-ēle and -ēri





Still on sentence 14 of the LCC4 relay text:

temme ien pa ē matēnnīkōnēri ē matēnnīkōnēle ī le ancē ja sere jāo;

Yesterday I said that matēnnīkōn more or less meant “spouse”. The suffix –ēri is a suffix that only applies to animate nouns and expresses an association with another animate, in this case a 2nd person animate, so “your”. Likewise, the suffix –ēle does the same thing, only with a 1st person animate, so “my” or “our”. So Tānre says here “Your spouse and my spouse and also I have the ability to tell you it.”

Did I mention this story was weird?

Now, I like to think that Tānre is trying to be clever (and failing), in that when he says “your spouse” he means himself as he hopes to be in the future, and “my spouse” is likewise the woman, and then he repeats referring to himself again, perhaps in the present? Not that the text says this explicitly, but otherwise we are left with two spouses that didn’t presumably exist at the beginning of this story.

Sentence 15, quickly, is:

serle jerrasōr ien jakēñ;

“Your reply to me is what?”


“What do you say to that?”




This suffix is a shorter way of saying nīkamma, expressing association with a 3rd person entity. So, in the third clause of the second sentence of the Babel text:

ñatta āke jamāramma

jamāramma would mean “their home”, –mma referring to the same 3rd person (paucal) entity as –atta in ñatta. The clause means “they made there their home”.