A Concise Grammar of the Malagasy Language/Conjunctions


The chief conjunctions, divided into classes, are as follows:—

1. Copulative: àry, sỳ, àmana, àmin', and; sàdy, kòa, also; sàdy—nò, both—and; dìa, even; mbàmy (mbà, àmy), together with, including; ambàny, and, including.
2. Disjunctive: , or; nà—nà, whether—or, either—or; , , or? Àry is used at the beginning of sentences, or for the sake of variety in enumerations with sỳ. Àmana couples nouns which usually go in pairs; as, rày àman-drèny, 'father and mother'; vòlana àman-kìntana, 'moon and stars'; sàdy adds a supplementary adjective, verb, or even sentence containing an additional statement. and are used in asking alternative questions only; as, handèha và ìzy, sà (or, ) tsìa? 'will they go, or not'?
3. Adversative: , but; nèfa, kandrèfa, anèfa, kanèfa, yet; kànjo, however, but, nevertheless; saìngy (or, sàngy), but (only sometimes); kànjo implies the reverse of one's expectation; saìngy sometimes means but; as, saiky nàhavìta izàny ìzy, saìngy tsỳ mbòla vìta, 'he was merely able to finish that, but it is not yet done'.
4. Conditional: ràha, nòny (with present or future), if; nòny tsỳ, had it not been for, but for, (literally, 'if not', like the Latin nisi.)
5. Causal: , for, because (reason); nà dìa—àza, although (concession); satrìa, because (cause); saìngy, since, seeing that.
6. Declarative: , , that.
is used after verbs of telling, believing, hoping, &c., to introduce the noun-sentence or statement, like our English conjunction that.
is used to express the reason, in the following way: gàga àho nò tsỳ tònga ìzy, 'I am surprised that he has not come'.
7. Inferential: dìa, àry, then, therefore. In this sense àry is never placed at the beginning of a sentence. Thus, andèha àry isìka, 'let us therefore go'; but àry andèha isìka, 'and we go'.
8. Final (result or consequence), , kòa, and so, so as; dìa, then; sào, andrào, lest; sometimes 'yet', 'and yet' (adversative); as, malàza hò làhy, kà tsỳ màndry an-èfitra, 'famed as a (brave) man, yet not lying (i.e. afraid to lie) in the desert'.
9. Temporal: ràha, rehèfa, fòny, nòny, when; dìeny, whilst, while; dìa, then (of time, signifying progression of events). Rehèfa (ràha èfa) means when in the sense of after; as, rehèfa vìta izàny, 'when that was finished'. Fòny refers to the past; as, fòny tsỳ mbòla àry nỳ tàny, 'when the earth was not yet created'. Nòny implies a succession of events. Dìeny implies something passing away; as, dìeny mbòla tanòra hìanào, 'while you are still young'.

There are three peculiarities noticeable with regard to Malagasy conjunctions: viz.—

1. They are often in couples; as, àry dìa; fà satrìa. 2. The same word often has to serve for several conjunctions; as, , for, but, that; dìa, even, therefore, then (of time). 3. They generally do not couple the same cases of pronouns; as, mitèny àminào sỳ ìzahày ìzy, 'he speaks to you and us (lit. we)'.