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Abstract

Somali combines tense, aspect, mood, voice, persons, and number in an extraordinarily complex way to conjugate verbs. Our goal in this paper is simply to give an overview of Somali conjugation system so that teachers can use it as a point of reference in teaching English to Somali learners. Minnesota is home to a large immigrant population. However, there is a paucity of materials on Somali. We hope that to this paper fulfills a pedagogical need by highlighting areas of similarities and differences between Somali and English verb conjugation in the present, past, and future tenses. The paradigms are based on five commonly occurring Somali verbs: (to bring), (to read), (to stand), (to catch), and (to eat). Several morphophonological issues are mentioned but not discussed in depth because of their complexity and also because we want this paper to be accessible to a wide audience of school teachers.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Faculty Supervisor

Ettien Koffi

Author Bio

Shukria Omar graduated from St. Cloud State University with an MA in TESL. She is originally from Baladweyne in Somalia. She grew up in Yemen and came to the USA in 2001. She can be reached via email at: sbomar@stcloudstate.edu.

Hassan Yusuf is currently enrolled in the MA TESL program at St. Cloud State University. He grew up in Kenya. He is also a Somali-English and English-Somali interpreter in Central Minnesota. He can be reached via email at: hayussuf@stcloudstate.edu.

Dahir Mohamed is currently enrolled in the MA TESL program at St. Cloud State University. He grew up in Somalia and spent a considerable amount of time in Saudi Arabia before moving to the USA. He can be reached via email at: damo0101@stcloudstate.edu.

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