I was intrigued by the comment that Fijian has many ways of saying "no", so I compiled some examples (from Milner's grammar). Can anyone add more forms or words meaning "no" to this list?

This is probably the most common form, used in simple negative statements, and to denote absence of something.
e sega na wai 'there is no water'
ko sega ni kila na vosa 'you do not know the language.'
Milner notices that the subject can also be specifier after "ni". So, the two sentences below are synonymous. This is similar to what happens with English "seem", as in 'it seems he is happy' and 'he seems to be happy'.
e sega ni rau na lesu tale mai 'they will not return'
erau na sega ni lesu tale mai (same meaning as before)
Milner also mentions a form 'segai' as an emphatic version of 'sega', but I am not sure about its meaning. He also says that 'sega so' means 'not very'
These forms are used instead of 'sega' in negative commands:
mo kua mada ni lako 'please do not go'
kakua ni lako! 'don't go!'
They are also used after 'me' (a particle that, to my delight, seems to function just like the Spanish subjunctive!)
au nanuma me kua 'I think one shouldn't'
It seems that this particle means 'un-', or '-less'
sa tawa macala vei iratou 'it was not clear (= unclear) to them'
the form 'bera' means 'late', but Milner says it can also be used as 'not yet' when followed by a 'ni' clause.
sa bera ni lako 'he has not come yet'
I have a question: Can you also say 'e bera ni rau lako'? Is this synonymous with 'erau bera ni lako'?
Finally, are there other forms that mean 'no' or 'not'?

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Replies to This Discussion

"E bera ni rau lako" - They havent gone yet

"E bera na nodrau lako" - They went but were late

E rau se bera ni lako" - They havent gone yet



The other forms of 'no' are the dialect variants of 'no' , mino, wara, warai, teri, reva etc etc.

On that note  'tawa', is it a form of sega or a dialect variant?(or how you call such different form of the same word(meaning) across dialects?)


Thanks, Sivo.


So, do you mean that in some areas when people ask "E tiko e dua na yaqona?", people may respond "E tawa" instead of "E sega" when there is no kava left?


Are the other dialectal variants of "no" used in that way?


And I believe the term you may have in mind is "isogloss". An isogloss is like a line marking points of identical pressure or altitue in geographical maps, but applied to dialects. Here are some results from a survey of US dialects, the maps are interesting!




So, the lines dividing dialectal areas are called isoglosses. I'd be interested in conductiong an informal survey within the Matavuvale network, trying to gather dialectal features. I have generated a map of Fiji using GIS software that I can use to map the results. What do you think? Could this be interesting to do?


warai from tailevu means no 

In Kadavu...its "mino"


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