Glyph of the word 'ukemu'.


  • (v.) to rot
  • (adj.) rotting

A uke ipe nukoa…
“That meat is rotting…”

Notes: In conjunction with yesterday’s post, we continue with our rotten theme. The verb uke is a stative verb which describes something which is rotten. In order to describe the process of rotting, one uses the inchoative suffix -mu to get ukemu, which is “to rot”.

When used adjectivally, this sets up a nice dichotomy. Specifically, one uses uke to describe something that is rotten (e.g. nukoa uke, “rotten meat”), and ukemu to describe something which is currently rotting (nukoa ukemu, “rotting”). In this way, the two words complement each other, and almost look like English participles.

I don’t know why I chose “rotting” to serve as the example for this discussion… I swear, it just happened; I didn’t actually intend for it.

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