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Saturday, June 22, 2013

What is the "a" doing here? "TiWil rive a." Also in writing sometimes I see: "Mwen la a." Why the extra "a"?

In your first example "a" indicates that you had talked about this event before.  In the sentence it might mean a recap or an update.

1. TiWil te rive a wi.
    TiWil made it to that place we were talking about.
    TiWil  made it.

2. Eske li te ale a? 
    Did she go to that place we talked about?
    Did she go?

3.  Eske li te ale Meksiko a? 
     Did she go to the Mexico trip that we talked about?
     Did she go to that Mexico trip?
    
4. Eske w te fè l la?
    Did you do the the thing that we talked about?
    Did you do that thing?

5. Eske li te ba ou l la?
    Did she give you the thing that we talked about?
    Did she give you that thing?


Your second example seems to be about "la a" which means "here, there, or now"; just as "laba a" it usually carries the article "a".

6.  Kisa w'ap vin di la a?
     What are you telling me now?

7. Kisa w'ap vin ban m la a?
    What is this nonsense that you're telling me now?

Haitian Creole ↔ English Reference, Look up Haitian Creole and English Words

6 comments:

  1. So for "TiWil made it" I would be inclined to say "TiWil rive la." Is this possible too? The same thing?

    Is it like the definite article "la" which changes to "a" "nan" etc based on the context?

    Does "TiWil manje a" mean "TiWil eats there (in an understood location)"

    ---

    With the second case, "la a", does it seem ungrammatical to say "Mwen la." or "Mwen laba" without the extra "a"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So for "TiWil made it" I would be inclined to say "TiWil rive la." Is this possible too? The same thing?
      Yes, that's possible.
      "TiWil rive la" sounds like "TiWil arrived there", "TiWil got there", "TiWil made it there"
      I feel more inclined to say, HERE: "TiWil rive laba a."

      But by saying "TiWil rive a",
      It is as if we were wondering or debating whether he was going to make it or not. Then we ask:
      Eske TiWil te rive a? Did Tiwil in fact arrive there?
      and we concluded that:
      "Li te rive a wi" Yes, he did in fact arrive.
      -----
      Is it like the definite article "la" which changes to "a" "nan" etc based on the context?
      Yes, it is.
      Case in point:
      Eske ou te fè li a? (Did you in fact do it?)
      Eske ou te fè l la? (Did you in fact do it?)
      Eske ou te rive pale avè l la? (Did you get the chance to talk to him?)
      Eske ou te rive dòmi an? (Did you fact sleep?)
      -----

      Does "TiWil manje a" mean "TiWil eats there (in an understood location)"
      No, it does not sound that way to me.
      "TiWil te manje a?" (Did TiWil finally eat?)

      -----
      With the second case, "la a", does it seem ungrammatical to say "Mwen la." or "Mwen laba" without the extra "a"?
      No, it's does not.
      As a matter of fact we say this all the time.
      The only thing is that it may carry a couple of different meanings depending on context:
      for example:

      example:
      Nou la (we're here, we're there, we're home)
      Mwen pa la (I'm not here, I'm not home)
      Yo laba (They're overseas)
      Mwen laba a (I'm over there)
      It feels more natural to use "laba a" (with article) for "over there".

      Delete
    2. So....

      I am curious what grammatically the "a" in the first case is. It seems to indicate that the sentence is under debate. Is this a good description?

      "TiWil te manje a?" "Eske ou te rive dòmi a?"

      (Did TiWil in fact eat? Did you really sleep?)

      Can it stack with definite articles, like "la=the"

      "Ou gentan li liv la a?"
      "Did you (really) already read the book?"

      Delete
    3. Not all sentences fit that description. I should not have used “in fact” to explain this.

      Eske ou te rive dòmi a?
      Did you sleep?

      TiWil te manje a?
      Did TiWil eat?

      Ou te rive wè l la?
      or
      Ou te rive wè li a?
      Did you get to see him/her?


      Can it stack with definite articles, like "la=the"
      "Ou gentan li liv la a?"
      "Did you (really) already read the book?"


      First, we should have:
      Ou gentan li liv la.
      instead of:
      Ou gentan li liv la a. (Both “la” and “a” are articles. So we'll use just one article.)

      Ou gentan li liv la. (where “la”, the article, modifies “liv”)
      Will be different, grammatically, from
      Ou te gentan li a? (where “a”, the article, seems to act like a direct object / direct object clause; but in Haitian Creole it's just an article at the end of a sentence)
      Did you already read (what you wanted to read)?
      Did you read?

      Ou te rive achte l la?
      Did you get to buy it?

      Delete
  2. I'm almost getting this. "ou te domi a" and "ou te domi la a" aren't the same?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you are correct. They're not the same.
      This can be confusing at times
      Ou te dòmi a? → Did you get to sleep?
      Ou te dòmi la a? → Did you sleep there?

      Delete