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"Roumant", or whatever it may be called. PART IV

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, October 30, 2000, 14:46
OK, as I promised last week, here the second part about pronouns. Are dealt here
the personal pronouns, the possessive pronouns and adjectives as well as the
so-called indefinites.

There are three categories of personal pronouns, deriving from the Latin
pronouns (and the demonstrative ille). They are:
- the subject pronouns,
- the complement pronouns (which can be direct or indirect),
- the emphatic pronouns

The subject pronouns:
Corresponding to "I, you, he..." ("je, tu, il..."  in French), they are used
only as subjects of verbs (and also as complements of prepositions like come
/kom/: as, because it is more a conjunction than a preposition) and are not
mandatory (unlike in French). Their main use is to disambiguate identical verbal
forms. Thus, they are more used in spoken language (where some verbal forms have
phonetically collapsed into one) than in written language (where most verbal
forms are disambiguated by their orthography). They are:
1st person:             iou /ju/: I             nos /nO/: we
2nd person:             tu /ty/: thou   vos /vO/: you (pl.)
3rd person:             ile /il/: he    iles /il/: they (masc.)
                                        êle /El/: she   êles /El/: they (fem.)
                                        um /9~/: one (French "on")
Remember also that the pronoun ste is used as mandatory dummy subject with
impersonal verbs.

The complement pronouns:
They are of two kinds: the direct pronouns (corresponding to direct object
complements), the indirect pronouns (corresponding to indirect complements with
â). There are also three special forms called adverbial personal pronouns.

The direct object pronouns:
1st person:             me /m@/ (m' /m/ when elided): me                nos /nO/: us
2nd person:             te /t@/ (t' /t/): thee                                  vos /vO/: you (pl.)
3rd person: le /l@/ (l' /l/): him lès /lE/: them (masc.)
 la /la/ (l' /l/): her las /la/: them (fem.)
                                        lo /lo/ (l' /l/): it    (neuter)
3rd reflexive:  se /s@/ (s' /s/): -self                                 se /s@/ (s' /s/): -selves

The indirect object pronouns:
1st person:             mi /mi/ (m' /m/ when elided): to me     noi /nwi/: to us
2nd person: ti /ti/ (t' /t/): to thee voi /vwi/: to you (pl.)
3rd person:             li /li/ (l' /l/): to him, her, it       lorr /lOr/: to them
3rd reflexive: si /si/ (s' /s/): to -self si /si/ (s' /s/): to -selves
It must be noted that in 1st and 2nd persons, the pronouns can also be
reflexive. It's only in 3rd person that the distinction between reflexive and
non-reflexive pronouns is made, just like with the emphatic pronouns.

The adverbial complement pronouns:
Like the adverbial relative pronouns, those pronouns only refer to things and
correspond to a group "preposition + noun". They are ie /i/: "â + noun", eim
/E~/: "de + noun" and né /ne/: "em + noun" (used also to refer to nouns using
the partitive article). Their use is not unlike the use of "y" and "en" in

The position of the complement pronouns:
Like in French and Spanish, complement pronouns are put in front or after the
verb depending on its form. If the verb is in impersonal mood (infinitive,
participle or gerund) or in the imperative, they are put after the verb, linked
to it and between each other with hyphens (exception when there is elision). In
this position, the order between complements (when there are more than one) is:
- first the adverbial pronouns: ie, eim and/or né (in this order),
- then the direct object pronouns: me, te, le, la, lo, nos, vos, lès, las, se
(the reflexive is always first),
- finally the indirect object pronouns: mi, ti, li, noi, voi, lorr, si
(reflexive first).
In any other case (that's to say when the verb is conjugated at another personal
mood than imperative), the complement pronouns are put in front of the verb
(after the subject when there is one), and in this order:
- first the adverbial pronouns: ie, eim and né (in this order),
- then the 1st and 2nd person pronouns, as well as the reflexives: me, te, nos,
vos, se, mi, ti, li, noi, voi, si (reflexive first),
- then the 3rd person direct object pronouns: le, la, lo, lès, las,
- finally the 3rd person indirect object pronouns: li, lorr.

