Ne ye Jalo le ye dun!

Continuing the discussion from A! Donc, an- o tuma, an ma bɛn! Ne ye Jalo le ye dun!:

I ni ce, Christy!

Such a usage of dùn is a little bit special so I translated it here idiomatically as best I could.

Dùn (which I pronounce dò in the video as is typical in many areas) is a grammatical word that is often referred to as the “contrastive topicalization particle”. That’s a fancy way to say something like ‘a special word that draws contrastive attention to topic of sentence’. The term “contrastive” means that there is an implication of difference. English doesn’t have a good one-to-one equivalent.

It often appears directly after a noun. Here’s a theoretical example:

I bɛ taa. N dun tɛ taa!

“You are leaving. I though am not leaving.”

But dun can also appear at the end of an entire sentence like in my usage of it in the video.

I could have said the sentence with or without dùn.

For instance:

N ye Jalo le ye!

“I am a Jalo!”


N ye Jalo le ye dun!"

“I am a Jalo!” (but with nuance of contrast)

I tried to get at this distinction in English by adding “you know!” to the sentence:

N ye Jalo le ye dun!

‘I am a Jalo, you know!’

The work done (at least in theory, since I am student of the language myself and may have messed things up) by this dun depends on the context: the man states a theoretical example of ethnic relations (Bobo and Fulani) and then I draw contrast to the topic of discussion (or insert new contrastive information) – that I myself am a Fulani (at least socially because of West African last name that was given to me during the Peace Corps).

Long story short, particles are tricky to translate into English because we don’t have them :slight_smile: Also, my example in the video might not be good at all because maybe a native speaker would say that it was wrong or off in some way :grimacing:

Hope that helps!

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:thinking: This is interesting! And yet with another point… Your response has made things clearer for me and has helped me to understand that sometimes I’m hearing ‘dun’ and not ‘tun’… which is why sometimes what has been said doesn’t quite make sense to me… But I got it now! :clap:t5:

I karamɔgɔ! I ni ce!

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