Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lesson Plan #1: Bəjoo!

Lesson 1: Bəjoo!

Objectives: Ss learn basic Ket greetings and learn to introduce themselves.

E': yes
Bə̄n: no
Aqta: good, beautiful
Sēl: (it is) bad
Bə'j: friend
Sirakats: scholar
Ke't: person, man
De'ŋ: people
Bila: how
ī: name
Ostɨganna qa': Ket language literally “tongue of the Ostyaks”
Qajadingta bandinga: See you later

Adjectives: Adjectival constructions can be made with the endings -s "the (adj) one" and -am "it is (adj)".  If simply describing a noun, no end is needed.  For example, consider tur ke't aqta sirakats "that man is a good teacher", sirakats aqtas "the teacher is a good one", and simply aqtam "it is good".  Aqtam can be used by itself, similar to Russian "horosho" or English "ok" or "good".  Keep an eye out for -s endings, as this can be used as a universal nominalizer.  Sirakats, for example, uses -s to mean "the one associated with learning" and can mean a student or a teacher.  In the classroom context, however, it should refer to the teacher.

Singular Pronouns:
Subject/Direct Object Possessive (second forms colloquial)
āp, b'
ūk, k'
bū būd, d'

Gender: Most of the Ket nominal inventory is inanimate, but animate nouns are divided into masculine (generic and male people, economically important animals) and feminine (women, economically unimportant animals). Exceptions will be noted with vocab terms.

Vocative postpositions: The first of the thirteen Ket postpositional forms to learn is the vocative. We use this when greeting people or getting their attention. The ending is the same for singular and plural.
Masculine Feminine
-oo, e.g. bəjoo! “hey there, friend!”, a generic greeting. -aa, əə, e.g. aməə! “Hey there, mother!”

Asking questions: Basic questions use interrogatives like bila “how”, -gu “are you...”, or -du “am I.../is he/she/it...”


A good place to begin a language is with greetings and introductions. However, greetings in Ket are difficult because you must first know how to use vocative postpositions (see above). Here are several examples:

Siragatsoo! Hey, teacher!”
Qajvuŋoo! Hey, Qajvuŋ!” (Ket male name)
Saqaa! Hey, Sa'q!” (Ket female name)
Deŋoo! Hey, everyone!” (lit. people)

If you do not know your conversation partner's name, a useful thing to say is Bəjoo “hey, friend”. To ask for his/her name, we make the following construction: ūk ī bila? Or literally, “your name how?”

To respond, we respond with “āp ī (your name)”.

Students should now try to make some sentences talking about people in the classroom, e.g. “Ū b'sirakats. Ūk ī Kənukun”

The construction qajadingt bandinga can be broken down as "later-until", so roughly it's "see you later" in English.

  1. Fill in the following pronoun chart:
    Subject/Direct Object
  2. Conversation:
    You are nomadizing through the Siberian taiga, òn ita
    ŋaŋ qusdiŋal (many days' travel from home!).  Suddenly, from the bush emerges a Ket hunter!  Happy to see another person, he greets you.  Translate and reply to each of his sentences.

    Hunter: Bəjoo!  Ūk ī bila?
    Hunter: B'ī Kənukun.  Ū ostyganna qa'd sirakats-gu? (qa'd=”of the language”)
    Hunter: Aqtam!  Ostɨganna qa' 
    aqtas!  Qajadiŋta bandiŋa!

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