Lesson: Putting Together Demonstratives and Adjectives

A. Introduction:

For this exercise, we are going to focus on putting a pair of different pieces together from previous lessons. In this particular lesson, we are going to work on combining both adjectives and demonstratives through composing short phrases in Rukiga.  This would be relevant for both writing and speaking Rukiga for new learners. The main goal in this lesson is to help learners practice noun class phrase/sentence construction in which the noun class construction is consistent throughout the phrase.  Being able to construction sentences where the noun class is consistent is crucial in Rukiga, and this is a key difference between beginner/intermediate speakers and advanced/superior speakers.

Before we begin, the learner should review the two former lessons: Common Rukiga Adjectives and Demonstratives in Rukiga. These lessons will form the basis of this exercise.

A few points to remember:

  • The noun class should be consistent throughout the phrases we will work on; the noun class is determined by the noun being used.
  • The adjective should go after the noun.
  • Remember that the adjectives may have contractions based on the noun class.
  • The demonstratives should typically go have the noun class.

B. Instructions:

  1. Review the aforementioned lessons as well as the aforementioned points to remember.
  2. Review the provided examples below.
  3. Using the examples as well as the two former lessons noted above, complete the practice sentences through either writing in Rukiga or translating from Rukiga to English.

C. Examples:

  1. Abavugi barungi bariya
  •  Abavugi means “drivers” and is in the “Mu-Ba” noun class. This noun class must be consistent, so “ba-” becomes the prefix for “-rungi”, meaning good/beautiful. Bariya is the distal demonstrative meaning far away from the exact position of the person and/or people/object is only vaguely known.  Thus, we have the translation in English of “those good drivers”.

2. Using the noun ente (N-N class; meaning “cow/s”), how would you say “these old cows” when they are near at hand?

  • While if we have the noun already, we need to figure out what both the adjective as well as the demonstrative. So, the root for “old” in Rukiga is “-kuru” and if we need it in the N-N class, recognizing that ente is plural in this example, this would add the prefix of “n-” to “-kuru”. Thus, we get “nkuru”. Next, we look for the demonstrative for plural N-N nouns that is for the items that are near at hand. And using the correct demonstrative, we get the following as the complete sentence:
    • Ente nkuru ezi

Let us practice!


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.