Use of Relative Particle




There are different  types of relative constructions in Shingazidja:


1.      With a tense: (sha, ya, la / wa, za) or (shi, yi, li / zi ) or with the negative tsi or tso.

 2.      Without a tense (General Relative Construction)

 3. With the stem amba




The relative particle follows the tense prefix, but precedes the object prefix). The same kind of the negative construction can be made with tsu, tso, without any tense.


Ye yahadja                  He who arrives

Nguo zakahufulwa       Clothes which were washed

Gari lidjo huribalia       Car which will take us

Ye yahadj                   The one who came

Ntsuwadjua                I don't know them


Note that the infinitive HU is retained with monosyllabic verbs with this relative construction.


Mimi na hadja                     I who arrived                  

 Wewe wa hadja                     you who arrived                

 Yeye ya hadja                     he/she who arrived             

 Sisi ra piha                      we who cooked                  

 Nyinyi mwa piha                   you (pl.) who cooked           

 Wawo wa piha                      they who cooked                



relative constructions referring to the subject of the sentence


We will consider relative constructions referring to the subject of the sentence, and cite examples agreeing with noun Class.


 In constructions with tenses


Class l Ye mdru ya-pvira ho ndziani ye mlimadji.
The person passing by on the road is a farmer.

  Class 2 Wo wandru wa-hadja wala wadjeni.
The people who arrived were guests.

 Class 3 Wo mkatre wa-kaya wa-hulwa wukaya mwiyi.
The bread which was purchased was bad.

 Class 4 Ye Mizigo ya-baliwa yi-kaya mindji.
The loads which were brought were numerous.

 Class 5 Le gari li-djoka huribalia lo-kuwu
The car which will take us is big.

 Class 6 Ye matwabibu ya-hadja ya marekani.
The physicians who came are americans.

 Class 7 Ye shio shi-somehao nda shinu.
The book which is suitable is this one.

 Class 8 Ye ziri zi-djo hubaliwa zindji.
The chairs which will be brought are many.

 Class 9 Ye hazi yakaya hu-yi-vumbua  inikiwa mdru mdrwadji.
The job which he was talking about was given to someone else.

 Class 10 Ze nguo za-kaya za-fulwa zitrawa.
The clothes which were washed have disappeared.

 Class ll Wo wali wu-djoka hupihwa kona hutosha.
The rice which will be cooked will not be enough.


The negative form of relative construction


            It is formed by inserting tsi or tsu after the subject prefix and eliminating the tense prefix.


walimadji wa-fanyao hazi       walimadji watso-hufanya hazi

Farmers who work                Farmers who do not work

 walimadji wa-fanya hazi         walimadji watsu-fanya hazi

Farmers who work                Farmers who do not work

 walimadji waka-hufanya hazi           walimadji watsuka-hufanya hazi

Farmers who work                Farmers who do not work




Study the following example :


walimadji watso-hufanya hazi    Farmers who do not work         

                                Lazy, perhaps? Unwell?          

 Kengele itso-hulila                A bell that does not ring       

                                Is it out of order?             

 Shio shitso-hufaidisha           A useless book                  

 Wandru watso-huzima mdru        People who don't put out fires  

                                Because they're careless?       



The examples in the preceding section were constructions in which the relative particle referred to the subject of the clause. The relative particle may also refer to the object of the clause. Compare these sentences:


1. Ye shahula shabaki ngashidjo hurumilwa maudu.

The food which remained over will be used tomorrow.

We can say this sentence comes from uniting two sentences:
Ye shahula shibaki. ( ye shahula icho) ngashidjo hurumilwa maudu.

The food    remained    (that food )           will be       used           tomorrow


2. Ye shahula washibakisha ngashidjo hurumilwa maudu.

The food which they left over will be used tomorrow.

This sentence also comes from uniting two sentences:
Wabakisha shahula. ( ye shahula icho) ngashidjo hurumilwa maudu.

They left       food             (that food )           will be       used        tomorrow


In the first sentence, shahula is the subject of the clause. There is no object.

In the second sentence, wowo (they) is the subject of the clause, shahula is the object.


Study these examples:


Ye zombo rizihutadjiao, msimanyu, na mkasi, na shononde.
The equipment we need is a saw, scissors and a knife.

 Ze  nguo        nidjoka       huvaa     zanyumeni.
The clothes   I am going    to wear    are new.

 Ye     mongozi      nidjoka         humdunga       yehudjua     ye ndzia.
The   leader         I am going      to follow              knows        the way.


