Susu language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Susu
Sosoxui
Native toGuinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau
RegionCoastal Guinea
Native speakers
1.06 million (2001–2006)[1]
Niger–Congo?
  • Mande
    • Western Mande
      • Central
        • Soso–Yalunka
          • Susu
Language codes
ISO 639-2sus
ISO 639-3sus
Glottologsusu1250

The Susu language (endonym: Susu: Sosoxui; French: Soussou) is the language of the Susu or Soso people of Guinea and Sierra Leone, West Africa. It is in the Mande language family.

It is one of the national languages of Guinea and spoken mainly in the coastal region of the country.

History[edit]

The language was also used by people in the coastal regions of Guinea and Sierra Leone as a trade language.

The first literature in Susu was a translation of the first seven chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, translated by John Godfrey Wilhelm of the Church Mission Society. This was published in London as "Lingjili Matthew" in 1816. J.G. Wilhelm translated a considerable portion of the New Testament, but only this small part appears to have been printed.

Phonology[edit]

Susu consonants[2]
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Labial-
velar
Glottal
Nasal m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩ ɲ ⟨ɲ⟩ ŋ ⟨ŋ⟩
Plosive voiceless p ⟨p⟩ t ⟨t⟩ k ⟨k⟩
voiced b ⟨b⟩ d ⟨d⟩ ɡ ⟨g⟩ ɡb ⟨gb⟩
prenasal nd ⟨nd⟩ ŋɡ ⟨ng⟩
Fricative f ⟨f⟩ s ⟨s⟩ x ⟨x⟩ h ⟨h⟩
Trill r ⟨r⟩
Approximant l ⟨l⟩ j ⟨y⟩ w ⟨w⟩
Susu vowels[2]
Front Back
Close i ⟨i⟩, ⟨ii⟩ u ⟨u⟩, ⟨uu⟩
Close-mid e ⟨e⟩, ⟨ee⟩ o ⟨o⟩, ⟨oo⟩
Open-mid ɛ ⟨ɛ⟩, ɛː ⟨ɛɛ⟩ ɔ ⟨ɔ⟩, ɔː ⟨ɔɔ⟩
Open a ⟨a⟩, ⟨aa⟩
Nasal vowels[2]
Front Back
Close ĩ ⟨in⟩ ũ ⟨un⟩
Close-mid ⟨en⟩ õ ⟨on⟩
Open-mid ɛ̃ ⟨ɛn⟩ ɔ̃ ⟨ɔn⟩
Open ã ⟨an⟩

Grammatical sketch[edit]

Susu is an SOV language, Poss-N, N-D, generally suffixing, non-pro-drop, wh-in-situ, with no agreement affixes on the verb, no noun classes, no gender, and with a clitic plural marker which attaches to the last element of the NP (N or D, typically), but does not co-occur with numerals. It has no definite or indefinite articles. Sentential negation is expressed with a particle, mu, whose distribution is unclear (with adjectival predicates it seems to sometimes infix, but with transitive verbs it comes before the object).

Examples:

khame

man

didi

boy

to

see

ne

PAST

khame didi to ne

man boy see PAST

"The/a man saw the/a boy."

Pronouns[edit]

a.

n

1sg

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES(generic)

n taami don ma

1sg bread eat PRES(generic)

"I eat bread."

b.

i

2sg

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES(generic)

i taami don ma

2sg bread eat PRES(generic)

"You (sg) eat bread."

c.

a

3sg

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES(generic)

a taami don ma

3sg bread eat PRES(generic)

"He/she/it eats bread."

d.

won

1inc.pl

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES(generic)

won taami don ma

1inc.pl bread eat PRES(generic)

"We (including you) eat bread."

e.

mukhu

1exc.pl

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES(generic)

mukhu taami don ma

1exc.pl bread eat PRES(generic)

"We (excluding you) eat bread."

f.

wo

2pl

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES(generic)

wo taami don ma

2pl bread eat PRES(generic)

"You (pl or polite [sg or pl]) eat bread." ("wo" is used as French "vous")

g.

e

3pl

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES(generic)

e taami don ma

3pl bread eat PRES(generic)

"They eat bread."

cf.

a.

n

1sg

bankhi

house

to

see

PAST

n bankhi to né

1sg house see PAST

"I saw a/the house."

b.

n

1sg

taami

bread

don

eat

fe

PROG

n taami don fe

1sg bread eat PROG

"I am eating the bread."

Object pronouns have the same form as subject pronouns:

a.

khame

man

n

1sg

to

see

PAST

khame n to né

man 1sg see PAST

"A/the man saw me."

b.

khame

man

i

2sg

to

see

PAST

khame i to né

man 2sg see PAST

"A/the man saw you (sg)."

c.

khame

man

a

3sg

to

see

PAST

khame a to né

man 3sg see PAST

"A/the man saw him/her/it."

d.

khame

man

won

1inc.pl

to

see

PAST

khame won to né

man 1inc.pl see PAST

"A/the man saw us (including you)."

e.

khame

man

mukhu

1exc.pl

to

see

PAST

khame mukhu to né

man 1exc.pl see PAST

"A/the man saw us (excluding you)."

f.

khame

man

wo

2pl

to

see

PAST

khame wo to né

man 2pl see PAST

"A/the man saw you (pl)."

g.

khame

man

e

3pl

to

see

PAST

khame e to né

man 3pl see PAST

"A/the man saw them."

Possessive affixes precede the noun:

baba "father":
m baba "my father"
i baba "your (sg) father"
a baba "his/her/its father"
wom baba "our father"
wo baba "your (pl) father"
e baba "their father"

Adverbs[edit]

Adverbs can precede the subject or follow the verb:

a.

khoro

yesterday

n

1sg

fa

arrive

PAST

khoro n fa né

yesterday 1sg arrive PAST

"Yesterday I arrived."

b.

n

1sg

fa

arrive

PAST

khoro

yesterday

n fa né khoro

1sg arrive PAST yesterday

"I arrived yesterday."

Grammatical number[edit]

NPs come in a variety of forms:

khamé "boy (sg)", khame e "boys (pl)
taami "bread (sg)", taami e "breads (pl)"
a.

khame

boy

e

pl

taami

bread

don

eat

ma

PRES

khame e taami don ma

boy pl bread eat PRES

"The/0 boys eat bread."

b.

khamé

boy

taami

bread

e

pl

don

eat

ma

PRES

khamé taami e don ma

boy bread pl eat PRES

"The/a boy eats breads."

Numerials[edit]

  1. woto keren car one "one car"
  2. woto firin car two "two cars"
  3. woto sakhan "three cars"
  4. woto nani "four cars"
  5. woto suli "five cars"
  6. woto senni "six cars"
  7. woto solofere "seven cars"
  8. woto solomasakhan "eight cars"
  9. woto solomanani "nine cars"
  10. woto fu "ten cars"
  11. woto fu nun keren "eleven cars"
  12. woto fu nun firin "twelve cars"
n woto nde e to né 1sg car indef.D pl see PAST "I saw several cars"/"J'ai vu des autos."
woto nde "some car"
di nde "some boy"
bangkhi nde "some house"
khame nde "someone"
se nde "something"
nde "who/some"
i nde to? you who see "Who did you see?"
i munse don ma? 2sg what eat PRES "What will you eat?"

Other[edit]

Sosoxui is closely related to the Yalunka language.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Susu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Houis, Maurice (1963). Étude Descriptive de la Langue Susu. Dakar: Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire, Université de Dakar.

External links[edit]