A grammar of Dime (Omotic) by Seyoum, Mulugeta

By Seyoum, Mulugeta

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Mes’af-im book-ACC /im-i-t give-PF-1 t’el-im /im-i-n medicine-ACC give-PF-3 The accusative case is also suffixed to interrogative pronouns in Dime. For instance, the interrogative pronouns wu⁄yu⁄ ‘what’, /a⁄yi ‘who’ have the accusative form wu⁄yi⁄m ‘what’, /a⁄y-i⁄m ‘whom’. The following are examples: 38. ’ 39. ’ wunt’ do-PF:Q Largely, in Ethiopian languages, direct object case affixes are differential according to the definite-indefinite distinction but this does not seem to be the case in Dime.

SUBJ child-DEF-ACC kill-M-DEF-ACC man-DEF-ACC saw-PF-1 ‘I saw the man who killed the child’ Earlier we made the observation that case marking is phrasal marking. Accusative may be marked on all noun phrase constituents (35 and 36), but if it is only marked once, it will be on the final one. Depending on the nature of the verb, we may find two object noun phrases in a sentence, both marked for the accusative case. For instance, with three-place verbs such as /im- ‘give’, both the object noun and the recipient are marked with –im as in (37a) and (37b).

The following are examples: 38. ’ 39. ’ wunt’ do-PF:Q Largely, in Ethiopian languages, direct object case affixes are differential according to the definite-indefinite distinction but this does not seem to be the case in Dime. Nouns and nominal categories 49 When accusative is marked on a definite noun the definite marker always precedes the case marker (cf. 35-36). Definiteness can also be marked both on the head noun and its modifier. Example. 40. s#iftaye zit-i⁄s s’a⁄n-ub-is-im shiftaye ox-DEF black-M-DEF-ACC ‘Shiftaye bought the balck ox’ s#in-i-n buy-PF-3 With the exception of the inclusive marker –k, case markers tend to occur at the final position of the noun phrase.

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