se=A=O X A say (to O) X
se=S S speak, make a communicative noise

Se means ‘say’, and the subject is the person speaking. The object of se is always the audience. X can be reported speech or a topic. Reported speech is in a complement clause. The complement clause is marked by dodu only when it is indirect speech. Direct quotes do not use a complement clause marker. The topic is referenced in a peripheral phrase marked with ne. The O argument, the audience, can be elided, though it usually isn’t.

Se also has an intransitive construction that refers to making a communicative noise of some sort. Again, the subject is the speaker or the noise-maker. If an audience is needed, it is put in a peripheral phrase marked with du. Again, the topic of the speaking can be referenced in a peripheral phrase marked with ne.

Xunumi-Wudu does not allow regular spoken words to have only a single syllable. However, since se has to have a subject enclitic, and since things that speak tend to be rational animates, this is not an issue. When se takes an auxiliary, it forms a compound with the auxiliary, se-sede ‘be talking’ so that the full word is no longer a single syllable.


[#8] Callolami, koxodu da-dememi, gennayo se-dememiyo woŋŋi wono wabaŋe ŋakane.

[#9] Lono wososu gadagaba geline no-sedelale, dape-seppeboce kidi se-dullowa doŋisu.

[#64] Nuwu paca Nuwu ŋepe noye kanneto, nuwunuwu tenetene wodane se-tene tosese.

[#14] Se-dapeladace, “Kidi sewa basabasanu tene tellole.”

[#12] Se-dapeladace: “la! kidi sewanu tenele.”

[#49] Se-kuttatodabe Nuwuda, “Todudu da-seppedi, da!

[#13] Selalemo, “Se-dullodi. se-wodice, da-seppe demele ŋawadu”

[#11] Selalemo: “Hu! Kidi sewanu tenedi?”

[#44] Setodabe Nuwuda, “Ba! Kunolego ŋidi ŋewadu.”

[#47] Setosamo, “Kunodinu hadahada mudu kele todu.

[#45] Setosamo, “Cala nolo nome dullodice nolekopadi luwusu?”

[#75] Selemona, “Setta telloja.

[#83] Sesamona, “laca lewa yisida sededa yeleda.

[#87] Sesamona, “Laca yisimo kuno dajamo yebe kelekede gadodu, da!”

[#54] Wosape se-noyetosanu ximi kelekede wudune.

[#43] “Kuno deye dullodice gone?” setosamo Nuwumo.