe zamu tafi ? When shall we go ? 

If the verb itself has a prepositional termination, " n " 
is omitted. This applies to the derived verbs in "da." 
There is also no " n " if there is an indirect object, either 
preceded or not by a preposition 

Zashi gaida sarakunansa He is going to salute his chiefs 

Talauchi ba zaya kauda yauchi Poverty ought not to take away 

ba freedom 

Wata rana da zamu tafia ga One day as we were going to the 

gona farm 

Zasu yi masu . . . They will do to them . . . 

Wani iri-n-magani zaka ba ni What kind of medicine will you 

give to me 

Kowani zashi tsayesda wannan Whoever stops this man will be 

rautum zaakassheshi killed 

The copulative " n," being often omitted in the genitive 
case, is also omitted with this tense, commonly with 
negative 

Zashi halaka dunia He will destroy the world 

Fulani ba zasu fada-mu ba The Fulani will not fight us 

(Commonly Fulani ba zasu yi fada da mu ba.) 

After "yi," do, it is usually omitted. 

Babu itache, kaka zan yi wuta ? There is no wood, how can I make 

fire? 
Zaka yi tafia You are going to travel 

This is so, especially if the simple verb stem is used 
and a pronoun is the direct object. It seems as if the 
maintenance of the substantival idea were too much of 
an effort and the construction too cumbersome. 

Mi zai kai-mu Hausa ? What will take us to the Hausa 

country ? 
Ya che zashi wanke ta He said he will wash it 



VERB 141 

In the following examples the personal pronoun is 
repeated after " zasu " in order to ensure a pure verb 
form 

Da Fulani suka gani ba zasu When the Fulas saw that they were 

samu-n-nasara, suka che, ba not going to get the victory, they 

zasu su yi fada ba said, they would not fight 

Zashi ya koiya masa karia He will teach him falsehood 

Frequentative 

This is formed by the insertion of the particle "kan" 
between the pronoun and the verb. It has (1) a fre- 
quentative or habitual use ; (2) a subjunctive or con- 
cessive sense ; (3) a sense of necessity or certainty or 
possibilty : 

1 

Shi kan yi hakka He is in the habit of doing so 

Biri ya kan yi banna, halinsa ke A monkey always does mischief, it 
nan t* his nature 



Alkema bisa ducbi Allah shi A grain of wheat on a rock God 

kan ba ta rua gives it water 

Ki kan tafi, ki kan kunche su You can go and loose them 

Wanda ya kan chi amana ba ya He who plays false with friendship 

issa ache da shi aboki ba is not worthy to be called a friend 



Uwa ta kan ki danta ? Can a mother hate her child ? 

Wanda ya chi giginia, chikinsa Who eats the (fruit of the) fan- 
ya (or shi) kan yi chiwo palm, his belly will be sure to be 

sick (after it). (Note. This is 

not a fact.) 
Wa ya ka shiga (ka = kan) Who can enter? (See previous 

note on the tense) 

Etymology 

MiscbJich considers that "kan" is in all probability 
an abbreviation of "kana," then, before 

En na gani mache, kana ni // / see a woman I want her 

BO ta = ni kan so ta 
En ya gani kura kana ya gudu // he sees a hyaena it runs away 

= ya kan gudu 



142 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Subjunctive Mood and Tense 

There is no separate form for the subjunctive mood in 
any tense except the 1st person singular, which carries 
generally rather a future sense. Its principal usage is 
concessive or interrogative. The other persons are the 
same as in the aorist tense 



Ina so en tafi 

Ina so shi (or ya) tafi 

Ka yi nufi ka tafi ? 

Na yi kokari en komo 

Na aike shi shi kawo doki 

Na che, en tafi en kawo shi ? 

Ni ma en zo en kwanta 

Uwata ta che en tafi en wanketa 

Ta che ta tafi ta wanke 

Kana en tafi en chi nama-na 

Ya che zani en gani makari-n- 

dunia 
Ya che masa shi gina masa 

kushieya 

Ea na so en passa kanka ba 
Kada su mutu 
Kada nama ya tashi 



/ want to go 

I want him to go 

Did you intend to go ? 

I shall try to come back 

I sent him to bring the horse 

I said may I go and fetch him ? 

Me too, let me come and lie doivn 

Mother said I must go and wash her 

She said let her go and wash (it) 

Then I would go and eat my meat 

He said I will go and see the end 

of the earth 
He told him to go and dig a grave 

for him 

I do not want to break your head 
That they should not die 
Lest the game should start 



Imperative 

In the singular the pronoun is omitted when a second 
verb is there, but not usually otherwise 



Tafi ka chi 
Ka tafi. Ku tafi 
Kada ka buga 
Kada su tafi tukuna 
Ba magana ! 



Go and eat 

Go ! (sing, and plu.) 

Do not strike 

They must not go yet 

Do not talk ! 



The verb "beri," leave, let, is largely used for giving 
orders, etc. 

Let us go 

Let me see first where she is 

Sometimes, for emphasis, the pronoun precedes as well 
as follows the verb 



Ka j i ka ! 

Ki je ki gurin sariki 



Hearken thou f 

You, go to the chief, or you, go to 
where the chief is 



VERB 



143 



Pluperfect Conditional 

This tense or mood has no independent existence in 
Hausa. The requisite idea is conveyed by making use 
of the particle " da " = formerly, with the meaning of 
unfulfilled intention given" to it 



Da zani tafia 



Da na sani da ban yi haka ba 

Da ni kai ne da na halbe gada 

nan 
Da ba ya yi muna dabara ba, 

da mun fadi chiki-n-rami 
Da safia ya yi muka tashi 

See also under " 



/ intended to go or would have 

gone. Lit., formerly I was going 

to go 
Had I known I would not have 

done so 
If I had been you I should have 

shot that deer 
Had he not warned us we should 

have fallen into the hole 
When it ivas light we started 

da " adverb of time. 



Can, to be able 

There is no special mood or tense. The verb " iya " 
is used. For "to be unable physically " the verb " kasa " 
is used. 



Ya iya dauka-r-kaya nan ? Ya 

kasa dauka tasa 
Shina iya yi-n-sa 
Kana iya kai ni ? 
Ina iya kaiki, ba na iya kawoki 

Ba shi yiuwa ba (from " yi," do) 
Babu abinda zasbi iya rabasu 

daga wanan abuta 
Ba na iya ba en shiga kwogin 

wuta 



Can he lift that load ? He cannot 
lift it 

He can do it 

Can you take me ? 

I can take you there, 1 cannot 
bring you back 

He cannot 

Nothing could break their friend- 
ship 

I cannot enter the stream of fire 



PASSIVE VOICE 

A general survey of the languages of West Africa reveals 
the fact that all of them are without a passive voice. The 
3rd personal pronoun plural is commonly, if not invariably, 
used with the verb in the active voice, as " They beat him," 
for " He was beaten." 

The Hausa language seems to have acquired somehow 



144 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

the notion that a passive was necessary, and to produce 
it merely made use of the natural method, as stated 
above, but with the aid of an obsolete form of "they" 
namely, "a." 

This is as it appears from the present-day point of view. 
What actually took place, probably, is that a foreign influx 
of population which possessed a passive voice in their own 
language, and also the word "su" for "they," brought 
in these new elements with as little disruption to the 
existing language as possible. " Su " attached itself to 
the active voice, and the obsolescent " a " maintained 
its existence only in an artificial usage. 

Regarding "a" as "su" simply, the translation of the 
various passive forms is seen to run harmoniously with 
the active voice : 

Present I 

Anasona = suna sona 
Ba asoni ba = ba su so ni ba 
Anasonka = suna sonka 
Anakamnarka suna kamna-r- 
ka 

Present II 

Akesoka = su ke so ka, or 

Akesonka = su ke sonka 
Akekamnaka = su ke kamna 

ka, or Akekamnarka = su ke 

kamnarka they love you 

Shi akeso = shi, su ke so they love him 

Shi akaso = shi, suka so they love him 

Past I 

Ansomu = sun so rau they loved us 

Ba ansomu ba = ba sun so mu ba they did not love us 

Pastil 

Akasoku = suka so ku they have loved you 

Ankasoku=sunka so ku they have loved you 

Ba asoku ba = ba su so ku ba they did not love you 

Future 

Aasosu = sua so su they will love them 

Zaasonsu=zasu son su ,, 

Ba zaasonsu ba = ba zasu son su ba they will not love them 




VERB 145 

Frequentative 
Akansosu=su kan so su they are all laved 

Subjunctive 

Asoshi=su so shi (let them) love him 

Kada asoshi=kada su so shi let them not love him 

In place of a pronoun as direct object (in the active 
rendering) a noun may be substituted 

Anabugu-n-yaro don mugunta- The boy is beaten on account of his 

1-sa bad deeds 

Gari akechi yanzu The town is being taken now 

If "by whom " is added the active voice is reverted to 
for preference 

Tonawa suke chi-n-gari The Ashantis are taking the town 

If the following sentence from Mischlich is correct the 
passive may be adhered to in the Past II. tense. 

Anka chi gari da tonawa The town was taken by the Ashantis 

Anka, Aka 

There is a great tendency to use the forms " anka " 
(aka) instead of the active voice in 

1. Questions. 

2. Narration. 

3. Emphasis. 

l 

Yaushe ankabugeka ? When were you beaten ? 

Enna ankaganeku ? Where were you seen? 

Domi ankasache doki ? Why was the horse stolen ? 

2 and 3 

Jia ankabugesu They were beaten yesterday 

Jia akayi wannan abu Yesterday this thing was done 

Tundadewa ankasache doki The horse has been stolen a long 

time 

Akayi sansani; da safia ta yi, T he camp was pitched ; when morn- 

akatashi ; akayi ta fada har ///;/ came they arose and fell to 

akekasshe mutane wojen tala- fighting until about 3000 men 

ta ; kana akadena were killed ; then they ceased 

K 



146 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

It will be noticed in the last example that it is impossible 
in English to keep to the passive construction throughout. 
The active must be resorted to. 



Passive with Intransitive Verbs 

The passive form can also be used in Hausa with in- 
transitive verbs. The origin of the passive form as stated 
above is thus fully emphasised 

Anazua da su They are being brought 

=Suna zua da su They are coming with them 

Anje Kano They went to Kano 

Special Uses of Passive Form 
The passive is often used in an imperative sense 

En kawo rua ? akawo Shall I bring water ? Bring it or 

let it be brought 

Asa su tafichan,adauko kayamu, Let some one go there and take our 
azo da su wurinmu loads and bring them here 

A real noun may be used with a passive prefix in those 
tenses where the verb acquires a substantival idea 

Ban debo wani ba don anarua / did not take any out on account 

of the rain 

Zamanin nan anayungwa In those times there was hunger 

Anshekara biu bai rua ba For two years there was no rain 

Bayan anshekara dunia tai dadi After a year there was peace 

Also 

Ana -nan Thereupon 

Ana-haka-nan ,, 

In the passive as well as in the active voice the verb 
root is occasionally reduplicated in the plural. This gives 
a distributive force 

Ankasosu They have been loved (all of them 

together) 
Ankasososu They have been loved (i.e., each one 

with special attention) 



VERB 



147 



Sundry Examples of Use of Passive 



Anaikoni wurinka 
Saanda akakawoni 
Akahaifeni a birni-n-Katsina 

gida-n-Musa 
Anakira-n-salla 
Kai a-ke-kira 
1 Anarua 
1 A A, yanzu andauka rua 

1 Da dam ana anarua deri da 

rana 

1 Sal ankwana biu 
1 Yanzu afara sabo 
Akanrena aiki-n-gwoni ? su kan 

yi mana 
Ba asan garinda zaasuba 

Ni za-a-aikeni ga Bornu ? 

Ina ji-n-motsi chan, mi anayi 

(or akcyi) ? 
Kurdi-n-dokina, sai da nono- 

n-mache anasayensa 

Ina so en tambayc shi ko 
ambashi abinchi ? ya che 
ambashi kurdi, amma ba 
abashi abinchi ba tukuna 

Daga rana nan anasukuan doki 
da anabuga bindiga 

Kada su ji tsoro, ba zaa korcsu 
ba 

Wani lokachi zaayenka sa chikin 

_ kasua kuma ? 

Abersu su tafi ? Idan sariki ya 
cho abersu, abersu 

Amma ku zaayi maku baptisma 



/ was sent to you 

At the time when I was brought 

I was born in the city of Katsina 

in Musa's house 
It is the call to prayer 
You are called 
It is raining 
No, now the rain has stopped, lit., 

been taken away 
In the wet season it rains day and 

night 

Goodbye. Lit., Until slept twice 
We will now begin again 
Is the work of an expert despised ? 

They do indeed (despise it) 
The town they were going to pour 

down on was not known 
Shall I be sent to Bornu ? 
I hear a noise over there. What is 

being done ? 
As to the price of my horse, it can 

only be bought with a woman's 

breast 
I want to ask him if they have given 

him food ? He says he has been 

given money but not food yet 

On that day there were horse races 

and shooting 
Let them not fear ; they will not be 

driven away 
At what time will they kill a cow 

again in the market ? 
Will they be allowed to go ? If the 

chief says let them go they will be 

let go 
Hut you yourselves will be baptized 



The use of " ke " for " na " might possibly be called a 
hybrid, being a transfer into the passive form of the 



and 



1 In these sentences the purely passive idea is more prominent, 
id the substitution of "su" would be difficult. 



148 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

present tense form " ke " just as if it were " na." To 
complete the analogy " n " is inserted 

Ina fada maka kamada akeyin- / will tell you how " tuo " is made 

tuo 
A-ke-samunsn They were caught 

If the verb has the termination "da," the "n" is of 
course omitted 

Har ya zo wurinda a-ke-saida Until he come to the place where 
bayi they sold slaves 



THE INFINITIVE 

The fact that the infinitive is a noun is not lost sight of 
in Hausa. In rendering such sentences as 

1. To sleep is pleasant 

2. I wish to go 

the infinitive may be employed, though in the second 
example a circumlocution may be adopted. 
The above may be translated as follows 

1. Berichi ya yi dadi 
Berichi da dadi ya ke 
Berichi yana da dadi 

2. Ina so-n-tafia 
Ina so en tafi 

The following sentences furnish examples of pure nouns, 
or verbs used as nouns, in the same position 

Su tafi halbi They go to shoot 

Su tafi gida They go home 

Muka tafi farauta We went hunting 

Sun tafi chi-n-tuo-n-su They have gone to eat their food 

Sometimes the preposition "ga," to, is added 

Kai, ba ka girima ba ga aiki You are too small for work 

(or ga yi-n-aiki) 
Mn tafi ga sha-n-hiska We go to take the air 



VERB 149 

Examples of Infinitive in Nominative Case 

Gudu, gado - n - matsorachi ne ; To run is the inheritance of a 

tsayawa, na maikarifi - n - coward; to stand (lit., standing) 

zuchia that of a brave man 

Gani, em ba chi ba, karre (shi) To see if not to eat means the dog 

kan kwana da yungwa (prov.) will sleep hungry 

Gani-n-sa da keao It is beautiful to see (lit., The seeing 

it is beautiful) 

Na samu wani abu da kamsi, / found something sweet smelling 

chinsa babu dadi but not good to eat 

PLURAL 

Chiye - chiye ya fi chanyewa To eat a little at a time is better 
(prov.) than to devour 

Infinitive as Direct Object 

Zaki ya ji kukanta The lion heard her cries 

Halbi a wutsia ya fi kuskure It is better to hit the tail than to 

(prov.) miss 

Ina so- n- tafia / want to go 

Infinitive as Indirect Object without Preposition 

Mun tafi chi-n-abinchi We went to eat food 

Ya tafi nema-n-doki He has gone to search for the horse 

Na zo tambaya-r-ka ne / come to ask you 

Infinitive as Indirect Object with Preposition 
Na aike shi gari-n-kawo-n-doki I sent him to bring the horse 

In Future Tense II. it is, of course, the infinitive that 
is used after " zani," etc. 

Na rassa abinda zan yi / do not know what to do. Lit., 

/ am without the thing I shall do 

Ya yi terko da zaya kama He made a trap and he will catch 
kurege a weasel 

In such a sentence as " He heard us come," the Hausa 
construction is " He heard our coming," keeping "come " 
strictly as a noun 

Ya ji mosi-mu He heard us move 



Na same shi zamne / found him sitting down 



150 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

The following are examples of the use of the subjunctive 
mood instead of the infinitive either with or without a 
conjunction : 

WITHOUT 

Ina so shi (or ya) tafi I want him to go 

Ya soki sarikin da mashi-n-nan He pierced the king with that spear 
da ubangidansa ya ba shi riko which his master gave him to 

hold 

Ka yi nufi ka tafi ? Did you intend to go ? 

Na aike shi shi kawo doki I sent him to bring the horse 

Fadi en ji Let me hear (lit., Speak so that 1 

hear) 

WITH 

Na aike shi don shi kawo doki / sent him to bring the horse 
(For " don," " domin" or " garin" may be substituted) 

Instead of a subordinate sentence two co-ordinate 
sentences may be employed 

Sun tafo gidansu suna rabawa They came home to divide it 

Ba naku ne da zaku san zamanu It is not for you to know the times 

Ta shigo gari tana nema-n-miji She entered the town looking for a 

ta yi amre husband to marry him 

Use of the Future Tense 

Na aike (mutum) wanda zashi / sent some one to bring the horse 

(or zaya) kawo doki 
Na koiya masa yada (or kanda / taught him how to clean the gun 

or wada) zashi (or zaya) wanke 

bindiga 
Ni, ba ruana ba ne, su ne zasu It is not my business. They are 

yishi the people to do it 

Use of Prefix "mai" 
Kana da mutum maitaya maka ? Have you any one to help you ? 

