RESOURCES FOR LEARNING GE'EZ: THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE OF ETHIOPIA

RESOURCES FOR LEARNING GE'EZ-- THE CLASSICAL LANGUAGE OF ETHIOPIA

May 7, 2012

21: Verbs: The Passive Voice etc.

21.1: Most active verbs assume the passive voice when the prefix << >> (ta-) is added to them. This prefix also sometimes produces a reflexive or a reciprocal meaning. The ta-prefix be added to any of the four types of verbs, making Bt, Dt, Lt and Qt.

ACTIVE
PASSIVE
B
ሐነጸ
to build
Bt
to be built
ገብረ
to do
ገብረ
to be done
to be made
ረከበ
to find
ረክበ
to be found
to exist
ነገረ
to speak
ነግረ
to be said
to be proclaimed
ወሀበ
to give
ህበ
to be given

Note that oftentimes, in Bt, the medial vowel disappears, so: (sagada – he worshipped) becomes ተሰደ (tasagda – he was worshipped.) Also, not every Bt, Dt, Lt and Qt form verb has a corresponding “active” form.

ACTIVE
PASSIVE
D
ገሠጸ
to instruct
Dt
ገሠጸ
to be admonished
ፈነወ
to send
ፈነወ
to be sent
ፈወሰ
To cure
ፈወሰ
to be healed
L
ሣቀየ
to torment
Lt
ሣቀየ
to suffer
ባረከ
to bless
ባረከ
to receive benediction
ቤዘወ
to redeem
ቤዘወ
to be redeemed
Q
ተርጐመ
to translate
Qt
ጐመ
to be translated
to be interpreted


21.2: Dt verbs, especially those derived from stative verbs, can also have the meaning of “to show / regard oneself as something”, so:

ጸደቀ
To be righteous
Dt
ተጸደቀ
(taṣaddaqa)
to feign righteousness
ብየ
to be powerful
ዐበየ
(taʿabbaya)
to be arrogant
ሀይመነ
to be a believer
ተሀይመነ
(tahaymana*)
to portray oneself
as a believer
*not Dt, but same idea

21.3: Lt verbs that are derived from B verbs often denote reciprocal, repeated or iterated actions, so:

D
ነጸረ
to see
Lt
ተናጸረ
(tanāṣara)
to look at each other
ነገረ
to say
ተናገረ
(tanāgara)
to converse
ወለደ
to bear
ተዋለደ
(tawālada)
to procreate
ጸብአ
to make war
ተጻብ
(taṣābʿa)
to fight one another

21.4: Some nouns appear verbalized in Dt form, so:

Noun
ነቢይ
a prophet
Dt
ተነበየ
(tanabbaya)
to prophesy
ሰብእ
a man
ተሰብ
(tasabbəʾ)
to become a man
ምስጢር
a secret
ተመስጠረ
(tamasṭara*)
to be kept secret
*not Dt, but same idea.

21.5: Bt, Dt, Lt, Qt verbs take direct and indirect objects. In verbs that take both, figuring out the subject can be a little tricky:

ተመሀረት፡ሕጋግ
vs.
ተመሀረት፡ሕጋ
tamahharat ḥəgāg
tamahharat ḥəgāga
The laws were taught.
She was taught the laws.




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