"I m'à ye wa?" (Wa = a/ya) [question marker]

Continuing the discussion from Wa = Ya? [faamu vs faamuya]:

I wanted to pick this one back up after remembering it and having a good example. I noticed how the interrogative particle wa sounds like ya or a. In this video, the girl says: an bɛ se ka plaqué a? (How can we get dumped?). In this video: i ma à ye a?

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Hi, Malik!

In the first video I don’t hear anything after the verb really. I hear:

An bɛ se ka plaquer trente-et-un na!

'We can get dumped on the 31st!

On this second sentence, I’m not sure. Sometimes, I don’t think that I hear anything:

I m’à ye?

“You don’t see?” (as in, “Don’t you get it?”)

But upon a lot of close listening, I do maybe hear a slight “a” vowel sound after ye. In this case, I think you can attribute it potentially to a fast and loose pronunciation of I m’à ye wa? that blends “ye” and “wa” together a bit, but with w being weakened:

I m’à ye wa? [I m’à ye ʷa]

And after noticing it, it did make me think that this is actually something that I myself would do if I was trying to “voice” a certain kind of laid-back persona. (I see some parallels with “Yaa mean?” as a version of “You know what I mean?” in English.) I actually went back into the Na baro kè corpus and I found some other examples where we could check, so perhaps I’m make a little YouTube video :slight_smile:

If you’d like to discuss one of these specific examples more, think about making them a single topic with the sentence in the title. I ni ce!

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