Note also f ollowing 

Mun ji tausayi en rabua da shi We were sorry to leave him 



VERB 



151 



PRESENT PARTICIPLE 

There are two forms of present participle, both sub- 
stantival. One can be used adjectivally in apposition to 
another noun, but the other is never anything but a noun. 
In reality neither is a true participle, but they are the 
equivalent renderings of two uses of the verb in English 
with the termination " -ing." 

No. 1 

Adjectival forms are produced by the use of "mai" 
and " ma " prefixed. The resulting adjectives take gender 
and plural variations as follows : 



MASC. AND FEM. 

Maibude 

Maifalka 

Maififika 

Maifura 

Maifuta 

Mairubutu 

Mairufe 

Mai j if a 

Maiso 

Maiyaswa 

Maizua 



SOKOTO 

PLURAL 

masubude 

masufalka 

masufifika 

masufura 

masufuta 

masurubutu 

masurufe 

masujifa 

masuso 

masuyaswa 

masuzua 



ENGLISH 

opening 

waking 

flying 

blowing, kindling 

resting 

writing 

shutting 

throwing 

loving 

throwing away 

coming 



MASC. 

Mabudi 

Mafalki 

Mafifiki 

Mafuri 

Mafuti 

Marubuchi 

Marufi 

Majefi 

Masoyi 

Mayashi 

Mazayi 





KANO 


FEM. 


PLURAL 


mabudia 


mabuda 


mafalkia 


mafalka 


mafifikia 


mafifika 


mafuria 


mafura 


raafutia 


mafuta 


marubuchia 


marubuta 


raarufia 


marufa 


majefia 


majefa 


masoyia 


masoya 


mayashia 


mayasa 


mazayia 


mazaya 



ENGLISH 

opening 

waking 

flying 

blowing, kindling 

resting 

writing 

shutting 

throwing 

loving 

throwing away 

coming 



NOTE Moat of the foregoing are from Mischlich 



152 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Various Examples of Syntax 

Mutuin mairufe kofa A man who shuts the door, i.e., 

Door-opener 
Malami mairubutu yana zamne A mallam is sitting yonder writing 

chan 
Muka nema mutane ma-isu tafi We looked for one who would (lit., 

Hal ma capable of) go to Balma 

No. 2 
Noun Form l 

The other form of the present participle is as used in 
English in the sentences, " I am coming," "He is killing," 
etc. It is formed by adding "wa" to the verb stem. 
This produces a noun form, and not every verb is capable 
of taking it. Being a noun form, the pronoun that pre- 
cedes it is the one ending in " -na," which suffix is dropped 
in the negative. In the 3rd person the form of pronoun 
"shina" is preferred to "yana" 

Zo zuwa coming 

lya iyawa being able 

Sayas (of saye) sayaswa selling 

Shina fitowa He is coming out Ba shi fitowa He is not coming 
(actually now) out (actually now) 

These have, besides, supplementary meanings. 

(1) Futurity 

Ina zuwa or ni ke zua / am coming or I will come 

Ina tafiata / am going my journey. (This is 

the possessive pronoun at end of 

the noun) 
Suka che ba mu bayesua They said we will not give (it) 

(2) Possibility or Ability 

Shina yiuwa ? ba shi yiuwa Can it be done ? It cannot be done 

Gulabe suna ketaruwa ? Can the rivers be crossed ? 

1 See derived nouns, class 8. 



VERB 



153 



Ba ta amrua or aurua 

Ba na damua 

Abi-n-nan ya fasu ba shi 

gertuwa 

Iri-n-nan ba shi geruwa 
Yana yenkan rua da lauje shina 

damrewa shina ajiyewa sai 

rua ya yi sarari 



She is not marriageable 

I am not to be annoyed or astonished 

This thing is broken, it is not 

repairable 

This kind cannot be improved 
He cut the water with a sickle he 
tied it up and set it aside until 
the water made an open space 



If the present participle is not used a series of co- 
ordinate sentences may be found 



Suka kama hainya, suna waka, 
suna yebo-n- Allah 



They took the road singing (and) 
praising God 



PAST PARTICIPLE 

The past participle is a pure adjective formed from the 
verb stem by a reduplication of the last syllable for the 
most part 



MASC. 



FEM. 



ENGLISH 



Arare 


araria 


araru 


ara 


lent 


Biye 


biyia 


biyu 


bi 


followed 


Budade 


budadia 


budadu 


bude 


opened 


Chechache 


chechachia 


chechachu 


cheche 


saved 


Chikake 


chikakia 


chikaku 


chika 


filled 


Dafafe 


dafafia 


dafafu 


dafa 


cook 


Falkake 


falkakia 


falkaku 


falka 


woken 


Fifikake 


fifikakia 


fifikaku 


fifika 


flown 


Furare 


furaria 


furaru 


fura 


blow a fire 


Futate 


futatia 


futatu 


futa 


rested 


Haifafe 


haifafia 


haifafu 


haife 


begotten 


Jefafe 


jcfafia 


jefafu 


jefa 


thrown 


Karikache 


karikachia 


karikatu 


karikata 


bent 


Kiraye 


kirayia 


kirayu 


kira 


called 


Koshashe 


koshashia 


koshashu 


koshi 


satisfied 


Karbabe 


karbabia 


karbabu 


karba 


received 


Konane 


konania 


konanu 


kone 


burnt 


Matache 


matachia 


matatu 


mutu 


dead 


Ninane 


ninania 


ninanu 


nina 


ripened 


Kamtachc 


ramtachia 


ramtatu 


ramche 


borrowed 








(ramtye) 




Bubutache 


rubutachia 


rubutatu 


rubutu 


written 


Bufafe 


rufafia 


rufafu 


rufe 


shut 


Sanane 


sanania 


sananu 


sani 


known 



154 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Satache 


satachia 


satatu 


Shaidade 


shaidadia 


shaidadu 


Shiriaye 


shiriayia 


shiriayu 


Soyaye 


soyayia 


soyayu 


Tafasashe 


tafasashia 


tafasasu 


Tarare 


tararia 


tararu 


Toyaye 


toyayia 


toyayu 


Tsarare 


tsararia 


tsararu 


Wankake 


wankakia 


wankaku 


Yasashe 


yasashia 


yasasu 


Yirdade 


yirdadia 


yirdadu 


Zayaye 


zayayia 


zayayu 



sata 

shaida 

shiria 

so 

tafasa 

tara 

toya 

tsara 

wanke 

yas 

yirda 

zo 



stolen 

proven 

prepared 

beloved 

boiled 

assembled 

baked 

guarded 

washed 

thrown away 

believed 



Examples of Syntax 



A Kano akoi takardu rubutatu 

dayawa 
A Kano akoi rubutatu-n-ta- 

kardu dayawa 
Kada ka tafi wuri-n-sariki, sai 

ka ga kofa budadia or Kada 

ka tafi wuri-n-sariki sai ka ga 

budadia-1-kofa 
Doiya nan dainye che, wadanga 

kua dafafu ne 
Lemu da ka kawo mani ba 

nunanu ba ne 
Yara nan lalatatu ne, da suna 

samari akakialisu, shi ne ya sa 

Ya damra fitila juyaya a bisa 

adaka 
Zakara ya zamna adaki matache 



At Kano are many written books 



Do not go to the chief until you see 
his door open 



This yam is fresh those however 
are cooked 

The limes you brought me are not 
ripe 

These boys are corrupted, when 
they were young they were ne- 
glected ; that is what caused it 

He has tied the lamp on the box 
upside down 

The cock lay in the room dead 



VERBAL ADVERBS 

These are formed from the verb stem with the prefix 
"a," which may perhaps be the preposition "on," and 
the final vowel is changed to " e," as 



Abude from budu 
Adarime , damre 
Afalke , falka 
Afifike , fifika 
Afure fura 
Afnche futa 
Ahadie , hade 


open Ajefe fr< 
tied Akafe 
waked Akwanche 
flown Akunche 
kindled Amache 
rested Amanche 
swallowed Arataye 


jm jefa thrown 
kafa fastened 
kwanta laid down 
kunche loosed 
mutu dead 
manta forgotten 
rataya hung 



VERB 



155 



Arubu- from rubutu 

tuche 

Arufe rufe 
Ashike 
Ashirige shiriga 



Asoye 



written 

shut 
melted 
laden, 
placed 
on top 
of each 
other 
loved 



Asage fro 
Atsaye 

Asanche , 
Ataushe , 

Awanke , 
Azamne , 
Ayashe . 
Azaye , 


m tsaga 
tsaya 

sani 
tausa or 
taushe 
wanka 
zamna 
yas 
zo 


drawn 
(stand) 
erect 
known 
pressed 

washed 
seated 
thrown 
come 



These forms are not all translatable into English in 
the same way 



Na ga kaza afifike 

Na ga kofa abude 

Na ga mutum azaye 

Na ishe shaifu Usman asoye ga 

Filani 
Ya tashi tsaye a chiki-n-tsaka- 

r-ya-n-uwa 



I saw the chicken flying away 

I saw the door ajar 

I saw the man had come 

I met the sheikh Usman the beloved 

of the Fulas 
He got up and stood in the midst of 

the brethren 



(In this the prefix "a" is dropped.) 



Na ganeshi akewaye ga yara 

dayawa 
Sai ga mutum biu daura da su 

atsaye 

Suka iske kogi achiko 
Sun gan'shi azona kaman da 

("azona" euphonic for 

" azone " = " azamne ") 
Ga sauran zuma a-ajiye 
Na bar mashi chan akafe a 

jikinsa 



I saw him surrounded by many 

boys 
But two men were standing by them 

They found the river full 
They saw him seated as before 



See the rest of the honey is put down 
I left the spear there fast in his body 



USE OF INVERTED PERSONAL PRONOUN 

There are only three verbs in Hausa that are exceptions 
to the rule that the subject pronoun precedes the verb. 
They are all defective, and only appear in the forms given 
here 

1 Zani / will go. Used in the future tense 

2 (m.) zaka 

(f.) zaki 

3 (in.) zashi, zaya, zai 

(f.) zata 

plu. 1 zamu 

2 zaku 

3 zasu 



156 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

" Za " is the reverse of " zo," come, and so means " go." 

Yaka (m.), yaki (f.) come here ) T 

Yaku come here (plu.) ( Operative 

Jeka (m.), jeki (f.) qo / T 
Jeku go \ Operative 

"Je" is also used in the ordinary way preceded by 
the pronoun 

Zani Kano / go, or will go, to Kano 

Na biku bar wurinda zaku / will follow you to the place you 

are going to 

Ke je ki 60 thou ! (f.) 

Ni ma za en je ni en rama abinda And I will go and revenge myself 

ubana ya yi mini on my father 

Ya tafi ya je sari oban He went and killed his father 

IMPERSONAL VERBS 

There are two impersonal verbs in Hausa "akoi" 
(akwoi) and " wai " (wae). 

Akwoi 

" Akwoi " means there is. There is no change for tense, 
time being indicated by adverbs 

Tun a mafari akoi Allah God has been since the beginning 

or There is a God ever since the 
beginning 

Sometimes the 3rd personal pronoun plural follows in 
answer to a question, as " Akwoi su " There are. 

Akwoi su dayawa, ba arasasu There are plenty, they are not 

wanting 

Wai (wae} 

" Wai " = " ya che," he says. It is always used when the 
speaker is not speaking on his own authority. It is not 
universally interchangeable with "ya che." 

Wai ku tafi He says you must go or you are 

to go 
Wani yaro ya zo wai shi Audu A certain boy has come, he says he 

is Audu 

NOTE. Miller says this is a Zaria idiom. 



VERB 157 

Under the head of impersonal verbs may also be 
mentioned the use of the noun " saura," remainder. 

Saura kadan muu gama aikinmu In a short time we shall finish our 

work 
Saura kwana uku In three days or There is left three, 



Yi 

The verb " yi " is often used as an impersonal verb. 
Ya yi kusa It is near 

See in chapter on idioms under " yi " 



CHAPTER VI 

ADVERBS 

ADVERBS may be divided as follows : 

1. Place. 

2. Time. 

3. Manner. 

4. Affirmation and Negation. 

5. Interrogation. 

Most adverbs are either compound words made up 
wholly or partly from other parts of speech, or, in regard 
to adverbs of place in particular, some nouns are used 
without any change of form. 

There are some words which are classed under adverbs 
of manner and time of which it is hard to decide whether 
they are not better classed as conjunctions, a doubt which 
is equally common to other West African languages. 

Some West African languages, among which may be 
mentioned Yoruba, Efe, and Mende have long lists of 
intensitive adverbs. These words are very commonly 
attached to certain verbs alone, and cannot be used with 
other verbs. Hausa is quite deficient in this respect, but 
seeing that many of these intensitives have an approxima- 
tion to the root of the verb to which they are attached 
when needed, it may be assumed that they are derived 
from that verb. If that be confirmed, a germ of the 
same idea lies in Hausa in the use of the neuter form 
ending in " u " following the principal verb (see under 
division of verbs). 

158 



ADVERB 



159 



Nan, nana 

Nanyanga 
Chan, chana 
Tare 
Enda 



1. ADVERBS or PLACE 

Simple 

here, there. (For etymology see under 

demonstrative pronoun) 
here. (Not in colloquial use) 
there, yonder 

together. (Related to " tara," to collect) 
where (relative) For "enna?" where? ste 

under interrogative adverbs) 



Daga nan 

Daga chan 

Da nisa, daga nisa 

Da kusa, daga knsa 

Wuri-n-nan 

Wuri duka 

Wuri-n-da 

Ko-enna 

Dabara, daura 



Compound 

hence, from here 

thence, from there 

far, from afar. (Nisa is a noun) 

near 

here, at this place 

everywhere 

where, the place which 

anywhere 

near, alongside 



Gaba 

Baya 

Bisa 

Kasa 

Kalkas, kalikashi 



Nouns used as Adverbs 



in front 

behind 

above 

below 

below 



Waje 

Tsakani 

Chiki 

Kusa 

Nisa 



outside, beside 

between 

inside 

near, nearly, almost 

far, distant 



Gangare 



Verbs used as Adverbs 
across Ketare across 



Examples of Uses 
Nan, chan, daga chan, wuri-n-nan, etc. 



Shina nan 
Shi ke nan 



a vi 

nan, bar ka yishi 
Tana chan. Tana chana 



He is here, or there not far 

It is so. This phrase is used as n 

sort of mark of punctuation in 

conversation 
Since I have told you, so it is, you 

must do it 
She is yonder 



160 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Shina nana 

Ba shi nan 

Zo nan 

Aje bindiga nan 

Ba shi daga nan 

Tumaki duka suna nan ? Ba su 

duka nan ba 
Mi zaki yi nana ? 
Daga chan na ganiabi-n-mamaki 



He, is here 

He is not here 

Come here 

Put the gun here 

He is not here 

Are all the sheep here ? They are 

not all here 

What will you (f.) do here ? 
There I saw a wonderful thing 



Note- that the adverb precedes for emphasis 



Daga nan muka tashi, muka issa 

nana 
Daga wuri-n-nan 

Daga nan bar chan 
Daga chan har nan 
Abokina shina (or yana) nan 
Tun yaushe kana nan zamne ? 



(and) 



From there we started 

we reached here 
There or from there or from that 

place 

From here to there 
From there to here 
My friend is here 
How long have you been sitting (or 

living) here? 



NOTE. // " wuri-n-nan " were used it would follow " zamne " 



Suna nan zamne da shi 
Ina tamaha kwanaki shida 
nan zua ga Bornu 



They are sitting there with him 
I think it is six days from here to 
Bornu 



Tare 

Mutane duka suna tafia tare All the people are travelling together 

" Tare " is distinct from " tari " =very many 

Enda, wurinda 



Suka tambaye sa enda (or wur- 
inda) uwasa ta ke 

Enda hali, muni keao ne; enda 
ba hali ba, keao muni ne 
(proverb) 



Ba enda ban tafi ba 
Tali enda zaka 



They asked him where his mother 
was 

Where there is character unfavour- 
able appearance counts for 
nothing; where there is no 
character good looks are of no 
avail 

There is nowhere I have not been 

Go to your destination 



Nisa, da nisa, etc. 



Bature shina nisa tukun 
Bature ba shi nisa 
Na gan' shi daga nisa 
Ya tsaya daga nisa 



The European is still far off 
The European is not far 
I saw him afar off 
He stood afar off 



ADVERB 



161 



Kadan ku tafi nisa daga garemu, 
kada ku shida nisa daga uban- 
enku 

Mu tafi wuri da nisa 

Ban gan' su ba, suna da nisa 

Rua nisa ya ke daganan 
Dengina sun tafi nisa duk' sun 

rabu da ni 
Ya yi nisa 
Suna tafia sun yi nisa 



Let us go to a far place 

I have not seen them, they are a 

long way off 
The water is far from here 
My countrymen have gone far away, 

they have all parted from me 
It is far 
They went a long way 



Kusa, da kusa, etc. 



Shi ne kusa gareni 

NOTE. " Kusa gare 

Ba ka gani ba ya kusa gareka 

Ya kusa chika da rua 

Shina kusa da shi 

Shina kusansa 

Daga kusa 

Ga shi tsakanin kulkusa 

Kusa da juna 

Ya kusa inutua 

Hani ya kusa zakua 

Runa ta kusa fadowa 

Aikinsa ya kusa karewa 

Ya kusa fadua 



He is near me 
really makes a preposition. 

