"I ni se" vs "I ni sɛ"

Christy’s recent post about sɛ̀ in the discussion of "An bɛɛ ni sɛ(gɛn) brings up the question of whether one should interpret the common greeting meaning ‘welcome’ as i ni se (where sé is the high tone verb meaning ‘arrive’ or i ni sɛ (where sɛ̀ is a low tone word meaning ‘fatigue’ [which is likely related to sɛ̀gɛn).

I did a little bit of research on the question in the following sources:

  • Bambara corpus: There is one hit of i ni se and and 36 hits of i ni sɛ. There 0 hits of aw ni se and 2 hits of aw ni sɛ.
  • Morales’s book “J’apprends le bambara”: The book uses i ni se
  • Maninka corpus: There are two hits of i ni sɛ in N’ko. There is one hit of i ni se in Latin.
  • The Fasokan blog: It includes a post in French and Bambara that explains the expression’s use in context of meetings in the chief of a village’s vestibule and he lists it as i ni sɛ (or i dan ka segin [presumably a fuller form sentence of what is i dansɛ]).

To me, this seems to suggest that the most common interpretation is that it is i ni sɛ.

Any other takes or insights from other sources?

1 Like