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Kiswahili Grammar Notes: O of Reference

O of Reference

123

-O of reference is a particle commonly used in Bantu languages to refer to something already mentioned in the context, or something which is going to be mentioned immediately.

-O is joined to the pronominal prefix, and the rules for sound changes apply.

Note that Class 1 has a special form: YE

Class 1

YE

Class J:

WA

O

(W)O

Class 3

U

O

(W)O

Class 4

I

O

YO

Class 5

LI

O

LO

Class 6

YA

O

YO

Class 7

KI

O

CHO

Class 8

VI

O

VYO

Class 9

I

O

YO

Class 10

ZI

O

ZO

Class 11

U

O

(W)O

Class 15

KU

O

KO

Class 16

PA

O

PO

Class 17

KU

O

KO

Class 18

M(U)

O

MO

Classes 1, 2, 3, and 11 have the form WO only with -O -OTE; at other times the -O particle is in a mid-position in the word and the (w) is assimilated, not pronounced.

-O of reference has the following uses:

  1. Suffixed to NA and KWA
  2. Relative particle in verb constructions
  3. Demonstrative of reference ("already mentioned")
  4. Suffixed to NDI-
  5. Suffixed to -INGINE
  6. -O in -O -OTE
  7. Class 16-18 serve as location indicators in PO, KO, MO
A -O OF REFERENCE FOLLOWING NA AND KWA

Compare these uses to the uses of KWA in paragraph 121.B and the uses of NA in 122 C.

1. -O of Reference is suffixed to NA in KUWA NA, "to have", serving the same function as an object prefix serves in transative verbs (see paragraph 86).

Ninayo (nyumba). I have it (a house).
Nilikuwa nazo (fedha). I had it ("them": the money).

2. -O is suffixed to NA indicating some sort of association:

Watoto walicheza nao (mpira). The children played with it (the ball).
Alikaa karibu nao (watu). She lived near them (the people).
Uendelee nayo (kazi). Carry on with it (the job).

3. -O is suffixed to NA where NA is used in the sense of "also".

Watoto nao waende. Let the children go as well.
Kitabu nacho kitatakiwa. The book will also be required.

4. -O may be suffixed to KWA:

Nyundo ambayo kwayo twapigilia misumari, imepotea. The hammer with which we hammer nails, has disappeared.

B -O OF REFERENCE AS A RELATIVE PARTICLE

Review also paragraphs 66-70 dealing with verb constructions that include the relative particle.

The constructions are:

  1. Relative verb constructions with tenses or negative SI:
  2. Mvua inayonyesha The rain which falls
    Mimi niliyesema I who spoke
    Mambo tusiyoyapenda Things which we don't like
    Kokote utakakosafiri Wherever you will travel
    Anavyokuonyesha As (in the way that) she shows you

  3. General Relative construction-- no tense
  4. Mimi nisemaye I who speak
    Sisi tukaao Tanga We who live in Tanga
    Upendavyo As you like
    Mwezi ujao Next month

  5. Relative constructions with KUWA, KUWA NA, and KUWAPO:
  6. Uliye mzima You who are healthy
    Wasio na neno Those who have nothing to say
    Hapa tulipo Here where we are
    Hivi tulivyo Like this, the way we are
    Waliopo Those who are present

  7. Relative constructions with AMBA-:

    Ninyi ambao hamjafika Dodoma You who have not been to Dodoma
    Jinsi ambavyo ametueleza The way in which he explained to us

C -O OF REFERENCE IN THE DEMONSTRATIVE OF REFERENCE

The "already-mentioned" demonstrative pronoun, which refers back to something that has previously been mentioned, is constructed with -O (see also paragraphs 24C and D).

Mambo hayo those matters (which we discussed a bit ago)
Kisu hicho that knife (which we discussed a bit ago)
Mtu huyo that person (which we discussed a bit ago)

In reduplication:
Mambo hayo hayo or Mambo yayo hayo Those very matters
Kisu hicho hicho That very knife

D -O OF REFERENCE FOLLOWING NDI-

See also paragraphs 80-82

Ndilo jibu langu That is my very answer
Ndivyo alivyosema That is just what he said.

E -O OF REFERENCE FOLLOWING -INGINE

See list in paragraph 27C

Watu wengineo Other people like these
Mambo mengineyo Other similar matters
Vyombo vinginevyo Other tools like these
Mahali penginepo Other such places

F -O -OTE

See paragraph 28

Kiasi cho chote any amount
Kokote uendako wherever you go
Kwa vyo vyote in any case

G -O AS LOCATION INDICATOR IN -PO, -KO, -MO

See paragraph 90

These stems, indicating location, are in a somewhat different category from the ordinary uses of -O. However, they do refer to a location, so they are included here.

Kitabu kipo mezani The book is on the table
Mtoto yuko shuleni The child is at school
Kalamu imo mfukoni The pen is in the pocket

USES OF O OF REFERENCE

 

Suffixed to NA and KWA

123.A; 86, 121B, 122C

Una viatu? Ninavyo.

Nitakuwa navyo

Alikwenda nazo (karatasi)

Tulikata nyama kwacho (kisu)

Watoto nao waende

"Already mentioned" demonstrative

123C; 24 C, D

mtu huyo

mambo hayo

kisu hicho

viatu hivyo

NDI-

123.D; 80-82

Hili ndilo jibu lake

Huyu siye mtu niliyemwona

Huko ndiko tuendako

Hivyo ndivyo alivyoniambia

 

Following -INGINE-

123.E; 27.C

Nyumba nyinginezo

Wakati mwingineo

-O -OTE

123.F; 28

mkate wo wote

kazi yoyote

mahali popote

kwa vyovyote

-PO, -KO, -MO

123.G; 90

Uko wapi? Nipo hapa

Hayumo nyumbani

Maua yapo mezani

Mgonjwa yukoje leo?

-O AS A RELATIVE PARTICLE: 123.B; 66-70

With tenses and negative

123.B.1; 66, 67, 70

Mtu anayekaa hapa amesafiri

Chakula kisicholiwa kitabaki

General Relative

123.B.2; 68, 70

Ni nani apendaye chai?

Fanya upendavyo

With KUWA

123.B.3; 75-79. 87-89, 91

Aliye mgonjwa aende kutibiwa

Anapokuwa na mboga anatuletea

With AMBA-

124.B.4; 69

Watu ambao tulisoma habari zao katika gazeti wamekuja huku

Thanks to John Couper for assistance preparing this page for the Web.
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