You do not see hi is near you 

It is nearly full of water 

He is near him. (Preposition here) 

He is near him. (Noun here) 

From near 

See him in the middle very close 

Close to each other 

He was nearly dead 

The dry season is near 

The sun is nearly setting 

His work is nearly finished 

He almost fell 



The last five examples show that the fact that " kusa " 
is always a noun is not lost sight of. The succeed- 
ing verb takes a noun form (in "wa"), and "kusa" and 
the verb are thus two nouns in apposition 

Ya yi kusa 
Ku yi kusa 



Allah shina koenna. 

wuri duka 
Koenna sun sha gia sun koshi 



It is near (not he is near) 
Come near 

Koenna, wuri duka 
Allah shina Ood is everywhere 



Koenna ka tafi Allah shi nana 



Wherever they drink beer, they get 

drunk 
Wherever you go God is there 



Su jeru daidai ba na so su taaya 
daura da juna 



Dabara, daura 

Let them fall in properly. I do 
not want them to stand one 
(slightly) in front of another 



162 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Gaba, baya 

Suna tafia gaba ina binsu daga They are, walking in front, I am. 

baya following them behind 

Ki wuche gaba, rua-n-Madina Pass on, the water of Medina is 

ba kusa ba not near 

Ba shi iya shi dauki kayansa He cannot carry his load on 

nan gaba 

Bisa, Tcasa, kalkas, etc. 

Shi ne daga bisa, ni ne daga He is on top, I am underneath 

kalkas 

Ya shido daga bisa He came down from aloft 

Kadan ka kai shi bisa, ka kawo- When you have carried it up, bring 

shi kasa it down again 

Kai bisa ! Carry it up 

Tainya shi ! shi dauka kaya a Help him to carry it up 

bisa 

Mu fadi kasa We fell down 

Zamna kasa Sit down 

Ku aje kasa Put it down 

Safko kalkas daga itache Come down from the tree 

Waje 
Ya fito waje He came outside 

" Waje " might equally well be called a noun here in the 
objective case after "fito" 

Sun fita waje sun yi yaki They went outside and fought a 

battle 

Tsakani 
Aje tsakani Put it between 

Child 

Muka samu yara suna worigi We found some boys playing inside 

daga chiki 
Sa chiki Put it inside 

Gfangare. Used with hills 
Gangare duchi Across the mountains 

Ketare used with water as well as land 

Ketare gulbi-n-nan Across this river 

Ketare chan That side 

Ketare duchi Over the rock 



ADVERB 



163 



2. ADVERBS OF TIME 



Those marked * are also conjunctions, 
are also prepositions. 

Simple 

again, also 

before that, until, then 



Those marked f 



*Kuma 

*Kana (K), kan, kanda 

Kamin 
*Dada (S) 
tHar, hal 

Hario 

Tun, tunda 

Tuni (K), tuntuni 

Tukun, tukuna 

Tukunche 

Nada 

Abada, hal abada 

Tutur, tutut, tutuk. tutu 

Kulum 

Da 

Da 

Karshe 



until 

again, yet 

while, since, while as ye 

long ago, already 

yet, not yet 

(rare) 
before 
for ever 
for ever 
always 
of old 
when 
lastly 



Take (S) = koyanzu, and, nan da nan 



Yao 
Jia 

Shekaranjia 

Gobe 

Jibi 

Gata 

Chita 

Bara 

Km. i 

Badi 



to-day 

yesterday 

day before yesterday 

to-morrow 

day after to-morrow 

the third day ahead 

fourth day ahead 

last year 

this year 

next year 



These are, 
strictly 
speaking, 



Ananan 



Yanzu (ya-n-zu) 

Ko-yanzu 

Saa-n-da, lotunda, lokachinda, 

wokachinda, kwanakinda 
Nan da nan 



thereupon, after that. From "a" 
the prep. = on, al, and "nan" 
here 

now 

now immediately 

when (relative) 

immediately 



164 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Daganan 

(Yaushe ? 
Koyaushe 
Saa-nan, lotu-nan, lokachi-nan, 

zamani-nan, kwanaki-nan 
Saa duka, lokachi duka, lotu 

duka 

Wani lotu 
Tundadewa (S) 
Dadewa 
Dadai 

Da wuri, Dauri (S) 

Da fari (S) 

Chikin da-farko (K) 

Da safe 

Da mareche 

Da dere 

Zama-zama 

So dayawa 
fBaya ga 

Baya-n-wannan 
tAgaba 

Gaba ma 

Nan gaba 

Gaba daia (S) 

Baki daia (K) 



thereupon 
When ? see interrogative adverbs) 

at any time, immediately, always 
now, these days 

at any time 

another time 

long since 

long since 

ever. Usually with negative ; ~ 

never 

of old, formerly 
at first 
at first 

early morning 
at evening 
at night 

after a little time 
often, many times 
after. (Prep, really) 
after this 
in front 

later on, in the future 
henceforth, in future 
at once 



Kuma, again, more, also 
Derived from Tcoma, to return 



Zo kuma 

Babu nisa kuma 

Ba ni da kurdi dayawa kuma 

A-kan-yi-su da kasa, a-kan-yi- 

su da itache kuma 
Wani lokachi za-a-yenka sa a 

kasua kuma 
Audu ya yi sata ; Mahma ya yi 

sata kuma 



Come again 

No farther 

I have no more money at all 

They are made of earth, they are 

made of wood also 
When will they kill a bull again in 

the market 
Audu has stolen ; Mahma has also 

stolen. (This does not imply 

that Mahma has stolen again, 

i.e., a second time) 



Kana, kan, kanda. See also below under "before" 
kan tafi ni kan chi Then I used to go, I used to eat 



Kana ni 

tuona 
Dafari na gani sariki, kana 

galadima, da karshe sariki-n- 

pawa 



my food 

First I saw the chief, then the 
minister, lastly the head butcher 



ADVERB 165 

Hario ya kirani so-biu, kana na Again he called me twice, then I 

amsa answered 

Ina son Allah, kana abokina / lave God before (then) my friend 

Kan su gama Before they have done 

Kanda ta rabika (poetic) Before it part you 

Kanda na je daga nan Before I go from here 

Dada = Kana 

Suka fide nama dada suna bida- They skinned the animal, then they 
n-wuta (began) to look for fire 

Kamin 

Kamin rua shi taso Before the rain started 

Sai ka shiria kamin na zo You must get ready by the time I 

come 

Shiga daki kamin masugayya Go into the room before the assem- 
su zo blage comes 

Ear 

Har rana ta fadi Until the sun sets 

Har yao Until to-day 

Yana tafia bar yanzu ; ba ya He was travelling until now, he 

gama ba did not meet him 

Tsaya bar ya tafi Wait till he has gone 

Ka jira ni bar en zaka Wait till I come 

Ya tambaye ta bar so uku He asked her three times 

Ya jira bar ruaye su zuba kasa He waited until the rain came (lit., 

Waters pour on the earth) 

Na rike asiri - n - nan bar ga / have kept this secret until now 

yanzu (yao) (to-day) 

Kada ka maide mani dana bar You need not return my son to me 

na gamu da kai daga chiki-n- until I meet you in the other 

lakbira world 

Hario 

Hario mutume-n- nan, ko ubanta, Again the same man, or perhaps it 
ya zaka ya maishieta was her father, came (and) made 

her return 

See example under " kana " 

Tun 

Tun bara Since last year 

Tun da safe Since morning 

Tun jia bawa sbi ke, amma yao Only yesterday he was a slave, but 
da no to-day he is free 



166 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Tun a mafari akoi Allah 



Ubanka yana da rai ? Aa, ya 

mutu tun ina yaro 
Ku tuba tun ba ku mutu ba 
Tun da 



Tun da akoi daki 
Tun da babu sai Allah 



God has been since the beginning 

(lit., Since in the beginning there 

is God) 
Is your father alive ? No, he has 

been dead ever since I was a boy 
Repent before you die 
Since a long time back. This is 

distinct from " tunda," while, 

etc. 
From the first there has been a hut 

(here) 
From the beginning nothing but God 



Compare " tun a mafari " above 
Tunda =tun lokachinda 



Tun da ni ke, kulum na fadi 
gaskia 



Ever since I was born (lit., I was) 
I have always spoken the truth 



Tunda ankahaifeni ban ga bature Ever since I was born I have never 



ba 



seen a white man 



Tunda, while 



Tunda suna chika bindigansu 

dorina ta tan* nisa 
Ina son chi tuona da safe tunda 

ba shi yi ba sainyi 
Tunda ba shi kare maganansa 
Tunda ya mutu birni ya zama 

wofi 

Tuni, tuntuni, tundadewa. 

Ya tafi Kano tuni 

Na rabu da gida tuni 

Na yi shi tuntuni 

Karifi tara ne, antafi makaranta 

tuni 

Ka shimfida tufa tuni ? 
Ka toya gurasa tuni ? 
Ina jira-n-ka tundadewa 

Ya mutu tundadewa 



Whilst they are loading their guns 
the hippopotamus went far away 

I want to eat my food in the early 
morning before it gets cold 

Before he had finished talking 

Since he died the city has become 
desolate 

The last is a stronger form 

He has already gone to Kano 

I left home long ago 

I did it very long ago 

It is nine o'clock, everybody has 

gone to school long ago 
Have you spread the cloth yet ? 
Have you baked bread recently ? 
I have been waiting for you a long 

time 
He died long since 



Tukuna, as yet ; not yet (in negative sentences) 

Abinchi ya kare ? Tukuna, ba Is the food (lit., finished) ready ? 

ya nuna ba sarai Not yet, it is not properly cooked 

Ban chi komi ba tukuna / have not eaten anything yet 

Ba ya zo ba tukuna He has not come yet 



ADVERB 167 

Anzo da mutane ? Tukuna Have they brought the men ? They 

anazua da su are just bringing them now 

Yina chan tukuna, ya ki zua He is over there just now, he refuses 

to come 

Ku zamna tukuna Sit down for the moment 

Ba doki rua tukuna, kana ka Give the horse water first, then go to 

tafi kasua the market 

Sai tukun shi damre maikarifi Except he bind the strong man first 

Ya zakua tukun He will come first 

Nada 

Ba ya ji tsoro ba kama-n-nada He was not afraid as before 

Litafi nan duka daine (daia ne) This book is all the same as before 

kama-n-nada 

Ta waza wukanta kama-nada She sharpened her knife as before 

Abada, hal abada 

Allah shi ne abada God is for ever, i.e., eternal 

Iblis shina chiki-n-wuta har Satan is in the fire for ever 
abada 

Tutur, etc. 

Ku sani dunia ba ta zama tutut You know the world will not last 
(poetic) for ever 

Kulum 

Kulum suna kashe mutane They never ceased killing men 
kul 11 in kulum 

Da, of old 

Kano da gari karami ne Kano was formerly a little town 

Da ni talaka ne, yanzu na samu Formerly I was poor, now I am 

dukia da dama better off 

Mutane-n-da suka zamna nan, Men of old lived here, without work, 

ba aiki ba, ba komi sai abinchi without anything but plenty of 

tari food (lit., food-abundance) 

NOTE. " The men who " would be " mutanenda = mutane da " 

Tasunia kwanaki-n-mutane da A story of the days of men (of) old 
Mu tuna da Let us recall former times 

Da, when (relative) 

Da ta gane ni ta tambayeni : When she saw me she asked me : 

enna ubanka ? Where is your father ? 

Da suna yi-n-inagana Bornu As they were speaking the Bornu 

ban sani ba abinda su ke language I did not know what 

chewa they were saying 



168 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Da suka dauka abu duka chiki- When they had taken everything out 

n-gari sun sa wuta of the town they set fire to it 

Da sa lia ya yi muka tashi When it was daylight we started 

Da mareche ya yi When it was evening 

Da gari ya waye When the dawn had come 

Saanda, (Saa'da) lokachinda, lotunda, wokachinda 
= when (relative) 

Saanda na samu dama When I am better 

Lotunda na tashi ba na ji lafia When I started I did not feel well 

ba 

Kun zo da safinga ? I, muka Did you come this morning ? Yes, 

zo, amma kwanakinda muka we came, but when we came you 

zo kana karatu were reading 

Saa-nan, lotu-nan, lokachi-nan, zamani-nan, kwanaki-nan (or saa- 
n-nan, etc.)=Then, at that time 

Lotu nan ina tamaha shekarata / think I was eleven years of age 

sha daia then 

Saa nan Musa ya tafo Then Musa came 

Also 

Daga rana nan anasukua-n-doki On that day there were horse races 
da anabuga bindiga and shooting 

Wani lotu, etc. 

Wani lotu shi kan kawo labari Sometimes he brings good news, 
nagari, da wani lotu mugu sometimes bad 

Karshe 
(See example under " Kana ") 

Yao, gobe, jia, etc. Usually at beginning of sentences 

Yao ba mu tafi ba makaranta To-day we did not go to school 
Jia na ji labari da ni ke so To-day I heard the news I liked 

Ananan 
Ananan da safe After that, in the morning . . . 



ADVERB 169 

Tanzu, Koyanzu 

Yanzu-yanzu Now at once 

Hal ya zua yanzu Up till now 

Ya che Bature shi tafo yanzu He said, Let the white man come 

at once 
Koyanzu na yi koda na gaji / will do (it) at once though I am 

tired 
Koyanzu na tafi Lokoja Just now I go to Lokoja 

Koyaushe 
Ina tunawa koyaushe 7 am always remembering it 

Dadai 
See other ways of expressing " never " under " never." 

Mutume kama-n-wannan dadai 7 have never seen a man like this 

ban gani ba 

Bako gari ba ka zo dadai ba A strange city to which you have 

never before come 

Dadai ban gani ba anadafa 7 never saw dates cooked before 

dabino 

Ban yi sata dadai I have never stolen 

Nan da nan. (Usually in narration) 
Ka yi shi nan da nan Do it at once 

Daganan 

Daganan sariki yache After that, or thereupon, the king 

said 

Dawuri, dauri 
Na ji magana nan dawuri / have heard that before 

Dafari 
(See example under " kana ") 

Da safe, da mareche, etc., points of time. " Da " is the 
preposition " with " 

Muka tashi da dere We started at night 

Ina tamaha sun aike wadansu 7 /////// they sent some persons awiy 

daga chiki-n-dere nan during the night 

Gobe da safe mu tashi To-morrow we start 



170 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Zama-zama or sama-sama 
Ban ji ba sai sama-sama / only heard a little 

Baya ga (a preposition in reality) 

Daga baya ga wannan After this 

Baya ga beri-n-gidansa After leaving home 

Baya ga mutua-r-kanuata na ji After the death of my younger sister 

labari-n-yaki / heard rumours of war 

A gaba 
Allah ya sa kwanakinsa agaba God prolonged his life 

Gaba ma 

Gaba- ma shi zama da Later he will be free 

Gaba- ma ina da kurdi In the future I shall have 

money 

Nan gaba 
Nan gaba ba kana kara Henceforth do not do it again 

Gaba-daia, baki-daia, gabadai 

Masukaya su zo gaba daia, ba The carriers must all come together, 

daia daia ba not one by one 

Kana gani dari suna tafia gabadai You might see hundreds walking 

about at one time 
Domi ba ka zo wurina gabadaia Why did you not come to me at 

ba ? once ? 

Ku beri ataru atafi gaba daia Let them assemble and go all 

together 
Baki daia mu tashi We will start all at once 

Time 

Idiomatic expressions and circumlocution. 

Some adverbs of time in English may in Hausa be 
expressed idiomatically, or a circumlocution may be 
adopted. There may also, however, be a corresponding 



ADVERB 171 

adverb in Hausa, and the two modes of expression may 
be used indifferently. 

Never 

Besides using "dadai" the verb "taba" to touch, may 
be used. 

Ban taba gani mutume-n-nan / have never seen this man until 

ba sai yao to-day 

Ka taba zua Kano ? Have you ever been to Kano ? 

Before 

" Before " besides being expressed by " kana," " tunda," 
etc., may be translated by means of the negative, an 
idiom which is the standard one even as far as in the far 
distant Mende language 

Shekara-n-birni-n-Daura alfina The age of the city of Daura wax 
da dari Filani ba su tafo ba 2100 before the Fulani came 

" Tun " may also be used with a negative 

Ya rabu da gida tun abokina He left home before his friend came 
ba ya zo ba 

Also by special verbs 

Na rigaya shi zua nan / reached here before him (lit., / 

anticipated him) 

Na fara zua nan ya bini a baya / reached here first (lit., / began to 

come here he followed me behind) 

Since. Expressed with " not," etc., when " tunda " not used 

Ya yi shekara biu ban gan'ka ba / have not seen you for two years 

Sai kaka : ba ya fi wata biu ba Xot till autumn : it is not more 

anshipkata than two months since it was sown 

Ya yi shekaru dayawa da zuansa It is several years since last he came 

Bakoi uku ke nan da uwana ya It is three weeks since my brother 

yenke yatsansa cut his finger 

(See example under Sundry Expressions of Time below) 

For, duration of time 

Kwana uku ko nan da na ke yi For three days I have had dysentery 

atuni 

Na shekara f udu ina chikin karatu For four years I was learning to 

read 



172 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Whilst 

Wa zaya yerda wani ya chi Who will agree to another's taking 
sarota tasa, shi ko yana da rai his kingdom whilst he is still alive 

See under preposition " chiki-n " 



Soon 



Dufu ya yi kusa 



It will soon be dark. (Lit., Dark- 
ness makes near) 



Sundry Expressions of Time 

Dare-n-jia ansache kaya guda On the previous night a load was 

stolen 

Yao kwana uku ban chi komi It is now three days since I have 

ba eaten anything 

Daga chiki-n-shekara nan In that year 

Sun yi masa aiki kwana shida They worked for him six or three 

ko uku days 

Kadan sun kwana dere uku ko When they had stayed three or four 

fudu nights 

Muka zamna daganan kwanaki We remained there many days 

dayawa 

Gobensa ( = gobe-n-sa) On the next day 

Yao shekara-n-mu'goma sha biar / have had that jar for exactly 

da ni da buta nan fifteen years 



3. ADVERBS OF MANNER 
Those marked * are also used as conjunctions. 



Bale (S), bale-fa (S), barshema 
(K), balantana (Zanf.), bal- 
anta, barshe (K) 

Daidai 

Daia-ne 
Dakir, daket 
Dole (S) = tilas (K) 
Fache 

Gaya (K) = kwarai 

Girshi 

Haka, hakanan 

Halama 



much, more, much less 

properly, equally, together, uni- 
formly 

ready, completely 

with difficulty 

with force 

much less, however (? fa and verb 
"to be" (f.)) 

exactly 

suddenly 

so 

perhaps 



ADVERB 173 

Kadai alone 

Kadan o little (also an adjective) 

Kama (noun), kamada, karaanda how, like as 

*Ko even. See under conjunctions 

Kokaka anyhow 

Kwarai (S) exactly, properly 

Lale in any case, of necessity, of a surety 

Mana then, do ! A command of urgency 

Maza quickly 

*Sai alone, except, etc. Also preposi- 
tion and conjunction 

*Saidai except 

Sanu softly 

Sarai properly 

Tari many. (A noun = abundance) 

Tilas (K) with force 

Wada (S), yada (K), awa (Zanf) how, the, manner in which, 

Wajib of necessity 

Watakila perhaps 



Bale, etc. 

