Use the suffix -len with the copula "don" or "bɛ"?

I know that we use the word len to the state of completion of an action or the result of something happening but why do we pair it with don ?
For example we say à sìgilen bɛ́ Bàmakɔ and sigilen in this case is the result of him settling or what we would say in english, live. But why not sigilen don here ?
We also say a dusukasilen don for he is sad where len expresses him resulting in being sad.
On bamadaba it say that don can be used as a copula for identification or to be.
Does that mean don shows the current state of what was mentioned?
If yes, does that mean that we could say à sìgilen don Bàmakɔ or not ?
Thank you

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Hi Malik!

-len/nen (which takes the form -nin in Jula and -nɛn in Maninka) is not a word, but rather linguists call a suffix because it attaches itself to the end of a word.

The suffix -len is the more technically the “resultative participle”, which means that it turns a word (typically a verb) into something like an adjective and that it expresses (as you noted) the “result” or happening of something. It is a lot like the suffix “-ed” in English.

In terms of using words such as sigilen (‘seated’) with copulas, there aren’t hard and fast rules. Depending on the person/region/context, you can use both don (the copula of identification/presentation) or (the copula of location). For instance:

N dalen bɛ so kɔnɔ

‘I am laid down in the house’

(lit. ‘I laid.down am.located in the house’)
(as in, “I am currently laying down on the couch/bed or whatever in the house”)


N dalen don so kɔnɔ

‘I am laid down in the house’

(lit. ‘It is me laid.down in the house’)

Both are possible and achieve roughly the same meaning for English speakers, but Bambara speakers might more frequently say things in one way more than the other. You’ll have to listen and try to sound like those around you!

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