Akan Teleteaching Course

Unit 10.6: Notes on grammar 2

Sentence combining 2 - Adverbial clauses

Types of subordinate clauses:

1. Complement clauses (-> Unit 9)

2. Adverbial clauses:

3. Relative clauses:

4. Coordinate clauses:

2. Adverbial clauses

a) Cause

(i) Cause follows main predication:

Conjunction: firi s


1. hene no w mma bebree, firi s ne yerenom ds. "The chief has many children because he has many wives."
2. Akanfo nn agyade, firi s ny wn amammer. "The Akan don't inherit patrilineally, because it's not their custom."

(ii) Cause precedes main predication:

Conjunction: nti

because (of)

3. Meyare nti, mamfr wo. "I didn't call you because I was sick."
4. Wo nti mede aky no. "I have forgiven him because of you."
Note: The causal clause may be replaced by a nominal as in (4).
Note also that nt is a postposition: It is always put after the noun or clause which it modifies.

(iii) Consequence follows main predication:

Conjunction: enti

therefore, so

5. Menim s woy npa pa, enti mede me babaa y ma wo s ware no. "I know that you're a good person therefore I give you my daughter into marriage."
6. kyena mba, enti siesie m'aky! "I'll return tomorrow, so get something ready for me!"

Conjunction: nti na

that is why

7. Menn sika nti na menk Ghana. "I have no money,that's why I didn't go to Ghana."
8. baa no 'kunu awu nti na redi awerho y. "The woman's husband is dead, that's why she is sorrowful.

b) Condition

Conjunction: s…a


9.S ba a menk. "If he comes I won't go."
10.S awia b a ybdi agor. "If the sun shines we'll play."

c) Temporal clause

Temporal and relative clauses show the same link tone characteristics as focus sentences, as can be seen in the examples given below: replacement of the first Low tone of the predicate by High tone (except in the future): High tone (suffix) addition to clause-final verb:

-> Link tone: Link tone chat (Unit 7.4), Link tone 1 (Unit 4.5) and Link tone 2 (Unit 10.5)
-> Focus (Unit 10.6)

Conjunction: a

when (event not yet realised)

11. Kof ba a bfr me. "Kofi will call me whenhe comes."
12. Meduru Kumase a mtwer wo.  "I'll write to you whenI arrive at Kumasi."

Conjunction: no

when (event already realised)

13. t nsuo no mu no, teteaam. "He kept shouting whenhe fell into the water." 
14. Abfra no h n'agya no, n'an gyee ye. "The child was very happy when (s)he saw his/her father."

3. Relative clauses

The relative particle a is always put after the head noun (also called the antecedent). Note that the definitiviser no is placed after the embedded relative clause: 

abfra no 'the child' -> abfra <relative clause> no 'the child who …'. 

If the antecedent is also the (human) object of the relative clause, it is also represented by no in the relative clause: 

Mehunuu no "I saw him/her." 

By inserting this sentence in the <relative clause> slot and making the necessary tone changes, we obtain (18): Abfra a mehunuu no no y me nua ba. "The kid whom I saw is my sister's child."

Conjunction: a…no

who, which, that

15. barma a reba['ba] no y me papa. "The man who is coming is my father."
16. Wde abfra a yare no k ayaresabea. "They took the sick child to the hospital." (lit. …the child who is sick).
17. Amma daa barma a ky no sika no ase. "Amma thanked the man who had given her money."
18. Abfra a meh no no y me nua ba. "The kid I saw is my sister's child."

4. Coordinate clauses

a) Adversative clause

Conjunction: nanso


19. Mehunuu no, nanso mene no ankasa. "I saw him but I didn't speak with him."
20. k fe h, nanso obara nn h. "He entered the house but no one was there."

b) Concessive clause

Conjunction: nso

although, yet, but

21. te Burofo kasa, nso ntum nk. "Although he understands English, he can't speak it."
22. babarma no awofo w fe kse b, nso da abntene. "Although the boy's parents have a big house, he sleeps on the street."
Note that the conjunction nso marks the part of the statement which is contrary to the expectation, whereas English 'although' marks the part which carries the expectation.

c) Restrictive clause

Conjunction: gye / gye s


23. Obara nn tum gye Onyame. "Nobody has any power except God."
24. any hwee, gye s kd dwa. "She didn't do anything, except that she went shopping."

d) Conjoining clause

Conjunction: na

whereas, while

25. Amma noa aduane, na ne 'kunu kenkan nwoma b. "Amma cooks,whereas her husband reads a book."

-> Go to exercises 2 and 3

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