Na yi murna doki daia balefa I rejoiced for one horse much more 

biu over two 

Ba ya tafi Masar ba bale Makka He did not go to Egypt much less 

to Mecca 
Bale fa mu dada It is much better for us to wait 

Daidai 

This is possibly not the same word as " daidai " a 
contraction of " daia daia " 

Maida tana motsi, ba ta tsaya The table moves it does not stand 

daidai ba evenly 

Suna gina dakuna biu daidai They build two houses alike 

Ban ji daidai ba / did not hear correctly 



Daia ne ( = it is one, unity) 
Sun yi aikinsu daia ne They did their work completely 

Dakir, daket 
Dakir na samu hainya I found the road with difficulty 



174 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Oaya (K) = kwarai 
Ya gudu gaya He ran well 

Girshi 

Girshi na gani kura Suddenly I saw the hyaena 

Girshi ya mutu Suddenly he died 

Haka 

Gara haka or Guma haka Better so 

Haka shi ke It is so. (In reply to a question 

or as a sort of punctuation in a 

speech) 
Ko ba haka ba ? Or is it not so ? (Used at end of 

question) 

Ya che haka He said so (or thus) 

Ina fada maka haka shi ke / tell you ; it is so 

Wani iri-n-sanda ke nan da What kind of stick is this, it is so 

nauyi haka ? heavy 

Haka da girima So big 

Hakanan 

Hakanan shi ke It is so (in reply to a question) 

Nan da nan ya mutu, ashe ! ii, He died immediately ; ah, yes, that 
hakanan ne is so 

Halama 
Mu nemi halama muu samu Let us look, perhaps we shall find it 

Kamada, kamanda (Kama-n) 

Ina fada maka kamada akeyishi / will tell you how it was done 
Obangiji ya bashi ya komo The Lord granted to him that he 
kamanda shi ke da should become as he was before 

The noun " kama," from which " kamanda " is made up (kama- 
n-da), is used with an adverbial sense with the copulative " n "- 

Yare ya yi kama-n-uwansa The boy is like his mother 

Da rana ta fara tashi ina ganinta When the sun began to rise I saw 

kama-n tana fita daga chikin it as though it was coming out of 

gulbi the sea 

Kama-n ya shiga gari As he enters the town 

Kama-n ba su san'ka ba As if they did not know you 

Ko (see conjunctions also) 
Ban gani ko daia ba / have not seen even one 



ADVERB 



175 



Kokaka 
Kawoshi kokaka Bring it anyhow 

Kadai 

Kada daia na gani kadai / saw only one crocodile 

(See also under " sai") 

Sariki ba rago kadai ya ba ni The chief gave me not only a ram 

ba, da akuya but a goat 

A llali u shi kadai shi ba ka God alone does good to you to-day 

keauta yao 

Kadan, kadan 



Kadan kadan ! 

Sai anjima kadan 

Shina yin aiki kadan kadan 



Bana ta ye kwarai 
Ya chi dayawa kwarai 
Doki shina gudu kwarai 
Babu nisa kwarai 



Lale ina zua da mareche 
Yao lale ya zo 



Tafi ! mana ! 

Ku zo mana 

Ka fada masa shi zo mana 

Mana ! mana ! 



Ku t.tli maza-maza 



Very little 

Wait a little 

He works very little 



Kwarai 



The sun is very hot 
He ate a great deal 
The horse trots well 
Not very far 



Lale 



In any case I shall come in the 

evening 
He comes to-day in any case 

Mana 

Go I do I 

Come, along 

Tell him he must come at once 

Come along I or Wake up I 

Maza 

Go very quickly 



(See below, other ways of saying "quickly") 
Sai, also a conjunction 

Sai gobe Until to-morrow. A parting salu- 

tation 

Sai da-safe Good night. (Lit., Until the 

morning 



176 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Sai anjima 

Sal anjima kadan 
Sai laiia 

Salbarka = . ? sai albarka 
Sai gaisua 

Sai ambideka 
Sai ankwana biu 

Sai kada daia na gani 

Sai ka dawo 

Babu bawa ko daia daga chiki- 

n-gida sai ni 
Sai ubana ya che mani 
Kafa-ta duka sai jini 
Sai mutume daia akesashi ya 

hawa bisa itache 
Ya che masa sai ya aika wuri- 

n-sariki-n-Sokoto ya tambay'- 

shi 
Ya che mani babu komi sai 

lafia 
Shi ne, shi ke shaka azaba-n- 

lakhira ; sai ya gamu da wuta 

ya kan che kaitaro (poetry) 
En ba ka da kurdi ba ka da 

komi, sai kare 
Abinda ki keso sai en baki 



Good-bye for the present. (Lit., 

till you have waited) 
Wait a little. In a little while 
Quite well. A reply salutation 
Nothing but thanks. No thank you 
Nothing but thanks. Lit., only a 

salutation 

( Wait) till you are sent for 
Good-bye for an indefinite time 

Lit., Until you have slept twice 
I saw only one crocodile 
Until you return 
There was not a single slave in the 

house except me 
But my father said to me 
My feet were nothing but blood 
Only one man was made to climb 

the tree 
He said to him he must send and 

ask the king of Sokoto first 

He said nothing to me except that 

all was well 
He it is he doubts the pains of hell. 

Wait till he meets the fire and he 

will say, Alas ! 
If you have no money you have 

nothing, you are only a dog 
Anything you (f.) like I will give it 

you 



Saidai 

Mun kira ka saidai ba ka jimu We called but you did not hear 
ba 

Sanu. See also under salutations 
Ya tafi sanu (sanu sanu) He went slowly (very slowly) 



Ya yi magana sarai 



Sarai 

He speaks correctly 



Tilas (a noun by origin) 

Seize him by force 

But you drink this water from 

necessity 

Ya ki zakua, don wannan ya sa He refused to come so he forced 
shi tilas him to 



Kama shi tilas 

Amma ka sha rua nan da tilas 



ADVERB 



177 



Ya karaata maihankali da dere 
ya yi shi zamna wuri daia, shi 
ber'yawo sai tilas, ko wani ya 
mutu, ko wani ya kiraka tilas 



A prudent man ought to stay at 
home at night. He should not go 
out except forced to, say, by some- 
body dying or calling you im- 
peratively 

Tari (a noun) 

Turawa suna tara soja gabas da The white men are collecting soldiers 
Kukawa tari tari east of Kuka in vast numbers 

Watakila 
Wotakila obanka shi zo kuwa Perhaps your father will come too 

Wajib 
Wajib mu do haiyasu (poetry) We ought to take their road 

Wada, yada, awa (these are nouns) 
Yada ankayi zani fada maka 



Ka iya gaya mini yada mutume- 
n-nan ya mutu 



How ( the way) it was done I will 

tell you 
Are you able to tell me how this 

man died 



Formation of Certain Adverbs 

Many adverbs are formed from adjectives in English 
with the addition of the suffix " ly." In Hausa correspond- 
ing adverbs which may also equally be adjectives are 
formed from nouns with the preposition "da," with. 

The following are a few : 



Da mareche 
Da rana 
Da sasafo 
Da baya 



Da nisa 



Da gaskia 
Da yawa 
Da karifi 
Da dadi 

Bugashi da karifi 
Ya tafi da kafa 



Time 

at evening 

by day 

in the very early morning 

last 

Place 




far 




Manner 




Da hankali carefully 
Da wuri of old 
Da kafa on foot 
Da gudu with running 




Beat him well 
He went on foot 



M 



178 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

The use as adverbs of simple adjectives or others of 
different formation from the foregoing is not unknown 

Ya fita nagari He has turned out well 

Enda ya shiga duka ka bishi Wherever he enters you follow him 

Enda zaka duka a dunia Wherever you go in the world 

There is also the use of the intransitive verb form in 
" u," usually in the 3rd person. It accompanies its 
parent verb, and is probably an indication of the origin 
of those intensitives in other languages, so many of which 
have the same root as the verb they accompany 

Adamreshi shi damru Tie it tight 
Other examples are given under the verb. 



There are some adverbs in English, such as "very," 
"too much," etc., which are rendered in Hausa in a 
variety of ways : 

Very 

By Reduplication 
Farifari, very white Maza maza, very quickly 

Kadan kadan, very little 
With colours the second part may be modified. 

Fari-fet, fet-fet (S) very white 
Fari fer, fer-fer (K) 

Lafia lau or lau-lau very well 

Ja-wur, wur-wur very red 

Baki kirin, kirin-kirin very black 

Uwata tana da rai amma ta My mother is alive but she is very 
tsofa da gaske old 

See also examples under "kwarai." 

Too, too much 

Na fayc chi / ate too much 

Na chi na faifaye 

Quickly 

Kada ka dedi ka yi hanzeri Do not delay, make haste 

En ka komo da samli em baka // you come back quickly I will 
lada give you a reward 



179 



Like as. (See " kama ") 
By Reduplication 



Kare kare 

Bawa-bawa 

Sarki sarki 

Ya bada keauta sarki-sarki 



Like a dog 

Like a slave 

Like a king 

He presented the gift like a king 



I, ii 

E, eye (K) 
Owo (Zanf) 
Naam 

Ai 

Ashe 

Labadda 

Hakika 

Gaskia ne 

To 

Aa 

La, la la 



Ba . . . ba 
Babu ( = ba-abu) 



4. ADVERBS 

Of Affirmation and Negation 

yes 
yes 
yes 
yes. Only used in answer to a roll call or 

summons. Means " I am here " 
really 
truly 
certainly, no doubt 



It is true 

all right 

no. Instead of a single word reply simple 

sentences are often preferred. 
No (Arabic). Used as an exclamatory " No " 

rather than negativing another person's 

statement. 
not 
no, not, without (prep.) 

Examples of use of " ba " 



ya ta 
Ba ka ji ba ? 
Ban sani ba 

Ba ni da komi da ni ko ba su 
Ba daia da kiba 
Ba kowa da ya zaka nana ? 
Ba namu ba nc 

Kad" Allah kashc ka ba mumuni 
ba 

Baba-n-da ba wuri yaro ne 

(prov.) 
Jini ba ya magani-n-kishirua ba 

(proverb) 



He did not go 

Do you not hear (understand) 

I do not know 

I have nothing to give them 

Not one was fat 

Has no one come here 

It is not ours 

Lest Ood slay thee because of thy 

unbelief. (Lit., You not a believer) 

(poet.) 
The big man who is penniless if a 

boy (ba wuri = not a cowry) 
Blood is not a cure for thirst 



180 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Fadawa sunka che, la, ba ka ba The councillors said, No, do not 

shi give it him 

Ba abinda zan chi There is nothing for me to eat 

11 Ba " is sometimes used as a negative form of 
interrogation 

Ka ji ba ? Do you not hear ? 

Sometimes one " ba " is omitted, especially if several 
co-ordinate sentences follow each other 

Ba ni da kurdi, ba ni da karifi ba // / have no money I am powerless 



Babu 

With pronouns is often interchangeable with "ba" 

Babu komi or ba komi ba Nothing at all 

Ba kowa or babu kowa Nobody 

Babu kowa da ya yirda da shi There is no one who believed in him 

Babu nisa Not far 

Babu ruanka (idiom) It does not concern you 

Babu abinda kana iya yi There is nothing you can do 

Babu maitafia ga rijia da dcre No one goes to the well at night 

Babu mutum da ya taya masa No one helped him 

Ba abinda babu There is nothing short 

Babu daiansu or babu daia Not one of them 

chikinsu 

Da babu wawa gara da wawa It is better to own a fool than 

(proverb) nothing 

Komi ya bache hankuri a babu Everything goes wrong where 

or ne babu (proverb) patience is wanting 

Don babu na uwansu chiki Because their mother's (food) was 

not amongst the other (dishes of 
food) 

Example of " babu " for " ba" with Verb 

Sariki nan babu shi da da That king had no son 

En ka tafi babu ina gaferta maka // you go I will not pardon you 

Munche masu, mu babu zamu We said to them, We will not drink 

sha nono wurinku milk with you 



ADVERB 



181 



5. INTERROGATIVE ADVERBS 

Kaka ? (K) How ? In what manner ? This word is 

not coupled with other adverbs as in the 
English phrases, " How far ? " " How 
soon ? " 

How? 

When ? 

Since when ? 

What time ? 

How many ? How much ? 

Why ? On account of what ? 

Why ? On account of what ? 

Not ? (See under Affirmative and Negative 
adverbs.) 

Where ? 

Whence ? 



Aa? (S) 

Yaushe ? 

Tun yaushe ? 

Wani lokachi ? 

Nawa ? 

Domi ? ( = do-n-mi) 

Gari-n-mi ? 

Ba? 

Enna ? 
Daga enna ? 



Kaka, Aa 



Kaka ka ke ? Kaka ki ke ? 

Kaka iyalinka ? 

Kaka sunanka ? 

Da kaka zaka tafia yaki babu 

fadawa ? 
Ka gani kaka su yi gina ga 

kalkashi-n-kasa ? 

Kaka zan yi en sami wannan 
mashi ? 



How are you ? (m. or f.) 

How is your family ? 

What is your name ? 

And how will you go to war with 

no officers? 
Do you see how they dig under 

ground? (Kaka is not directly 

interrogative here.) 
How shall I be able to find this 

spear ? 



Yaushe (usually with present and future) 



Yaushe ka zo nan ? 
Yaushe sariki shina gida ? 
Yaushe zamu tafia ? 



When did you come here ? 
When will the chief be at home ? 
When shall we go ? 



Tunyaushe 

Tunyausho barao ya beri gari ? Sincewhenhas the thief left the town ? 
Wani lokachi ? also wani saa ? wani lotu ? 



Wani lokachi zaayenka 
kasua kuma 



Yaro nan shekarunsa nawa ? 
Nawa shekaru-n-doki-n-nan ? 
Guda nawa ? 



What time will they kill a cow in 
the market again? 



Nawa 



How old is this boy ? 
How old is this horse ? 
How many ? 



182 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Nawa nawa ? 

Kwoi guda nawa na sayerua ne ? 

Nawa nawa anasayerua ? 

Nawa anasayesda su ? 

Ku nawa kuka tafi wuri-n-sata ? 



How much each ? 

How many eggs are there for sale ? 
How much are they sold for each ? 
How much are they all ? 
How many of you went to the place 
where the theft took place ? 



Domi ka che haka ? 
Domi ka zo ? 



Gari-n-mi sunka bache ? 



Domi, don mi 

Why do you say so ? 
Why have you come ? 

Garinmi 

Why are they lost ? 



Enna ? 



Enna shi ke ? Enna ta ke ? 

Daga enna kun tafo ? 

Enna ka fito ? 

Enna hankalinka ? 

Enna danka ? 

Enna zaka ? 

Enna ka ke ? 

Enna kana zamne ? 

Enna hainya-r-gida ? 

Enna marabi - n - wannan da 

wanchan ? 

Babu marabi tsakaninsu 
Ka tambayesa, Enna uwasa ? 
Enna sunanka ( = kaka sunanka) 
Enna ruanka da wannan ? 
Enna azenchi-n-wannan ? 



Where is he ? Where is she ? 

Where have you come from ? 

Where have you come from ? 

Where is your sense ? 

Where is your son ? 

Where are you going ? 

Where are you ? 

Where are you staying ? 

Which is the way home ? 

What is the difference between this 

and that ? 

There is no difference between them 
Ask him where his mother is ? 
What is your name ? 
What have you got to do with that ? 
What does this mean ? 



For Adverbs. Interrog. 
How 

Besides being translated by " nawa " or " kamada " various 
circumlocutions are necessary to represent this English word 



Daga Kano zua Katsina na da 

nisa ? 
Daga nan kingi-n-mu (or, saura- 

n-mu) nawa mu issa Kwara ? 



Is it far from Kano to Katsina ? 

How long before we reach the 
Kwara (Niger)? How many weeks 
before . , . 



CHAPTER VII 



PREPOSITIONS 
SIMPLE PREPOSITIONS 



A(K) 

Da 

Ga 

Gare 

Har (K), hal (S) 

Ma 

Wa (K) 

Na (m.) n' 

Ta (f.) t, 1, r 

Sai 



at, on 

with 

to 

towards 

up to, until (also adverb) 

to 

to 

f t 
of 

except (also adverb) 



COMPOUND PREPOSITIONS 

Formed from a noun or verbal noun with the preposition 
" of " varying according to the gender of the foregoing. 
Very commonly the masculine form "n" is used for the 
feminine "t," "1," or "r" for euphony. The copulative 
may also be entirely omitted, as is often the case with 
nouns not used with a prepositional force, the two thus 
standing in apposition. 



