The Mafulu eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 290 pages of information about The Mafulu.

1.  The particle ga may be used to make any expression whatever attributive.

Ex. Yu g’ua, the water is finished (i.e., is not); malele ga kouatsi, the book is in the box.

In such examples there is almost the sense of a past action, as if it were “The water (has become) nothing,” “the book has been put (is already in) the box.”

2.  The verbs ete, tede, to say, or to do, and elele, to become, are often used to form a noun stem into a verb. Ete and tede give the sense of sounding, elele gives the sense of using whatever the noun expresses.


fioli, flute, fioliete, to play the flute. yuve, water, yuv’ elele, to bathe. ule, thunder, ulonete, to thunder. ivule, dye, ivul’ elele, to paint one’s self. andavale, crying, andav’ ete, to weep. bule, earth, bul’ elele, to cultivate.

3.  The Tenses, etc., of these verbs are found as follows: 

1 2

Pres. indic.        ete or tede.    elele. 
Imperative.         ta.             elau, ele, e. 
Past indic.         te(ne).         elame. 
Subjunctive.        to(me), to(le). elo(me), elo(le). 
Past indic.         ta(me).         elene. 
Infinitive.         ta(me).         ela(me). 
Future indic.       tatsi(me).      elatsi(me). 
Verbal adj.         tond(ana).      ?

4.  The negative is formed regularly by mi.

Ex. nani yu mi elatsi, I shall not bathe; degu mi e, don’t get dirty.

5.  The interrogative is regular.

Pres. or past, tena? or tama? elena? or elama? Fut. toma? and tola? eloma? and elola?

6.  The auxiliaries ete, tede, elele, should be distinguished from the regular verb, tede or ta, to make.  The latter is a distinct verb used when the result of the action is to produce a new thing.

Ex. Sambari tatsi, will make a wall; ombo tatsi, will make a sieve.

7.  The verbs elele and angege, both meaning “to become,” may be regarded as auxiliary verbs when they are used with adjectives, often taking the place of a substantive verb.  In this use elele is never, and angege very rarely used in the past tense, the particle ga taking their place.

Both are regular except in the imperative, which has respectively ela and elau, ange and angau.

Ex. Ifan’ eloma? will he become handsome? ifa mi elatsi? he will not be handsome? indi g’ ifa, the knife is good; yuv’ uan angatsi, the water will cease (become nothing); mel g’ us’ anga, or me g’ use, the child is dead.

IX.  Verbal Suffixes.

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The Mafulu from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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