Note:  three things should be noted when making constructions with the relative particle referring to the object of the clause:


1. The noun object always precedes the verb construction.


3.      Unlike in most bantu languages where nothing can stand between the noun object and the verb construction, in shingazidja, whether or not the subject of the clause is a noun, it must precede the verb construction as follow:

Noun object + noun subject + verb construction


Ye mbuda fundi ya-yi-balia yimfayi ndro
The stick which the guide carried was very suitable for him.


4.      The object prefix is included in the verb construction as well as the relative particle. Unlike in some batu languages where the object prefix may optionally be omitted, in shingazidja its inclusion is necessary for the language understanding.




In the the present progressive, the components are: Subject prefix + verb stem + ao (present progressive suffixe).


If an object prefix is included, it comes, as always, immediately before the verb stem and follows the subject prefix.


Wa   zi    fumao    They who are hunting them                       

 Ni   hu    ambiao   I who am telling you                           

 Ri   m     somesao   we who are teaching him/her


The noun to which the relative particle refers must not be separated from the verb construction:


wandru wafumao                   people who hunt                  

 Wandru washindao                winners                 

 wahaho wuhwandzo               "yours sincerely"--lit. yours,  

                                the one who loves you; a phrase 

                                used in letters as a final      




The infinitive HU is dropped in monosyllabic verbs:


mwaha udjao                      next year                       

 mwezi udjao                      next month                      

 mfumo udjao                     next week                       

 ntsihu zidjazo                  the coming days, the future     

 wakati udjao                     the future                      



All the above examples show the relative particle referring to the subject. The same construction is used when referring to the object:


Ye shio ni   shi    soma    o        

The book which I read        


Note that: the word to which the relative refers (object of the clause), is included in the verb construction; and the subject is also in the verb construction, in the form of subject prefix to the verb construction.

The third relative construction is formed with the stem "ikao"


 Use of "ikao" with simple tenses :


Utsilamwe ye mwana ikao ngusiuho.
Don t awaken the child who is sleeping.

 Ngarilindao wowadjeni ikao kwadjadja.
We are waiting for the guests who have not arrived.


Referring to the object of the clause:

Ye hazi  ikao ndjaifanya djana, lazima niyifanye lewo.
The work which I did not do yesterday I must do today.


The relative particle with "ikao" in long, complicated sentences:


Walimi shamba shema kabisa ikao sisi rashiona karidja paro wona hama ndisho homenshini hatru.

They have cultivated an extremely nice farm which we who looked at it have never seen in our lives.


Class the ikao construction with phrases equivalent to "in which", "whose", "about whom", etc.


Ritembelea  harumwa mdji    ikao     ze swifa zahao        zenea harumwa      ye ntsi pia.
We visited         a village          whose   reputation               has spread over      the whole country.

 Wowandruwamdji  wakaya wawaha     banga  ikao       ngwadjo hifadhwi ze mbeu.
The villagers               have built            a store in which      they will keep seed

 Wanu  ndo wandru    iako  ze habari zahao rizisomo harumwa le gazeti.
These are the people       about whom                    we read in the newspaper.


 Ikao  may also be used to express "by which":


Linu nde   le   gari     ikao           ngaridjo hudjua     hupvahiza    ye   ziwalo.
This    is    the   vehicle by which       we can                   transport    the   crops.

Zio      zinu   zana     ikao       ngazirisomao   ilimu.
Books   are    tools   by which    we get an         education.



There are three types of adverbial relatives:


1.      yesaa, -eka, pvo, haina wakati/haina saa. , referring to TIME:

2.      nda-pvo, ndi-ho, ndi-mo referring to PLACE, or LOCATION:

3. VYO, referring to MANNER:


Any of the relative constructions discussed earlier can be used with each of these adverbial relatives, and examples are given with each type below.


The TIME relative with  yesaa, -eka, pvo, haina wakati/haina saa.


 The use of  "yesaa" (litt: at the hour)  and "-eka" (if) in the two first sentence supposes a repetitive or habitual action.    -eka is in agreement with the subject  ( neka = when I, weka = when you, yeka = when he/she, reka = when we, mweka = when you, weka = when they ) and the succeeding verb is in the infinitive form.    "Yesaa" is frequently used with the future tense.


Yesaa nifanyao mkatre miuhutajia nganu  or   Neka hufanya mkatre miuhutadjia nganu.
When I make bread, I need flour.