Do-n- (K) 

Domi-n- (S) 

Gari-n- (Zanf) 

Zua-r- (more commonly Zua-n-) 
1 Kai-n- (kan) 
1 Bisa-r- (also bisa-n-) 
1 Kasa-n- 

Kalkashi-n- 



on account of (verb do " dauka," 

" doka," to take 
on account of 
on account of 

towards. ("Zua " = coming) 
on top of 
on top of 
under, bottom of 



1 A=ow, may or may not be prefixed to these. 
183 



184 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

1 Gaba-n- in front of 

1 Baya-n- behind 

Tsaka-r- (also tsaka-n-) in middle of 

Tsakani-n- between 

1 Chiki-n- in 

1 Woje-n- beside, outside of, towards 

Shiya-1- (S) 

Abaki-n- in exchange for 

Kama-r- (Kama-n-) like 

Kusa-r- (kusa-n-) near. See also ". Kusa da " 

Gu-n- to, at the place of 
1 Wuri-n- 

Bigiri-n- (K) instead of 

Gurbi-n- (Zanf) 

Maimaki-n- (S) 

Tamka-r- like 

Batu-n- with reference to 

Kafi-n- before 

Compound Prepositions formed with " da," with 

Barn-da different from 

Dabara da in front of and near one another 

Daura da 

Garni da together with 

Kusa da near to 

Tare da together with 

Saba-da on account of 

Other Compound Prepositions 
Daga from 

This preposition can be combined with many others, as, 
" Daga chikin " for " chikin," etc., etc. 

A, at, on 

Muka beri kaya-mu a wani gari We have left our loads at another 

town 

Tafia a hankali Slow travelling 

Ahmadu ya sarnu miki a hauu- Ahmadu has a boil on his right 

n-dama hand 

Tun a mafari akoi Allah God has been since the beginning 

Da sunka ketare daia, biu, a When they had crossed one, two, at 

na-uku sunka issa wuri-n-kasa the third they reached dry land 

Mi ku ke yi a-nan What are you doing there ? 

1 A on, may or may not be prefixed to these. 



PREPOSITIONS 185 

Azaba-1-allahu a rana-1-lakhira The pains of Ood on the day of 

judgment 

Na tura mutum a rua 7 pushed the man into the water 

Ya fadi a rua He fell into the water 

Ya fada rua (Robinson) He flung himself into the water 

Halbi a wutsia ya fi kuskure To hit the tail is better than to miss 

(proverb) 

Ya fi su duka a dauka-n-kaya He was better than they all in carry- 
ing a load 

Ya koma a chan a Bornu He returned yonder to Bornu 

Da ankasheka a banza You would have been killed for 

nothing 

Da, with. Also by, of, etc. 
Instrument 

Ya buge shi da bulala He beat him with a whip 

Ya yenke shi da wuka He cut it with a knife 

Ka chika shi da rua Fill it with water 

Accompaniment 

Tafi da shi Take him away or go with him 

Ya zo da shi He brought him or came with him 

Sun saidani da kelowi They sold me to the Kelowi, i.e., 

they traded me with the Kelowi 

Possession (see also under auxiliary verb) 

Suna da bindiga They have a gun 

Ba mu da abinchi We have no food 

Ina da shi and Ni ke da shi / have it 

En ba ka da da, ba ka da favi- // you have no son you have no 

n-chiki happiness 

Ina da kafa (idiomatic) 7 have a (bad) leg 

Manner 

Tafo da gudu Come quickly, i.e., come running 

Da mi akanyi su ? Of what are they made ? 

Miscellaneous other Examples 

Ta fada mani da Hausa She told me in Hausa 

Mine da Engliz ? What is it in English ? 

Na gaji da sukua bisa lakuini 7 was tired of riding on the camel 

Ka yi hankali da dunia Be careful of the world 

Suna fada da mutane chiki-n- They were fighting with the people 

kasua in the market 

Ka gai mani da ubanka Salute your father for me 



186 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Da dadi-n-chi Nice to eat 

Sun kira ni da sunana, or, sun yi They catted me by my name 

kirana 
Sai da nono-n-mache anasayensa Only for the breast of a woman is 

it to be sold 
Da babu wawa gara da wawa Eather than to be without (even) a 

(proverb) fool, it is better to have a fool 

(with you) 

Ya che da shi He said to him 

Na lura da halinka I will look into your character 

Ku yi kama da sariki You are just like the king 

Ya komo da baya He returned back 

Ban sani da guba a chiki ba I did not know that there was 

"guba" poison in it 

Ka yi murna da gani-n-ubanka ? Are you pleased to see your father ? 
Kare ka mutu da haushi-n-kura Dog, you will die of hatred to the 

(proverb) hyaena 

Ina murna da ganinka / am pleased to see you 

Da is used instead of daga 

Kudu da Kukawa South of Kukawa 

Gabas da rua sunansa Shari East of the river called Shari 

Da is used in comparative statements 

Yao mun fi na jia da biu To-day we have (done) more (than) 

[of] yesterday by two 

Nasa ya fi nawa da shidda His exceeds mine by six 
Ya fini da keao He was more beautiful than I 

Na fiso wannan da wannan / prefer this to that 

" Da " is used with nouns to make adjectives and adverbs, as 
Da hankali careful or carefully 

Ga, to, etc. 

It is found in company with other prepositions, as " bisa ga," 
" baya ga," etc. 

Motion 

Sun tafi ga wani gari They went to another town 

Simple Dative 

Ya fadi ga sariki He said to the chief 

Ya fadi ga shi He said to him. (More usual 

" ma ") 



PREPOSITIONS 



187 



Ga maidauka - n - kaya tafia a 

hankali ta ii dadi 
Ya zama sanane ga duka - n - 

mazamna a Kuddus 



To the carrier to travel slowly is 
more pleasant 

It became known to all the in- 
habitants of Jerusalem 



Tafi ka fada Allah 



Ga " omitted 

Go and tell God 



On, at 



Ga rana aljima 

Ya che, ga chiki-n-gulbi 

Gulbi-n-nan shi kan kaffe garani 

Yana (or shina) da karifi ga duka 
Doki shina tsaye ga hainya 
En mun issa ga wani wuri enda 
akoi chiawa mu kan yenka 
mu dora ga baya-n- rakuma 
Ba mu dade ba ga gari nan 



On Friday 

She said, in the river 

This river generally dries up in 

dry season 

He is stronger than all 
The horse is standing in the road 
When we came to some place where 
there was grass, we used to cut it 
and tie it on our camels' backs 
We did not delay at that town 

Of 

Ga mi ? Of what ? 

Ga hakarikari na jiki-n-Adamu Of the ribs of Adam's body 

Wache ga chikinmu ? Which of us (f.) ? 

Purpose 

Mata sunka tafi rijia ga dauka- The women have gone 'to the well to 

n-rua draw water 

Muka yi shiri ga zua Gushiba We made ready to go to Gushiba 

By 

Na ishe shaifu Usman asoye ga / met the Sheikh Othman beloved of 
Filani the Fulas 



From 

Wannan na ji ga yaro da shina / heard this from the boy that 
ji magana-m-Bornu speaks Bornuese 

The preposition is omitted when the name of a town is mentioned 
and in a few other cases 



Ya tafi Kano 
Tafi gida 
Ya tafi gari 
Ya komo kasua 



He went to Kano 

Go home 

He has gone to the town 

He has come back to the market 



188 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Gare 
Only used before pronouns 



Tafi gareshi 
Daga garesu 
Kusa gareku 

Mutume-n-nan fari-n-jiki gare-i 
Su saye su gareku 
Bature nan, shi ne za-abashieka 
garesa 



Oo to him 
From them 
Near you 

This man is popular 
They buy them from you 
This is the white man to whom you 
will be given 



Ear, to (see also adverbs) 



Na sa mutume-n-nan aboki-n- 
tafia - r - ku, shi kai ku har 
birni-n-Kano lafia 



/ appoint this man your travelling 
companion, he will take you as 
far as the city of Kano in safety 



NOTE " Birni Kano " is also found, the two nouns being in apposition. 



Ma, to, for 
" Ma " may become " mi " or " mu " for euphony (S) 



Ya fada mani 

Ya fada maka (m.) ; maki or 

miki (f.) 

Ya fada masa, mashi, mishi, mai 
Ya fada in at a 

Ya fada mamu, mumu, muna 
Ya fada maku, rnuku 
Ya fada masu, musu 
Ya fada ma sariki 
Na gode maka 
Kawo mani rua en sha 
Ya gaya mani labari 
Kada ka fada ma kowa labari 



He said to me 
He said to you 

He. said to him 

He said to her 

He said to us 

He said to you 

He said to them 

He said to the chief 

I thank you (formal) 

Bring me water to drink 

He told me the news 

Do not tell any one the news 



Meaning " for" 



Ka rike mani 

Na dakanta ma sariki 

Ka yi mani shimfida-r-gado 

Ka gai mani da abokinka 

Kawo mani doki 



Hold (it) for me 
I waited for the chief 
Spread my bed for me 
Salute your friend for me 
Bring my horse 



Akadaurawa masa dawaki surdi They were saddling the horses for 

him 



PREPOSITIONS 189 

Of 

Bature ya kashe masu mutum The while man killed many of them 

tari da doki with their horses 

Sun kashe ma Turawa mutane They killed of the Arabs many men 
tari 

Achikin wani gari anache masa In a certain town called Danga- 

Dangagarra garra 

From 

Ta bida masa mdgani She sought medicine from them 

Wa 

This is probably another form of " ga " ; compare " guri " 
for " wuri." 

Only used before nouns, not before personal pronouns, 
and usually with verbs to tell (K) 

Na dakanta wa sariki I waited for the chief 

Kada ka gaya wa kowa Do not tell anyone 

Ya yenke wa sariki kune He cut off the chiefs ear 

Kafa-r-wani ba ta yi wa wani The foot of one man cannot walk 

tafia (prov.) for another 

Suka saiyo wa dumma nan baiwa They bought a slave for the pumpkin 



Na(n; or d, m for n) (m.) -\ 

Ta (t ; or 1, r for t) (f.), and modified often to any letter of the I of 
alphabet which may begin the following word J 

This preposition is of two genders, and that form is used 
which agrees with the gender of the first word. If, however, 
the first word is plural, the masculine form is used. 

When the short form is used, which is generally the case, 
it is enclitic to the first word in enunciation but not in 
meaning. 1 

Da-n-sariki (dan sariki) The chiefs son 

Ya-1-sariki (S) The chiefs daughter 
Ya-r-sariki (K) ,, 

Ya-t-sariki ,, 

1 In ordinary text the " n," etc. is written as part of the first 
word. This work, however, being a grammar, it is necessary to 
distinguish it clearly, and so it is joined with hyphens to each word 
it connects. 



190 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Yaya-n-sariki The chiefs children 

Yarinia-t-sariki The chief's girl 

Mata-r-sariki The chief's wife 

Mata-n-gari The women of the town 

Mata-n-sa (for mata tasa His wife 

Aboki-n-tafia-ta My travelling companion 

Da-n-uwansa His brother (because " danuwa " 

is masc.) 

Da matansa saura shi daia And of his women (wives) there 

was left one to him 

Sarari-d-dunia (rare). (Poetic) The plain of the earth 

Daki-d-dunia (rare). (Poetic) The house of the world ( = the world) 

Wuta-1-kiama. (Poetic) The fire of the day of judgment 

Ra-1-kiama. (Poetic) The day of judgment 

"N" is joined to many nouns to make prepositions, as, 
" wuri-n," " kai-n," " chiki-n," of which examples are given 
later. 

It is used when adjectives precede the noun, thereby 
making them in reality nouns. 

Baba-1-kaza for kaza baba A big fowl 

As "baba" ends in "a" it has to be treated as a 
feminine word. When, however, the second word is one 
of importance, especially a person, it seems to have a 
dominating effect upon the preposition ; so 

Baba-n-sariki The big chief 

Baba-n-rago The big ram 

Also 

Sabo-n-wata New moon 

Shashi-n- garina zani bashi / will give him the half of my 

kingdom 
Allah shi baka yawa-n-rai May God give you a long life 

11 Yawa-r-rai " is also found, and is correct, as " yawa " is 
a feminine word ; it is less frequently heard, however, not 
being so euphonious. 

The long form is used (1) in poetry, (2) when "na" 
is the first word in the sentence, (3) when a pronoun 
intervenes, (4) with the cardinal numerals to form the 
ordinal, (5) for emphasis or clearness, and (6) when the 
previous word is not a noun 

Namu ne It is ours 

Na sariki ne It is the chiefs 



PREPOSITIONS 



191 



A kafata ta hagun ina da kur- 

kunu 

Na biu (m.), ta-biu (f.) 
Na-baya (m.), ta-baya (f.) 
Na-bisa ya fi na-kasa riba 

Mu je kasua ta Zerma 

Ya wo gaiya ta yaki 

Ko gida-n-sariki ko na talaka 

Allah ka bani haifua ko ta 

dumrna 
Ba shi da chin yao, ba shi da 

na gobe 



In my left leg I have a guinea 

worm 
The second 
The last 
The person above has the advantage 

over the one beneath 
We went to the market of Zerma 
He made a war camp 
Whether it be the house of a chief 

or of a poor man 
God, grant that I bear something, 

even a gourd 
He has nothing to eat to-day and 

nothing to-morrow 



Compound Nouns 

Quasi compound nouns are made witjh the use of this 
preposition 



Kada-n-gari 
Aboki-n-gaba 



Lizard, i.e., crocodile of the town 
Enemy, i.e., friend of the front 



In the following examples there is rather a different 
idiom from the English 



Ba ni iyansa ba 

Muna iyansu 

Ba na ji-n-tsoronsa 

En tali sha-n-rua 

Ka aiko muna wotika kaka suna 
yi-n-gerdamanka, da kai kana 
gerdamansu har ka kasho su 



/ am not equal to the doing of it 
We are able to do it 
I am not afraid of him 
That I may go to drink water 
You send us a letter (to say) how 
they dispute with you, and how 
you also dispute with them until 
you have convinced them 



The following use of " na " as a substitute for the verb 
" to be " in English is very idiomatic. In the second 
example this usage is partly abolished and a reversal 
made to a verb, with the result that the subject that 
begins the sentence is replaced by another 

Hauka-r-kaza amre-n-musuru It is madness for a fowl to marry a 

cat. Lit., Madness of fowl, 
marriage of cat 

Karambuni - n - akwia ta gaida It is forward for a goat to greet a 
kura hycena. Lit., Forwardness of 

goat, she greets the hycena 



192 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

If this proverb were formed like the preceding, for "ta 
gaida kura " there would be " gaisua-r-kura." " Karam- 
bani," which begins the sentence, is not continued with, 
and " ta " pertains to " akwia " 

Gaskianki You have spoken the truth 

Kariansu They have lied 

"Na" is sometimes found instead of "shina." See 
under personal pronouns. 

Examples of"of" omitted 

Lafia jiki arziki ne Health of the body is prosperity 

Laifi baba rowa, laifi yaro kiawa The fault of age is meanness, the 

fault of youth is laziness 
Gida biu magani gobara (prov.) Two houses are a remedy against 

fire 

Yanmata gidanmu da fari baki. The daughters of our house have 
Taberia a white mouth. Fufu - slick. 

(Riddle.) The fufu-stick being 
in constant use with pounding 
corn has always its end whitened 

Ba su chi abinchi kowa ba They do not eat the food of any one 

Ku mutane yamma You men of the west 

Mutane zina Adulterers 

Kwana-mu goma muna tafia We have been travelling ten days 

Muka beri kaya-mu We have left our loads 

This seems to be commonly so when final " a " is long 

Shi fishe mu aiki mutane zina He separates us from the work of 

adulterers 

Examples of use of Masc. for Fern. 

Uwansu Their mother 

Uwan matansa Mother of his wife 

Zuchiansa ya yi biu He was in doubt 

Dere rigan mugu Night is a cloak for the evil man 

It is commonly found that when there is a series of 
linked nouns, some have the copulative and others stand 
in apposition, usually alternately 

Zani gurin dia sariki / will go to the place of the daughter 

of the king 
Sunan sariki garin Wandara The name of the chief of the country 

of Wandara 



PREPOSITIONS 193 

The following is an example of the use of the particle 
"mai" as a substitute for "na"- 

Ta zo kusa da wani gida mai- She came near a certain goat's 
awaki house 

Sai, except (see also adverbs). Pronounced " se " (say) 

Sai wannan Only this 

Sai lafia Only health, i.e., quite well 

Shi kua dan sariki nan ba shi And he the chiefs son had no 
da wani chiniki sai sha-n-gia other business but to drink beer 

Don (K), Aomin (S), garin (Zanf). See also conjunctions 

This preposition takes either a direct object or a sentence 
in lieu 

Don bawa daia sun yi yaki On account of one slave they mad 

war 

Ya ragu don kainsa It is diminished of itself 

Ya taf o wurina don gaishe ni He came to me to salute me (because 

of saluting me) 
Riki karenka don kare-n-wani Hold your dog on account of the 

(prov.) other man's dog 

Mahmadu ya dauki kaya guda Mahmadu has taken one load for 
don kansa himself 

Domin 

Na je Kano domi-n-gani-n- I went to Kano to see my friend 

abokina 

Domin hakanan On account of this 

Ya che do-n-mi bai yi aure ba ? He said why is he not married? 

Domi-n-shina mutum kirki Because he is a virtuous man 

Kuka da na yi domin ganinka The cry I made in order to see you 

Domin mi ? What for ? 

Garin (see also interrogative adverbs) 

Ya tafi gari gari-n-saye-n-nama He went to the town to buy meat 
Ya tafi gari-n-yawo He has gone to take a walk 

Zua-r or ya zua ( = he is coming) or zua ga, to 

Sun tafi zua-r-Kano They went to Kano 

Sun tafi ya zua Kano They went to Kano 

Muna godia zua ga Allah We give thanks to God 

Hal ya zua yanzu Until now 

Na komo zua-r-gidana / came back home 



194 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Ya tafi zua-r-gabas He went east 

Zua-r-mutua-r-Ahmedu ya yi On the death of Ahmedu he became 

sarki King 

Daga Kano zua-r-Katsina na da Is it far from Kano to Katsina ? 

nisa ? 

