Subordinate clauses are marked in Songhay by the word kaŋ. Note that kaŋ is also used to mark relative clauses (see ).
(1) aɪ ga tam:aha kaŋ arò: ɕi ne I IMPV think that man.DEF NEG here "I think that the man is not here." (2) aɪ ga beɪ kaŋ arò: go: ne I IMPV know that man.DEF ASP here "I know that the man is here." (3) bimmo ne seɪdu ɕe kaŋ a koɪ bitiɟò: ra Ibrahim say Seydou DAT that 3SG go store.DEF to "Ibrahim told Seydou that s/he went to the store."
If the embedded clause is subjunctive, the marker ma is used. In these situations, kaŋ is not used.
(4) aɪ ga ba (*kaŋ) aɪ ma takulà: ŋa I IMPV want that I SBJV cake.DEF eat "I want to eat the cake (I want that I eat cake)." (5) sara ga ba (*kaŋ) bimmo ma koɪ bitiɟò: ra Sara ASP want that Ibrahim SBJV go store.DEF to
Embedded yes-no questions are marked by the usual question marker wala, which occurs on the left edge of the embedded clause. This is in contrast with matrix questions such as (5), in which the question marker wala occurs at the right edge of the clause.
(6) n di: haɪlà: bi wala? you see cat.DEF yesterday Q "Did you see a cat yesterday?" (7) bimmo na seɪdu ha wala ŋɡa ma koɪ bitiɟò: ra Ibrahim PRF Seydou ask Q he SUBJ go store.DEF to "Ibrahim asked Seydou if he (Ibrahim) should go to the store."
Songhay also allows embedded Wh-questions.
(8) aɪ ga beɪ meɪ no ka ɟeɪson wi I IMPRV know who FOC PRF Jason kill "I know who killed Jason."