 Yesaa rilao madjwai, sihuyatria shingo  or reka hula madjwai, sihuyatria shingo.
When we eat eggs, we put on salt.

 Yesa wadjo hubaki, ngwadjohenda homsiruni.
When they will rest they will go to Dar es Salaam.



Pvo  is frequently used with past tense.


Pvo     wahadja, rende     riwalaulia

When  he came,  we went   to salute them

 Hamnika       wo mhogo     pvo    yamuzisao

She gave him the cassava    when   he asked for it.

 Hahea   usiu    pvo      wamdea

He got   mad    when   they instulted him

 Pvo    rahenda     Kenya   riono     zinyama zindji
When we went to  Kenya  we saw     many animals


The  relative is sometimes used with haina wakati or haina saa  for "every time" or "whenever.  Sometimes, shingazidja speakers add "ikao "  for the sake of language eloquence and notice the change of tense from "yahenda" to "hende" in the first sentence and  the same thing for the second sentence.


Haina wakati yahenda ho mdjini yetso wonana nday ne mdru wuo.


Haina wakati ikao hende ho mdjini yetso wonana nday ne mdru wuo.

Every time he goes to town he meets that person


Hain saa nahenda ho dukani mitsolihundra libulwa.


Haina saa ikao tsende ho dukani mitsolihundra libulwa.
Whenever I go to the shop I find it opened.

The LOCATION relatives: nda-pvo, ndi-ho, ndi-mo, ndi-yo, iho, haina mahala

 Pvanu ndapvo lebundjilio likohufanyiha haina mwizi (mwezi).
This is the very place where a meeting is held each month.

 Pvo ndze mwahe nyumba ikao ndapvo rawonana djuzi, pvakaya wandru wendji.
Outside the house where we met day before yesterday there were many people.

 Pvohari ndapvo she isima shidjo hutsimbwa.
In the center, that is where the well will be dug.

Narende hohatru iho rikohuenshi.
Let's go to our place where we live.

 Harumwa ye ntsi ikao ndiho nanguha ngapvo maluka mendji.
In the country from where I come there are many factories.

Hunu ndiho  ikao ngodjoka hutsaha urahafu zaidi, maudu.
That is where more cleanliness will be required tomorrow.

 Ho isimani hunu ndiho ye nyuha  yienshio.
There in the pit that is where the snake lives.

 Hunu ndiho rienshio.
This is where we live.

 Haina mahala  rahenda sitsoishia ze swifa zahe mdru wuwo.
Wherever we go we hear the reputation of that person.

 Warionesa ye  mahala ikao ndiho wadjoka huwaha ye lapitali ya nyumeni.
They showed us the place where they will build the new hospital.

 Rihimisa ye  hema ya hatru pvo mlimadju ikao ndapvo pvakaya ye marunku.
We pitched our tent on the mountain where there was an area of brushwood.

 Hahulu sanduku ikao ndiyo yadjoka hutria ze nguo zahahe.
She has bought a suitcase where she will put her clothes.


Relative of MANNER with ye namna, ye heli/ye hali, haina namna, haina hali/haina heli, ye kiasi


It is used as the relative particle referring to manner or likeness, and its English equivalent (how, as) varies, depending on the context.


Unonese  ye namna ukohulima.


Unonese ye heli ukohulima
Show me how you cultivate (i.e. the manner in which you do it).


Angalia ye namna  nifanyao  hazi.


Angalia ye heli nifanyao hazi
Look at how I do the job.

 Ye heli (namna) naishia,  ngudjo hudja pvanu djioni.
As I haard it, she will arrive this afternoon.

  Haina hali ye hazi ilio ndziro, ngwadjo hutimizi haraka.
As hard as they work, they will finish early.

 Hama nde heli naishia, ngudjo hudja pvo masihu.
As I heard it, she will arrive in the evening.

 Fanya hama neheli wandzao. Or: Fanya wandzao.
Do as you like.

 Reha ye madji kiasi udjo hushinda.
Draw as much water as you can.

 Mrentsi yapvehe le fumo ye kiasi yadjo hushinda.
Let him throw the spear as far as he can.

 Ngamdjo hosa ye kiasi ndjo hushinda.
I will clean as well as I can.


Notice this comparison of degrees: "the deeper...the more..."

 He kiasi le gali lidjo hutsimbwa, nde kiasi yehe ye madji yadjo hundjia.
The deeper the pit will be, the more water will be available.


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