In the foregoing the "r" is very commonly omitted 
after <; zua." Its existence is, however, supported by the 
alternate rendering of "ga." 

Kai-n, kan, on top of 

Doki shina tsaye kan (or akan) The horse is standing in the road 

hainya 

Muka gamu da shi kai-n-hainya We met him in the road 

Sa tukunia kain wuta Put the pot on the fire 

Joined with other prepositions 
Bisa-r-ka-n-doki/or a kai-n-doki On horseback 

= 0n the subject of 

Akain mi ku ke zanche ? What are you talking about ? 

Manzani - n - Allah suna waazi The messengers are talking about 

akan atuba da beri-n-zunufi repentance and forsaking sin 

Ya sa dan uwansa akain abo- He puts his brother before all his 

kainsa duka friends 

Ya bani wannan kain alkawali He gave me this according to a 

da ya yi mani da promise he made me long ago 

Dan sariki ya yi fada da sariki The young chief fought with the 

akan sarauta chief over the kingdom 

Bisa-r, also bisa-n or bisa alone 

Doki shina tsaye bisa-r-hainya The horse is standing in the road 

Yara duka sun tuma bisa-r- All the boys jumped up on their 

kujerinsu chairs 

Lokachinda anadaukanka bisa When you are carried on a man's 

kai head (as a corpse) 

Shimfida tufa bisanta Spread the cloth on it 

Kana bisana You are on top of me 

With ga 

Gidansu bis' ga ishi Their houses upon posts 

Ya kwanta bisa ga gadona He slept on my bed 

With other prepositions 
Ya sabko daga bisa-r-kai-n-doki He got off his horse 




PREPOSITIONS 195 

Meaning " concerning " or " about " 

Bisa-r-zanche-n-uan Concerning this conversation 

Mi ka che bisa gareni ? What do you say about me ? 



Bisa yerda-n- Allah By the will of God 

Kasa-n, kalkashi-n, under, beneath 

Kada ka sa fitila kalkashi-n- Do not put the lamp under the 

maida table 

Ta aje danta kalkashi-n-itache She put her son under the tree 
Yaro ya fito daga kalkashi-n- 

itache 
Ta tan har ga kalkashi-n- dusi 

Gaba-n, in front of. (" Gaba " is mostly masculine gender) 

Ya tsaya gabana He stands before me 

Ya tsaya agabanka He stands before you 

With other prepositions 
Ya tsaya gaba ga kai (or gareka) He stands before you 

Note also 
Shina gaba da Allahu He is opposed to God 

Baya-n, behind, back of 

Also baya ga, baya gare. " A " can also be prefixed 
Baya is mostly masculine by gender 

Baya na Behind me, my back 

A bayana At my back 

Bayansa, baya ga shi Behind him or in his absence 

Ya tafi bayan gari He went outside the town 

Ya tafi bayan gida He has gone to ease himself (a 

polite form) 

Baya-n-wannan ba ya kara yi- After this he denied no more 
n-musu ba 

Daga baya-n-wannan After this 

Karatu Ar'bi ya fi karatu duka. Arabic literature is before all 

Baya ga Ar'bi Turanshi ya fi literature. After Arabic Euro- 

Bafilashi. Baya garesu Hausa pean is above the Fula. After 

ya fi Baribari them Hausa is above Bornu 

(literature) 

Shi ne gaba gareni da ni ga He is before me and I am behind 

bayansa him 



196 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Tsaka-r and Tsaka-n, middle of (mostly masculine) 

Tsaka-n-woje akoi rijia There is a well in the middle of the 

yard 

Tsaka-n- dere In the middle of the night 

Suka tafo tsaka-r-daji They came into the middle of the 

forest 

Tsakani-n, between 



Ya zamna tsakaninmu 
Amana ke tsakaninmu da shi 

Tsakani - n - dakuna masallachi 

yana tsaye 

Babu marabi tsakaninsu 
Kofofi - n - Zaria tsakaninsu da 

nisa 

Ba shi tsakani gabas da kudu 
Domin babu gaba tsakaninmu 

da ku 
Tsakani na da ubanka ka sare 

daga chikinmu 



He sat down between us 

There is friendship between him 

and me 
Between the houses stands a mosque 

There is no difference between them 
There is a long distance between 

the gates of Zaria 
He is not between east and south 
For there is no enmity between us 
and you 
Decide between me and your father 



Chiki-n, in 



Chiki- n- chikinta 
A chiki-n-daki 
Chikinsa 

Chiki-n-wata shawal 
Zani tafia-r-chiki-n-rua 
Dai a chikinsu 

Chiki-n-wannan lokachi ka ke 
mayar wa Israila da mulki 



In her belly 
In the hut or room 
His belly or inside it 
In the month Shawal 
I shall walk in the water 
One of them 

At this season wilt thou restore 
to Israel their kingdom 



Joined with other prepositions 



Biu daga chikinmu 

Ta fita daga chiki-n-rua 

Ta che, ga chikin gulbi 

Note the following 
Suna chikin dubawa 



Two of us 

She came out of the water 

She said, In the river 



Whilst they were looking 



Woje-n, shiya-l (S), beside, outside, towards 



Woje-n-gabas, shiya-1-gabas 

Woje-n-kasa-1-nan 

Ya waiwaia wojensa (or wurinsa) 

Sun tafi wojen Kano 

Woje-n-ku 

Shina daga woje (adv.) 



Towards the east 
Towards that land 
He turned towards him 
They went Kano-way 
With you 
He is outside 



PREPOSITIONS 197 

Woje-n-nan On this side 

Daga woje-n-chan On that side 

Ina tafia woje (adv. and noun) / am walking outside 

Woje-n-dama, woje-n-hauni On the right side, on the left side 

Woje-n-dari da ashirin ne They were about 120 

Kama-n, like (see also adverbs). Mostly masculine 

Kama-n-kwana uku yatambaya After about three days he asked the 

mutanc men 

Yaro ya yi kaman uwansa The boy is like his mother 

Kaman dakin chan Like that house 

Tamka-r, like. Also tamka-n 

Sunyi ma sabo-n-malam tamka- They did to the new mallam like 
n-tsofo-n-malam the old 

Kusa-r, near. Also kusa-n. See also kusa da 

Ta kusa mutua da daria She nearly died of laughter 

Kusansa Near him 

Kusa-n-nan Near here 

Wuri-n, at the place of. Almost invariably used with a person 

Zo wurina Come to me 

Gudu wurinsa Bun to him 

Na zo wurinka / come to see you 

Abinnan yana wurina The thing is with me 

Ban che laifi yana wurinka / did not say that the fault was yours 

Alhakinda ka dauka ya komo The sin you committed has returned 

wurinka upon you 

Ansa wani wurinsa Another was put in his place 

Ba ya bude ido ba tukuna wuri- He is ignorant as regards religious 

n-karatu education 

Allahu ya bada dunia wuri-n- God has given the world to the 

bature white man 

Wanda kuka ji awurina What you heard from me 

Ya koma wuri-n-ubangiji Allah He returned to the Lord God 

Ya ji kumia wurin ubangi ji He felt ashamed before Qod 

Allah 

Na ji labarinka wurin Mahmadu / heard of you from Mahmadu 

Gu-n (H) = wurin, which in the northern dialects is sometimes 
found as " guri " 

Mostly used with a person 

Zo guna (!<> a, < to me 

Gu-n-chan Over there 

Gudu gunsa Run to him 

A gun fure nan At the place of the flower 



198 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Bigiri-n (K), Ourbi-n (Zanf), Mamaki-n (S), instead of 

Ya tafi Kano bigiri-n- Sokoto He went to Kano instead of Sokoto 
Ba ni rago gurbi-n-akwia Give, me a sheep instead of a goat 

Abaki-n, in exchange for 
Ya tafi Kano baki-n-Sokoto He went to Kano instead of Sokoto 

Batu-n, with reference to 
Batu-n-mi ? With reference to what ? 



Kafi-n, before 

Kafi-n-shekara nawa goro shi In (before) how many years does 
ke yin yaya the Kola bear 

Bamda, different from, apart from 

Bam da Allah ba ni tsoro-n- Except God I fear nothing 

komi 

Bam da wannan ba ni da wani Except this I have nothing 

Mi kana so en sawo maka bam What do you want me to buy for 

da shinkafa you besides rice 

Dabara da, daura da, near to, alongside 

Su tsaya daura da juna They stand alongside each other 

Ya tsaya dabranka He stands next beyond you 

Itache-n-nan shina tsaye dabra- The tree stands next to that tree 

n-itache-n-nan 

Sai ga mutum biu daura da su But two men were standing by 

atsaye them 

Garni da, together with 
Derived from " gama," to join, finish. 

Ya tube wandonsa garni da shi He took off his trousers together 

with it 



Kusa da, kusa gare, near to (see also kusa-r) 

Shina kusana He is near me 
Shina kusa ga ni ,, 

Shina kusa gareni 

Shina kusanka He is near you 



PREPOSITIONS 



199 



Shina kusa ga ka 
Shina kusa gareka 
Kusa ga gida 



He is near you 
He is near you 
Near the house 



Ya zo tare da ni 



Tare-da, together with 
Derived from " tara," to assemble 
He came with me 



Saba da, on account of 



Na gode masa sabada keauta 

da ya aiko HIM ni 
Domin sabada tsoro 
Sabada hakanan 



/ thank him for the present 

sent me 
For fear 
On account of this 



he 



Daga, from, at, etc. 
This preposition is very commonly joined with others. 



Ya tafo daga Kano 

Ya tafo daga chikin Kano 

Daga nan 

Daga chan 

Daga nisa 

Daga Ture 

Daga garesu 

Daia daga chikinsu 

Shina binsu daga baya 

Ya kubche daga hanuna 

Ya fito daga chikin gari may be 

said for Ya fito gari simply 
Zomu ba shi kamuwa daga 

zamne (prov.) 
Wonga wochika ta fita daga 

hanu mallam Musa 



He comes from Kano 

He has come out from Kano 

Here 

There 

From afar or far (simply) 

In Europe 

From them 

One of them 

He follows them behind 

It slipped from my hand 

He came from the town 

A hare is not to be caught from 
your seat, i.e., unless you get up 

This letter is from the hand of 
Mallam Musa. (A common 
beginning to a letter) 

NOTE. " Wuri-n" may be used in the meaning of "from " with verbs 
of motion. See under " wurin,'" 



200 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

OMISSION OF PREPOSITIONS 

In a great many cases certain prepositions are omitted, 
though they are necessary in English. 

Locality. At, in 
The two nouns are then in apposition 

Na tafi kasua Lokoja da laasar / went to the market at Lokoja 

in the evening 
Babu wani sariki dunia There is no other king on the earth 

(" Sariki dunia " is an expression also meaning king of a big 
country, "sariki" being chief of a town, market, head- 
man, etc.) 

Ba shi sama He is not in heaven 

Sun sa barao jaru, ya mutu They put the thief in gaol, and he 

died. (Jaru is probably a cor- 
ruption of the English " gaol ") 
Yanmata gidanmu kulum The daughters of our house always 

wanka. Moda. (Riddle) wash. A dipper 

Garinku, kadan yaro ya yi In your country when a boy grows 

girima, minene anayi masa up, what is done to him 

Shina Kano He is at Kano 

Suka kwana jeji They slept in the bush 

Time 

Point of Time 

Kwanakin-nan ban yi girima ba In those days I was not grown up 

Chiwuta nan ba zata worike ba This sickness will not heal in one 

kwana, daia ko kwana bial ba day, even five are not enough 

su issa ba 

The noun " saura" = remains, may be used. 

Saura kwana uku mun tashi or In three days more we shall start 
kana mu tashi 

Period of Time 

Kwanarmu goma muna tafia For ten days we have been travelling 

Omission of " with " 

Ina ji-n-haushinsa / am angry with him 

" Without " is rendered by " babu." 

Ba ka iya sayensa babu kurdi You cannot buy it without money, 

lit., You cannot buy it ; no money 



CHAPTER VIII 
CONJUNCTIONS 

NOTE. Some conjunctions are often classed as adverbs and vice versa. 

CO-ORDINATING 



Amma, ainana (not colloquial) 

Da 

Da ... da 

Da ... da 

Dai, de 

Fa 

Gara, goama, guma 

Ko 

Ko . . . ko 

Koka 

Kua 

Kau, kawa 

Kuma 

Ma 



but 
and 

both . . . and 
had I ... I should (not} 
then, indeed 

therefore (about ; usually inter- 
rogative) 
rather 

either or even 
either, whether ... or 
as well as, like as 
also 

also (not colloquial) 
again. See under adverbs 
too, likewise 



SUBORDINATING 



Bamda 

Don (S) Domin (K) 



Don kada, don en 

Don wannan, don haka 

En, idan (S), kan, 1 kam, 1 kadan 

(K) kur (Z) 
En 
Inda 

Gama 



except 

because, in order that. (See also 

Prepositions) 
lest 

for this reason 
if, when 

in order to, that 

if. Inda . . . da, Had I . . . 

/ should (not) 
for 



1 See also Adverbs of Time. 
201 



202 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Kada (S) kar (K) Do not, lest 

Koda although, when, even if 

Sabada on account of 

Sai except, and, etc. 

Zama because 



NOUNS USED (WITH PARTICLES) IN SENSE 
OF CONJUNCTIONS 

Kama-n-da in the same way, as soon as, like as 

Kwatamshi (S) 

Kama-n- like, the same 

Amma 

Ina dubensa, amma ban gane shi / looked for him but I did not 

ba see him 

Da uwata kua tana kuka, amma And my mother also was crying 

kanena ba shi sani ba komi but my younger brother did not 

know anything 

Da 

"Da . . . da,," both . . . and, neither . . . nor in negative 
sentences, whether ... or, in conditional sentences. 
" Da " connects words as well as sentences 

Rago da akwia The ram and the she-goat 

Ba naku ne da zaku san zamauu It is not for you to know the times 

Ni tafi ga sariki da ni che masa / shall go to the chief and I shall 

say to him 
Da kaka zaka yaki babu fadawa ? And how will you go to war with 

no officers ? 
Ta che mu biu da ni da barao She said both of us both I and the 

thief 
Da ni da shi mu duka muna tafia Both I and he were walking on 

chiki-n-kaya the thorns 

Ina so mu yi gana da ni da kai I want to have some conversation 

with you 

Da ya sha bami, da ya sha barasa, Whether he drinks palm wine or 
duka daia ne he drinks spirit, it is all the same 

" Da " may be omitted in narration 

Mutum ya tashi, ya dauka sanda, The man arose, he took a stick, fie 

ya gudu, ya tafo ga wurin enda ran, he came to the place where 

machiji shi ke, ya kashe shi the snake was, he killed it 

Ina chi, ina sha / eat and drink 



CONJUNCTIONS 



203 



Two verbs in the imperative mood have no conjunction 
between them, only a personal pronoun 

Duba ki ga yawa-n-dawaki nan Look and see the multitude of 

horses here 

Da . . . da, Had 1 ... I should (not) 

This idiom is usually found with one of the sentences 
in the negative 



Da na sani, da ban yi shi ba 

Da kana nan da kanena ba ya 

mutu ba 
Da en yi wannan gara en mutu 



Had I known, I should not have 

done it 
Had you been here my young 

brother would not have died 
I would rather die than do this 



Inda . . . da 

Inda ba ha ka ba da na gaya maka // it were not so I would not have 

told you 

Inda ka zo wurina da lotu, da mu If you come for me in time, we will 
tafi tare kasua go to the market together 

Dai, de. It is never first word in a sentence 

Dila de ke nan This is the jackal (the beginning 

of a story). See here is the 
jackal 

Ni de . . . As for me ... 



Fa 



Shi fa ? 



What about him ? 



Gara, guma, goama 

Kada ka sayas shi, amma goama Do not sell it but rather give it to me 

ka ba ni 
Gara haka It is better so 

Ko, either, or 



Bani rago ko kurdi 
Hario mutume nan ko ubanta ya 
zaka ya mashie ta 



Give me the ram or the money 
Again this man or her husband 
came and made her return 



Ko ka bashi kurdi, ko ka bashi Either give him the money or give 



rago-n-nan 



him the ram 



Ko Audu ya zo ko Mahma ya zo Either Audu comes or Mahma 

comes 



204 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Angaya mani wannan labari, ko / was told this news, whether it is 

gaskia ne, koko tasunia che, true, or whether it is a tale, I 

oho ! don't know ! 

Suna che ko na mutu They asked if I was dead 

Amma ban ji ba ko daia ya mutu, But I have not heard if anybody 

ko, wani ya halbi kibia died or whether any one shot an 

arrow 

Ko = even, indeed (an intensive) 

Na gani ko sariki / have indeed seen the chief 

Ba mu samu ba ko aluransu daia We did not find even one of their 

needles 
Ko ni dakaina ina tafia da kafa Even I myself was travelling on 

foot 
Da babu rairai ko kadan There was no sand there, not even 

a little 

Bature ba shi tsoro mutua ko The white man does not fear death, 
anakasheshi ba i kula ba even if he is to be killed he does 

not care 
Ko da babu daki nan Formerly there was no house at 

all here 

" Ko da " here is distinct from " koda," although 

" Ko " may be used at the end of a sentence as an 
interrogative particle 

Mutum ya tafi, ko ? Did the man go ? 

Here " ko " is elliptic for " ko ba hakka ba," or is it 
not so. "Ko" may also be used in the middle of the 
sentence, even splitting the verb 

A ko nuna inaka talauchi ? Shall poverty be shown you ? 

Koka 

Na sani sariki- n-Kano koka / know the chief of Kano as well 
sariki-n-Sokoto as the chief of Sokoto 

Kua 
Usually found with " da," and. Compare use of " kuma." 

