Rukiga-Runyankore

Possessive Adjectives in Rukiga

Possessives are words that show belonging between multiple persons or things. Similar to many grammatical constructions in Rukiga, construction of possessives depends on noun classes, and there is a difference between the singular and plural versions of the nouns for each noun class. These are often used in Rukiga and learners should be able to use the various constructions skillfully as they grow in Rukiga fluency.

The basic suffix roots of possessives are as follows:

Mine/My: – angye

Yours (singular): -awe

His/hers/its: -e

Ours: -aitu

Yours (plural): -anyu

Theirs:  – abo

Below is a table with the nine noun classes showing the possessives for an example of a noun, singular and plural, for each noun class. As a note, some of the possessives overlap between noun classes.

Noun

Class

Example

Noun

English

Translation

Mine/My Your/s

(singular)

His/Hers/its Our/s Your/s

(plural)

Their/s
Mu-Ba Omuntu Person Wangye Wawe We Wanyu Waitu Waabo
Mu-Ba Abantu People Bangye Bawe Be Banyu Baitu Baabo
Bu-Ma Obuta Bow Bwangye Bwawe Bwe Bwanyu Bwaitu Bwabo
Bu-Ma Amata Bows Gwangye Gwawe Ge Ganyu Geitu Gaabo
Ki-Bi Ekinyaasi Grass Kyangye Kyawe Kye Kyanyu Kyaitu Kyabo
Ki-Bi Ebinyaasi Grasses Byangye Byawe Bye Byanyu Byeitu Byabo
Ri-Ma Eibaare Stone Ryangye Ryawe Rye Ryanyu Ryeitu Ryabo
Ri-Ma Amabaare Stones Gwangye Gaawe Gye Ganyu Geitu Gaabo
Ru-N Orurimi Tongue Rwaangye Ryawe Raye Rwanyu Raitu Raabo
Ru-N Endimi Tongues Zaangye Zawe Ze Zanyu Zeitu Zaabo
Ka-Bu Akatimba Tongues Kangye Kaawe Kaye Kanyu Kaitu Kaabo
Ka-Bu Obutimba Nets Bwangye Bwawe Bwe Bwanyu Bwaitu Bwabo
N-N Ente Cow Yangye Yaawe Ye Yanyu Yaitu Yabo
N-N Ente Cows Zyangye Zaawe Ze Zanyu Zeitu Zaabo
Mu-Mi Omuhaanda Road Gwangye Gwawe Gwe Gwanyu Gweitu Gwaabo
Mu-Mi Emihaanda Roads Yangye Yawe Ye Yanyu Yeitu Yaabo
Ku-Ma Okutu Ear Kwangye Kwawe Kwe Kwanyu Kweitu Kwaabo
Ku-Ma Amatu Ears Gangye Gawe Ge Ganyu Geitu Gaabo

It is also important to know a special case where possessives are commonly used in a particular grammatical construction using owa-/ow- prefix which focus on a possession of a location:

owangye – my home area

owaawe – your (singular) home area

owe – his/her home area

owaitu – our home area

owaanyu – your home area

owaabo – their home area

You will often hear this used in Rukiga conversation so it is important to know these particular words.

 

Let us practice!

Using the word noun omugati (Mu-Mi; meaning “bread”), how could you say “my bread”?

 

Using the noun abavugi (Mu-Ba class; meaning “drivers”), how would you say “their drivers”?

 

Using the noun omwonyo (N-N class; meaning “salt” or “salts”), how would you say “our salt”?

 

Using the noun ekijuma (Ki-Bi class; meaning “fruit”), how would you say “your (singular) fruit?

 

Using the noun amaguru (Ku-Ma class; meaning “legs”), how would you say “his legs”?

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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages 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.