Initial Consonant Changes

In Fulfulde, when verbs and adjectives become plural, the initial consonant often changes to signify the shift. Consonant changes follow a fairly consistent pattern. Below is a table with the letters which change, with examples.

Singular Plural Example
f p Mi faami / ɓe paami (I understand / they understand)
s c Mo soodi / ɓe coodi (s/he bought / they bought)
h k A hokka / min kokka (you give/ we [excl.] give)
j nj Mi jokka / on njokka (I follow/ y’all follow)
g ng A golla / en ngolla (you work/ we [incl.] work)
d nd Mo defa / ɓe ndefa (s/he cooks / they cook)
b mb Mo barma / ɓe mbarma (he is injured /  they are injured)
r nd A rema / ɓe ndema (you farm / they farm)
y nj Mi yara / on njara (I drink / y’all drink)
w ng (before a, o, u) Mo wara / min ngara (s/he is coming / we are coming)
w mb (before a, e, i) A winndi / on mbinndi (you wrote / y’all wrote)

There are also several consonants which do not change. Those include the nasal consonants (m, n, ɲ, ŋ), the glottal consonants (ɓ, ɗ, Ƴ), the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and t & l.

Nouns also change, occasionally following similar patterns, but not consistently/regularly.


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