Gobe ubanka shi zo kua Tomorrow my father will also come 

Audu ya yi sata kua Audu has also stolen 

Ina sonsa da shi kua shina sona / like him and he also likes me 

Ko kua mu ya-n-Africa niuna Even we Africans also eat raw 

chi-n-nama dainye meat 

Ni zani tafia ga kasua da kai kua / shall go to the market and you 

zaka tafia ga kasua also will go to the market 



CONJUNCTIONS 



205 



Kuma (conjunction). See also under adverbs 



Audu ya yi sata, Mahma ya yi 
sata kuma 



Audu has stolen, Mahma has also 
stolen 



Ma 
Enclitic to the word it refers to 



Ni ma ina tafia en nema dukia 
Su ma ba su da yaya 



/ too am going in search for riches 
They too had no children 



Bamda. See under Preposition 
Bamda Allah ba ni tsoro-n-komi Except God I fear nothing 

Don. See also under Preposition 



Ya yi kuka don mun buga shi 

Kira shi don en biya shi 

Don ba ka ji ba 

Na sani Hausa kwarai don ni 

da-n-Tuntume ne 
Suna zo bisa dawaki don su 

kamaku 
Yao na tafi ga makaranta don en 

gani abinda zasu goda ga yan 

makaranta 
Ya bani duka don wannan na ya 

murna 
Don kada su gani wuta da dere 



He howled because we beat him 
Gall him so that I may pay him 
Because you do not understand 
I know Hausa correctly because I 

am a native of Tuntume 
They are coming on horses to 

catch you 
I went to school to-day to see what 

they were going to show to the 

school children 
They gave me all therefore I was 

glad 
Lest they should see the fire by 

night 



En, idan, kadan, etc. 



En ya yi karia abugeshi 
Asamu en anjima kadan 
Ya kamata mutum zashi tafia shi 
nema guzuri en shina yi hankali 

En ba ka da kurdi ba ka da gaskia 



Idan kana son sarota em ba ka 

Kadan ban che ba karia 
Kadan wanga mutum ya yi gudu 

shi fadi 

Kadan anarua ba zamu tafia ba 
Kadan na tafi garesa shi facia 

mani gaskia 
Kan na sakeki 
Kan na yi muku rana, kada ku yi 

mini dere (prov.) 



// he lies he will be beaten 

They will be got if you wait a little 

It behoves a man who is going a 

journey to lay in provisions if he 

is wise 
If you have no money you have no 

truth, i.e., only a rich man is 

listened to 
If you want the kingdom I will 

give it you 

If I am not telling a lie 
If this man runs he will fall down 

If it rains we will not go 

If I go to him he will tell me the 

truth 

If 1 set you free 
If I make day for you, do not 

make night for me 



206 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

" //" understood from context 

Akoi laya, kana sa ta ga wuya, There is a charm, (if) you hang it 
kana yi sata babu maigani on your neck, you can steal and 

no one will see you 

.Era = in order to, that 

Ya tambaye en su Fulani ne He went to ask if they were Fulanis 

Ta tafi gari en dauka kashia She went to the town to take her pay 

Inda . . . da 

Inda ba haka ba, da na gaya It it were not so I should have 
maka told you 

Gama 

Ban so tafi ba gama ban ganshi / do not want to go for I have not 
ba tukuna seen him yet 



= because not. Compare don 

Kada ka tafi Do not go 

Kada su tafi Let them not go 

Gudu maza kada shi wucheka Bun quickly lest he pass you 

Na tambaye su domi mutane / asked him why the men should 

kada su tafi not go 

Ya aiko mani wata budurua kada He sent to me a certain girl (to 

en tafi bar ya-n-makaranta su say) that I should not go until 

fita the school children came out 

Koda 

Koda shi ke yaro shina da karifi Although he is a boy he is very 

kwarai strong 

Koda ya mutu shi yi rai Even if he dies he shall live 

Koenna ka tafi Allah shinana Wherever you go God is there with 

tari da kai koda dere koda rana you whether by night or by day 

Sabada 

This preposition is used with a noun or with " wannan," 
and the phrase may be translated by such a conjunction 
as " because " 

Ni kua ina yi-n-kuka sabada / too cried because I was tired. 
gajia Lit., on account of fatigue 

Or " haka " may be used 

Ba ni ba ta kurdi sabada haka ta / did not give her money so she 
tafi went 



CONJUNCTIONS 207 

Sai 
See also under adverbs 

Sai suna yawo chikin gari All they did was to walk about the 

town 

" Sai " is used in narration at the beginning of sentences meaning 
little more than " and " 

Sai ya bubuge ta da sanda a kai, And he continued beating her with 
sai ga kafoni sun fito a stick on the head until the 

horns came out 

Zama 

Zama Kafirawa kan yerda da sabo Because the heathen are addicted 

to evil 

(NOTE. " Su " is omitted before " kan " by poetical license) 

Kwatamshi 

Sun yi inasa kwatamshi-n-wan- They did to him the same as to the 
chan other 



CHAFFER IX 



A oh 

Aa exclamation of astonishment. It is in a different 

tone from aa = no, which has a low, falling tone 

Af, Ap oh ; an exclamation of recollection 

Aha exclamation of satisfaction 

Ai ah 

Arr(K), irr(S) be off 

Ara go on 

Ashe truly 

Asha, hasha an exclamation of pain or grief 

Aya up I or it does not matter 

Gasa expression of disgust, surprise 

Hakika true ! 

Habba, hubba expression of astonishment or indignation 

Kai hi I you ! 

Kaito, kaicho alas 

Ko exclamation of surprise 

Labada true ! 

Madilla exclamation of joy, also used as a reply salutation, 

or on receiving an acceptable gift 

Oho it does not concern me, (See example under con- 

junction " ko ") 

Sanu softly, also a salutation. An expression of sym- 

pathy 

To all right. Used on receiving an order and signifying 

acceptance. Also as an informal expression of 
- thanks 

Ungo take it I 

Us used in driving sheep and donkeys 

Tir alas. An expression of sympathy 

Wai exclamation of doubt, hesitation 

Ya 0. Arabic 

Yowa (K) yes, all right 

208 



INTERJECTIONS 209 

Examples 

A mugum bara ! Ah bad servant ! 

Kai yaro You boy I 

Kai ! YOU 

Kai wadanan yara ! You boys I 

Aya mu tafi ! Up I let us go ! 

Ya sidi ! Ya ku mutane ! air 1 You, men ! 

Ungo mashi-n-nan Take this spear 



CHAPTER X 
SYNTAX 

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF 

SENTENCES 

THE SUBJECT 

The subject may be composed as follows : 

i. pronoun, personal. 

ii. noun or other substantive + personal pronoun 

(never noun alone), 
iii. demonstrative + noun + personal pronoun ; or, 

noun + demonstrative + personal pronoun, 
iv. noun + possessive pronoun + personal pronoun. 
v. noun + adjective or numeral + personal pronoun. 
vi. two nouns in apposition + personal pronoun, 
vii. two nouns, one in genitive case + personal pronoun, 
viii. infinitive + personal pronoun, 
ix. relative sentence + personal pronoun. 

From this list it can be seen that, whatever the nature 
of the subject, its predicate must be preceded by a personal 
pronoun. The only cases in which its omission is per- 
missible are in poetry and proverbs. 

Examples 

i Ya tafi He went 

ii Mutum ya tafi The man went 

iii. Wannan mutum ya tafi "\ m -, . 

Mutume-nan ya tafi ) ^s man went 

210 



SYNTAX 211 

iv. Dansa ya tafi His son went 

v. Yaro karami ya tafi The small boy went 

Yara uku sun zo Three boys have come 

vi. Yaro, dana, ya tafi The boy, my son, went 

vii. Da-n-mutum ya tafi The man's son went 

viii. Dauka-n-yaro ba da wuya ba To carry the boy is not difficult 

ix. Mutum da ya zo jia ya tafi The man who came yesterday has 

gone 

Simple Subject 

The subject need not necessarily be a noun ; other sub- 
stantives or a substantival phrase may be substituted 

Na-baya ya kuka The one behind howled 

Mai-doka-n-kaya ya zo The man to carry the load has 

come 
Bature mai-ji Hausa ya zo The white man who knows Hausa 

has come 

Compound Subject 

The compound subject consists of one or more simple 
subjects, to all of which one predicate belongs 

Mutume da mache da yaro sunka The man the woman and the boy 
tafi went 



THE PREDICATE 

The predicate may be simple or compound. 

The Simple Predicate 
The simple predicate may consist of 

i. a simple verb, 
ii. auxiliary verb, 
iii. or, may be understood. 

Examples 

\. Aiki ya karc The work is finished 

ii. Yaro karami no The boy is small or it is a small 

boy 



212 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

iii. (a) With " mai " 

Gari mainesa The town is far 

(b) With the pronoun compounded with " na " 

Shina baya He is behind 

(c) With " da,." with (the substitute for " have ") 

Aiki da wuya The work is hard 

These predicates may be expanded in various ways with 
attributes 

i. 

Aiki ya kare duka The work is all finished 

Ya ji sarai He understands perfectly 

ii. 
Miji-n-ta shi ne inaisaida-n-zinaria Her husband is a seller of gold 



Yaro ba shi da karifi The boy is not strong 

The Compound Predicate 

A compound predicate consists of two or more simple 
predicates belonging to the same subject. The personal 
pronoun has to be repeated with each 

Yaro ya gudu ya fadi chiki-n- The boy ran and fell into the hole 
rami 

Special Notes on the Predicate 



By idiomatic usage the number of the predicate does 
not agree with that of the subject. 

A singular noun will take a plural predicate when the 
former has a collective sense 

Kasua duka sun hauka The whole market went mad drunk 

Dokinsa dubu ishirin da biar His cavalry was 25,000 men 

Mutum duka ya gudu They have all run away 

Wani mutane yatafi garin Bauchi Some men went to the Bauchi 

taritari country a great many 



SYNTAX 



213 



Also two subjects may have a singular predicate 



Kowa ya rinaka yaro da baba 
kafiri da Musulmi duk ya 
zageka 

Ban ji ba ban gani ba ta rabaka 
da zaure-n-tara (proverb) 



Every one despises you, boy and 
grown-up, heathen and Musul- 
man, all revile you 

/ did not hear I did not see 
keeps you out of the hall of 
fines, i.e., proves an alibi 



In connection with these the following sentences may be 
noticed 



Ya tafi gari baba ya yi aiki da su 

Bature ya kashe masu mutum 
tari da doki 



He went to a big town he made 

war on it (them) 
The white man killed of them many 

men and horses 



Verbs of saying, thinking, seeing, etc., generally intro- 
duce direct speech and are not followed by any con- 
junctions 



Na sani ka ba ni abinda ni ke so 

Ina tamaha shina da rai bar yanzu 

Da inuka zamna na ji suna so-n- When we halted I heard that they 



/ know (that) you will give 

what I want 
/ think he is still alive 



tafia yaki 
Da muna gani suna gudu 



wanted to go to war 
Aa we, looked they ran off 



There are a few instances in which the predicate precedes 
the subject. The verbs are ' akwoi," "za," "je," "ya" 
(see under the Verb) 

Akwoi mutane dayawa a chiki-n- There are many people in the 



gida 
Akoi Allah 
Akwoisu 
Zamu gida 
Gobe zaka Kano 
Jeku ! 
Yaka ! 



house 
There ia a God 
There are 
We will go home 
Tomorrow you will go to Kano 
Be off / 
Come I 



214 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



THE OBJECT 

The object is of two kinds 

i. Direct. 

ii. Indirect. 

The nature of the object is the same as that of the 
subject. 

Direct Object 

The following are examples of the direct object follow 
ing the classification of the subject 

i. Mutum ya huge shi The man beat him 

Na ba wani I gave (it) (to) another 

ii. Mutum ya buga yaro The man beat the boy 
iii. Mutum ya buga wannan ) 

yaro > The man beat this boy 
Mutum ya buga yaro nan ) 

iv. Mutum ya buga yaronsa The man beat his boy 

v. Mutum ya buga yaro mugu The man beat the bad boy 

Mutum ya buga yara uku The man beat three boys 

vi. Mutum ya buga yaro dansa The man beat the boy his son 

vii. Mutum ya buga da-n-uwansa The man beat the son of his 

mother, i.e., his brother 

viii. Mutum ya tafi dauka-n-kaya The man has gone to take his load 

ix. Mutum ya buga wanda ya The man beat him who carried the 

dauki kaya load 

Don ba ka samu ba ya fi Because you cannot find better 

wannan than this 

Example of Compound Direct Object 

Mutum ya buga yaro da yarinia The man beat the bad boy and 
miagu girl 

In Hausa a direct object in the form of an objective 
phrase is used where in English a subordinate sentence 
is found 

Allah shi sake taramu da lafia May God grant we meet in health, 

lit., May God bring about "our 
meeting in health " 

Ya gani anashiga gida-n-Muham- He saw them enter the house of 
madu da bame Mohammed with palm wine 

NOTE. // " anashiga " is treated as the equivalent of " suna shiga " 
the verbal aspect becomes more prominent than the substantival. 



SYNTAX 215 

In the following example a verb although treated as a noun 
yet takes a direct object. It must, however, be observed 
that the direct object begins the sentence as an interroga- 
tion, and the rest of the sentence in following loses its 
strictly grammatical sequence 

Mi ki ka zo gari-n-nema ? W hat have you come to look for ? 

Double Object 

Some verbs take two direct objects, one of the person 
the other of the thing 

Sariki ya ba mu shanu biu The chief gave us two cows 

Ba ina tamaha ba shi ba ni abinda / do not think he will give me what 

ni ke so / want 

Anaba kowa nasa Every one was given his share 

Shi ya gode Allah don bai haliche- He thanks God because he has not 

shi karre ba created him a dog 

Da-n-zaki ya dauka dan mutum The lion's child took the human 

aboki child for his friend 

Ya daura dokinsa surdi He saddled his horse 

Lokachinda anazuba maka kasa When they pour earth upon you 

bisa kai (i.e., bury you) 

Example of Nouns in Apposition 
Ya hau dokinsa zaki He mounted his horse a lion 

Indirect Object 

This is very varied in its nature. 
It usually follows the predicate 

Ya tiifi ga gida-n-maimagani He went to the house of the 

medicine man 

Or it may stand first 

Da sanda na buge shi With a stick I beat him 

Wanene ka ke kira biri Whom are you calling a monkey ? 

When there are both direct and indirect objects the 
indirect stands first 

Ta bids masu magani She sought medicine from them 

Wani ya kawo ma sariki labari Some one brought the news to the 

chief 



216 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Some verbs take " da " with the indirect object 

Na gaji da sukua bisa rakumi / was tired of riding on the camel 

Ta tuna da mijinta She remembered her husband 

Ta mutu da yungwa She died of hunger 

Ni ban yirda ba da shi I do not believe in him 

NATURE or SENTENCES 

Sentences are 

1. Affirmative. 

2. Negative. 

3. Interrogative. 

The affirmative sentence is a simple statement in any 
mood or tense. The negative sentence is formed from the 
affirmative sentence by the addition of " ba . . . ba " 
before and after the verb. (See under adverb.) 

Affirmative Negative 

Yaro nan shi ke karami Yaro nan ba shi ke karami ba 

Yaro nan shina karami Yaro nan ba shi karami ba 

Yaro nan shina da wayo Yaro nan ba shi da wayo 

English. This boy is small ; This boy is cunning, etc. 

In sentences containing a command, if direct the subject 
pronoun may be omitted in the singular, but not in the 
plural 

Tafi or ka tan Go 

Ku tafi Go (pi.) 

Ga shi See him 

Ba ni rua Give me water 

Inverted subjects are found in " Yaka," come; " Jeka," 
go; "Jeku," go (pi.) 



Ta che mata, ki kunchesu She said to her loose them 

Ban sani ba ; fada man! en ji / do not know, tell me about it, 

lit., so that I may understand 



SYNTAX 217 

Interrogative Sentences 

Interrogative sentences are formed in three ways 

1 . Change of tone in an affirmative sentence. 

2. With interrogative pronouns. 

3. With interrogative adverbs, such as " ko," for 

indirect questions especially ; " ba ? " not? "Fa ? " 
then ? " De ? " indeed ? 
1 

Ni ne ? Is it I ? 

Kai ka ke yi mani magana haka ? Do you speak so to me. ? 

Ka gani abin-nan ? Have you seen this thing ? 

Akoi rua chiki-n-rijia ? Is there water in the well ? 



Wanene ka ke kira biri ? Whom are you calling a monkey 

Mi zaka yi da shi ? What will you do with him ? 

3 Adverbs 

Kurdinsa nawa ? How much is it ? 

Enna ubanka ? Where is your father ? 

Yaushe zaka komo ? When will you come back ? 

Ko 

Ya tambaye shi ko shi zo ko ba He asked him if he was coming or 
shi zo ba not 

Ta che ko daganan rua Madina She said, is thia the water of 
shi ke ? Madina here f 

Na tafo ko nan ne rua Madina / came to see whether this is the 

water of Madina 

Ko ni ne ? Or is it I ? 

Ko ba haka ba ? Or is it not so ? (Often used 

after another question when a 
negative answer is possible) 

Baf 

Ka ji ba ? Did you not hear ? 

Ni ne ba ? Is it not I ? 

Fa? 

Shi fa ? What about him ? 

Ansa kowa aikinsa, shi yaro nan Every one has been given his work, 

fa ? but what about this boy ? 

Amba kanena rabonsa, ni de ? My younger brother has been given 

Ba zaabani ba ? his portion, what about me f 

Shall I not be given any ? 



218 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Compound Sentences 

Compound sentences are of two kinds co-ordinate and 
subordinate. 

Co-ordinate 

Kurichia ta zaka, tana yi-n-kuka, The dove came, she was crying out, 
tana chewa ga mache yi kun- she was saying to the woman 
unki ki sha make your gruel, drink it 

Sunka tafi ga baki-n-rijia, ya che They went to the mouth of the well, 
masti . . . (and) he said to them . . . 

Amma mu ba mu iyawa mu yi But we, we cannot work 
aiki 

Ba ni ne zan yi shi ba ? Is it not for me to do it ? 

Subordinate 

Subordinate sentence first 

Kadan ka bani kurdi-n-nan m // you give me the money I shall 

baka tagia give you the cap 

Kadan na tafi, kadan ka rule When I have gone, when you have 

kofa, kadan wani ya zaka. kada shut the door, if any one comes, 

ka bude do not open 

Subordinate sentence last 

Rairai ya shiga ga idanumu don The sand goes into our eyes 
hiska ta busa da karifi because the wind blew strong 



CHAPTER XI 



COMMON IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS 



SALUTATIONS 



1. Sanu sanu 

2. Sanu ka dai (de) 

3. Kana lafia ? 

4. Lafia lau 

5. Madilla 

6. Madilla (Arabic) 
1. Sanu da aiki 

I. Sanu da gajia 

1. Sanu da zua 

2. Sanu ka dai (de) 

Sanuku 

Sanunka 
Sanunka da kaya 

1. Ka kwana lafia ? 

2. Lafia; Madilla 

1. Kana lafia ? 

2. Lafia lau, na godi 

1. Analafia ? 

2. Muna lafia 

1. Enna gajia ? 

2. Babu gajia 

2. Gajia da sauki 
1. Enna gida ? 

1. Kaka gida ? * 

2. Lafia lau 



How do you do. Lit., Softly 
How do you do 
Are you well ? 
Quite well 
Thanks be to God 

Said when meeting a man at 

work 

Said when meeting a man tired 
Said when meeting a man coming 
How do you do ? 

Said when meeting several per- 
sons, and also in reply 
How do you do ? Lit., Your 

" sanu " 
Said when meeting a man with 

a load 

Have you slept well ? 
Very well, thanks (Madilla= 

What has Ood shown ?) 
Are you well ? 
Quite well, I thank (you) 
Are you well ? 
We are well 
I hope you are not tired. Lit., 

Where is the fatigue ? 
Not at all tired 

> 
How are all at home ? 

Quite well 



* NOTB. It it impolite to say, How is your wife if 
219 



220 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



3. Da iyali suna lafia ? 

4. Lafia lau, muna lafia 

1. Enna labari ? 

2. Sai lafia 

1. Maraba, maraba (Arabic) 

2. Sanu, sanu madilla 

1. Maraba da zua 

2. Sanu 

1. Enna zamnan gari ? 

2. Sai alheri 

1. Marhabi, marhabi (Arabic) 

2. Sanu, madilla 

1. Albarka 

2. Albarka de 

1. Madilld \ 

2. Alhumdillilahi (Arabic) / 

1. Salaam alaikum (Arabic) 

2. Alaikum salaam 

1. Berka (for albarka) 

2. Berka da zua 
Agaisheka 
Tngoya (ingweya) 

Sai gobe 

Sai wata rana 

Sai anjima 

Allah shi dade da ranka 

Gafara ! 

Gafara dai ! 

Kaka ka ji da sainyi ? 

Lafia, sainyi da godia 

Kaka ka kara ji da jiki ? Na 

ji sauki (K and Z) 
Allah shi kara maka sauki, 

Amin 
Na ji dama. Na samu sauki 

(Zar) 
Allah shi anfana-shi (or -ta) 

Allah shi keauta 
Ka gaishe shi da yini 
Gai mini da ubanka 
Sai ka komo 



And are all the family weU ? 

Quite well, we are all well 

What is the news ? 

It is good. The invariable for- 
mal reply 

Used after long absence 

Thank you 

Welcome 

Softly, i.e., thank you 

How is your stay in the town ? 

It is going well, prosperous 

Salutation on returning from a 
journey 

I am well, thank you 

Welcome 

Thank you for your welcome 

Praise be to God 

Peace be with you 
With you be peace 
How do you do 
Welcome 

You are saluted. Hoio do you do 
Reply salutation to an important 

person 

Good-bye till to-morrow 
Good-bye till another day 
Good-bye for a short time 
May God give you long life (to a 

chief) 
/ beg your pardon 

How do you feel this cold weather ? 
Quite well in spite of the cold 
How are you feeling ? I am 

feeling better 
May God increase your health, 

Amen 
I feel better or am well again 

May God prosper it (on birth of 

a child) 

Say good-night to him 
Salute your father for me 
Good-bye till you come again 



COMMON IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS 221 



NAMES or SEASONS, MONTHS, DAYS, AND HOUBS 

Seasons 

Funturu, or Lokachin dari Cold season, the season of the 

Harmattan December and 
January 

Rani Hot season March 

Basara Hottest part of the hot season; 

tornado season April and 
May 

Damara Wet season June to August 

Agajere Hot season after rain September, 

October 

Kaka Harvest season October, Novem- 

ber 

Months 

These are the Arabic months, with the names more or 
less corrupt 

Moharam 

Safar 

Rabiu lauwal 

Rabiu lahir 

Jimada lula 

Jimada luhura 

Rajab 

Jaaban 

Ramadan, ramalan, or wata-n- The fast month 

azumi 

Shauwal, wata-n-karama-n-salla Month of the little prayer 
Zulkiida 
Zulhaji, wata-n-baba-n-salla Month of the big prayer 

The corresponding months in the Julian calendar vary 
from year to year. 

Days of the Week 

Ran'lahadi Sunday 

Ran'latini Monday 

Ran'talata Tuesday 

Ran'laraba Wednesday 

Ran'alhamis Thursday 

Ran'aljimua, aljima Friday 

Ran'assabit Saturday 



222 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Hours of the Day 

Jijifi First sign of dawn 

Kiran salla nafari Call to the first prayer 

Asuba Dawn 

Gari ya waye Dawn 

Sasafe Very early morning 

Safe Morning (generally) 

Hantsi About 8 a.m. 

Walaha About 10 a.m. 

Rana Day time generally 

Rana tsaka Midday, noon 

Zowall Time soon after midday 

Azuhur About 2 p.m. 

Laasar About 5 p.m. 

Maguriba Evening 

Mareche Evening 

Lisha About 7 p.m., just after sunset 

Fadua-r-rana Sunset 

Dere Night 

Tsaka-n-dere Midnight 

Kwana Sleep. A day of 24 hours 

Verbs : etc., used idiomatically 
Che 

Akache da shi It was called a ... 

Yache da su He said to them 

Chika 

Chika bindiga Load a gun 

Wotsika ya chika The letter is finished 

Chika mini alkaweli Fulfil your promise to me 

Chi 

Chi gari Conquer the country 

Chi kasua To market 

Anachin kasua Market is on 

Kasua ta clii 

Fataki sun chi riba The merchants made a profit 

Na chi / take it (in gambling) or / win 

Ku chi gaba kadan Go a little in front 

Chi sarota Succeed to the sovereignty 

Chi lafia To get into safety : enjoy peace 

Chi a ma na Misappropriate a trust. Lit., Eat 

a pledge 

Chi lava Swear on the Koran 

Chi ado Adorn oneself 



COMMON IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS 223 

Da (summary of various meanings) 

Da Eelative pronoun, short of " wanda " 

Da Son 

Da Native of, as in " da-n-Kano " 

Da Diminutive, as " da-n-zane," a piece of cloth ; " da-n- 

kasua," a little market ; " da-n-tumkia," lamb 

Da Freeborn 

Da And 

Da Of old, formerly 

Da With 

Da When ( = saanda) 

Da ... da Had I ... I should (not) 

Da Than 

Dama 

Hanu-n-dama Eight hand 

Da da ma A little more 

Ya yi da ma It were better 

Da dama dama Moderately 

Na ji dama kadan I feel a little better 

Gobe ina zua idan na samu dama I shall come to-morrow if I get the 

chance 

Ka yi abinda ka ga dama Do whatever you think best 

Ba ni da dama / have no time to . . . 

Dama mun so zua birni bale sariki We wished all the more to go to the 

ya aiko city now that the chief sent for us 

Ka ji dama ya fi jia ? Do you feel better than yesterday ? 

Da ni talaka ne, yanzu na samu Formerly I was poor, now I am 

dukia da dama better off 

Damre (daure) 

Daura kuka liaise a cry 

Daura ido Frown 

Daura gudu Take up running 

Daura magana Keep one's word 

Dau, do=dauka. Mostly used in Poetry 

Dau Allah, dau Anabi ! By God and the Prophet ! 

Wajib mu do hayasu ( = hainya) We must take their road 

Kai, carry 

Ba -Iii ka i ba It will not do 

Ba shi kai hakanan ba This will not do 

Jibi mua kai gida The day after to-morrow we shall 

get home 
Allah ya worike cbiniyansa ta kai God cured his thigh, it became 

all right 



224 



THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 



Kowa ya nomi hatsi (ya) kai 
baba-n-gari (poet.) 

Gobe da safe na kaika wurinda 

suna bi suna yawo 



Every one who sows corn (i.e., good 

deeds) reaches the great city 

(heaven) 
To-morrow I will take you to the 

place which they went to to take 

a walk 



(" Kai " does not necessarily mean to actually carry) 



Enna rana ta kai kana rau kai 
Kano ? Zata kai chan 

Suka iske gulbi, ya kawo 
rua achikin daji 



Where will the sun be when we 
reach Kano ? It will be there 

They came to a water course in the 
bush, it had water in it 



Kara 



Ina kara daia 

Ban kara ba zakua 

Ba ya kara ba chewa 

Aikinsu zaakarasu 

Sun che jirigi-n-kasan ba shi kara 

tafowa daga Iku 
Allahu shi kara maka alberka 

Zaki ya yi kuka so-daia, ba shi 

kara ba, ya mutu 
Ba shi kara ganinsa 
Ba ya kara tashi ba bar . . . 
Ba ta kara koma garesa 



/ add one 

I shall not come again 

He said no more 

Their work shall be increased 

They said the train shall not come 

again from Lagos 
May God increase his blessing on 

you 
The lion cried once, he did not do 

so again, he died 
He saw him no more 
He did not get up again until . . . 
She did not return to him again 



NOTE. The noun form of the verb is required after " kara." 



Mai da 



Ma maida kansa 
Ya maida kamna gareta 
Ya mayesda magana 
Suka mayar ( = mayas) da mag- 
ana, suka che masu 
Ka mayes 
Ina mayesda wane 
Ya maishe shi 
Yungwa ta ke maida yaro tsofo 



He professes 
He liked him 
He answered 
They replied and said to them 

Bring (it) back 

I became like so-and-so 

He transformed him 

Hunger turns a boy into an old 



Sha 



Sha hiska 
Sha enua 
Sha wohalla 
Sha taba 



Take the air 
Enjoy the shade 
Get into trouble 
Smoke tobacco 



COMMON IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS 225 



Sa 



Ya sa masu wuta 
Na sa ka dilalina 
Ni sashi tafi chikin jirigi, koda 

shi yerda ko ba yerda ba 
Shi ya sa na tashi 
Sa kasa 

Ya sashi chikin sanfo 
Na sa wando baki 
Sariki ya sa akadaura doki surdi 



He set fire to them 

I make you my agent 

I will make him get into the boat 

whether he is willing or not 
He made me get up 
Put it down 

He placed it in the basket 
I wore black trousers 
The chief made them saddle the 

horse 



NOTE. " Sa " has a causative force which may be translated in 
English " make " or " do." " Ti " is not used in this sense. 



Hainya ta samu There is a road 

Na samu lafia 7 am better 

Har su samu amsa Until they reply 

Na samesa shina karatu wotikanka I found him writing your letter 

Saura 
This is a noun meaning " remainder," " rest." 



Ya yi saura kadan 

I, saura igia biu adamre 

Da matansa saura shi daia 



There is a little left 

Yes, it still wants two ropes to tie 

them 
And of his wives there was only 

left one to him 

Ba sauran kwanaki dayawa nan In not many days' time 
gaba ba 

Various uses of " Yi," do, make. 

Some of its uses are very idiomatic. One variation of 
form is found namely, " yiwu." 



Independent 



Na yi 

Na yi 

Suna fada da juna ? Sun a yi 

Ku yi ta yi 
Mu yi ta yi 
Ku yi ta tafia 
Kaka zaka yi ? 
Kamada shi kc yi 
Rana ta yi 



7 did it 

He did it or it will do, it is 
satisfactory 

Are they fighting amongst them- 
selves ? They are 

Go on with what you are doing 

We will get to work 

Oo on 

How will you manage ? 

How it is done 

It is daylight 



226 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

\\'lth Direct Object 

Na yi shi / have done it 

Mun yi shi da kasa We made it of earth 

Kana yi magana Hausa ? Do you speak Hausa ? 

Mun yi abuta da ni da shi He and I have become friends 

Har ya yi sainyi Until it gets cool 

" Yi " joined with nouns is often translatable by a 
single verb in English, as 

Yi magana to speak 

Yi zanche to converse 

Yi aiki to work 

Yi munafiki to deceive 

Yi godia, to thank 

Yi tafia to journey 

Yi girima to grow 

Yi alheri to rejoice 

Yi sata to steal 

All of these phrases take indirect objects with preposi- 
tions. The indirect object is placed between " yi " and 
the noun it is attached to if the preposition in question 
is "ma," to, but after if the preposition is "da," with. 

Without Indirect Object 

Zuchiana ya yi fari My heart rejoiced 

Zua mutua Ahmadu ya yi sariki On the death of Ahmadu he 

became king 

Ya yi girima He has grown up 

Ya yi arziki It is fortunate 

Ya yi keao It is good : that is all right 

Ya yi nauyi It is heavy 

Yaro ya yi kama-n-uwansa The boy is like his mother 

Ya yi karatu wonga wochika He wrote this letter (double object) 

With Indirect Object 
Ma 

Ya yi mani munafiki He cheated (betrayed, deceived) 

me 

Na yi masa alheri / treated him kindly 

Ya yi mani alkawali He made me a promise 

Sun yi masa sata They stole from him 

Sariki ya yi masa kaliye The king gave him an order 

Ya yi mani gudumawa He came to my help 



COMMON IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS 227 

Giwa, anyi mata rauni a kafa The elephant was only wounded in 

guda one leg 

Karia ka ke yi mani You are lying to me 

Ya yi mani takarda He wrote me a letter 

Kada ka yi mani karia Do not lie to me 

Da 
Ku yi magana da su Talk to them 

Na 

Ya yi mantuwa-r-suna-n-da He forgot the name that the hare 

zomo ya fada masa told him 

" Yi "with Nouns used as Prepositions and Adverbs 

Ku yi kusa Come near 

Ya yi nisa It is far 

With adverbs 

Yi massa Make haste or do it quickly 

" Yi " with Expressions of Time 

Lokachi ya yi mu tashi It is time, let us start 

Da rana ta yi ya mutu When it was daylight he died 

Shekarunsa nawa ? ya yi shekara How old is he ? He is five. Oh 

bial. Aa, ba ya yi ba no, he is not 

Rana ta yi It is daylight 

Ya yi shekara biu It is two years 

Ka yi rana You are late 

Ya yi kwana bokoi A week passed 

" Yi " with the sense of " too much " 

Ya yi mani yawa They are too many for me 

Rafi nan ya yi masa fadi That river is too broad for it 

Riga nan ta yi mani kadan (or The coat is too small for me 

karami) 

Gidanga ya yi kankane This house is small (or too small) 

Kun yi yawa You were very many 

Miscellaneous 

Zuchiansa ya yi biu Doubt was in his heart 

Yi itache Cut or get firewood 

Wannan ya yi wanchan This equals that 

Anayi da shi He is being set upon 

Beri kashi chikin chiki ba shi yi To leave excrement in the belly is 

maganin yungwa (prov.) not food for hunger 

Funtu ya yi darial maitsuma The naked man laughs at the 

(prov.) ragged man 



228 THE HAUSA LANGUAGE 

Example of the Form " yiwu " 
Ta'ala da ya yiwota The exalted one who made it 

" Yi " takes what seems to be the suffix " da " (see 
derived verbs, class 5) in the sharpened form " ta." If 
this etymology be correct, it is not in accordance with the 
common phonetic rules of the language. 

Ku yita yi Go on with what you are doing 

Ku yita tafia ! March ! 

Ku yita tuba ! Repent I 

Yita aiki Accomplish the work 

Ku yita kanku Do that which appertains to you 

or do as you like 

In Sokoto, Zanfara, and Katsina "wo" is commonly 
used for "yi," as "wo takarda," send a letter; "wo 
yaki," wage war. 

Examples of Circumlocution 

Sariki ya rassu The chief is dead 

but, Doki ya mutu The horse is dead 

Abokina ba shi da lafia My friend is ill 

Wazirin Sokoto ba ya gani yanzu The vizier of Sokoto is blind 

Abokina ba shi da kafa My friend is lame 

but, Guragu ne In speaking of a horse being lame 

Kaka iyalinka ? How is your family ? (instead of 

asking after a man's wife) 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

SCHOEN, J. F. 

Vocabulary of the Hausa Language and Grammar (1843). 

Grammar of the Hausa Language (1862). 

Dictionary of the Hausa Language (1876). 

Appendix to Dictionary of the Hausa Language (1888). 

Magana Hausa (1885). 

ROBINSON, C. 

Hausa Language, 1st edition (1897). 
2nd edition (1909). 
Hausa Dictionary, 1st edition (I. 1899 and II. 1900). 

2nd edition (1906) (Hausa-English only) 
Specimen of Hausa Literature (1896). 

MILLER, W. R. Hausa Notes (1901). 

MISCHLICH, A. Lehrbuch der hausanischeu Sprache (1902). 

Km. AH. F. Litati na tatsuniyoyi na Hausa (1911). 

HARRIS, H. Hausa Stories (1907). 

CHARLTON, L. A Hausa Reading Book (1908). 



229 



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