The emphatic pronouns:
These pronouns are:
1rd person:             mei /mE/: me            nós /no/: us
2nd person:             tei /tE/: thee          vós /vo/: you (pl.)
3rd person:             lui /lHi/: him          lorr /lOr/: them
                                        lei /lE/: her
3rd reflexive:  sei /sE/: -self sei /sE/: -selves
The emphatic pronouns are used:
- to insist on the subject, like in French (but unlike French, when they are
used this way, you don't have to use the corresponding subject pronoun, the
emphatic pronoun is enough),
- as complement of prepositions (except come which is more a conjunction),
except the prepositions â, de, em, im, com and pêre which are contracted with
the pronouns and take special forms called conjugated. For example:
â + mei -> ame /am/
de + tei -> dête /dEt/
em, im + lui -> nelui /n@'lHi/
com + nós -> nocom /no'kO~/
pêre + lorr -> lopêre /lo'pEr/
de + sei -> desse /dEs/

Like in other Romance languages, the 2nd person singular is quite informal. To
refer to the person you talk to in a more formal way, you have to use the 3rd
person feminine pronouns (êle, la, li, se, si and lei) even if the person is
masculine. The verb agrees then with the grammatical subject and thus must be in
the 3rd person, while the possessives also agree the same way. In plural though,
there is no way to make the difference between formal and informal address. The
2nd person plural is used in both cases (thus vos, voi and vós).

The neuter pronoun lo:
The neuter pronoun lo is used to refer to events or concepts (a little like "ça"
in French). Its corresponding indirect object pronoun is li, and its
corresponding emphatic pronoun is sei (which has no reflexive meaning in this
case). Yet, those last two are nearly never used, as the adverbial pronouns can
be used to refer to an event or a concept.

The possessives agree in gender and number with the possessee, and in person and
number with the possessor (not in gender).

The possessive pronouns:
They are:
e mêou /@'mEu/: mine
e têou /@'tEu/: thine
e sêou /@'sEu/: his, hers
e nouêtre /@'nwEtr/: ours
e vouêtre /@'vwEtr/: yours (pl. possessor)
e lorr /@'lOr/: theirs
E mêou, e têou and e sêou behave exactly like the interrogative e quêou
(example: a mêle: mine, fem. sg. possessee), while nouêtre, vouêtre and lorr
simply take the -s in the plural.

The possessive adjectives:
They replace the article and are:
meu /m2/: my (masc. sg. possessee)      mès /mE/: my (masc. pl. possessee)
ma /ma/: my (fem. sg. possessee)                mas /ma/: my (fem. pl. possessee)
meu /m2/: my (masc. sg. possessee)      mès /mE/: my (masc. pl. possessee)
ma /ma/: my (fem. sg. possessee)                mas /ma/: my (fem. pl. possessee)
to /to/: thy (masc. sg. possessee)      tous /tu/: thy (masc. pl. possessee)
ta /ta/: thy (fem. sg. possessee)       tas /ta/: thy (fem. pl. possessee)
so /so/: his, her (masc. sg. p.)                sous /su/: his, her (masc. pl. possessee)
sa /sa/: his, her (fem. sg. p.)         sas /sa/: his, her (fem. pl. possessee)
nouêtre /nwEtr/: our (sg. p.)                   nouès /nwE/: our (pl. possessee)
vouêtre /vwEtr/: your (sg. p.)          vouès /vwE/: your (pl. possessee)
lorr /lOr/: their (sg. possessee)       lorrs /lOr/: their (pl. possessee)

Those are various adjectives and pronouns, often with an indefinite meaning (but
not only).

The indefinite pronouns:
The most used ones are:
aulhe(s) /ol_j/ or /oj/: other(s)
cuêoucueum(z) /'kEuk9~/: someone (some people)
âoucueum(z) /'auk9~/: nobody
cuêoucué /'kEuke/: something
âoucué /'auke/: nothing
tod(s) /tO/: everything (all of the things)
câdcueum(z) /'cak9~/: everyone (all of them)
ciertes /sjErt/: some (of them, of the things)
maidums /'mEd9~/: various (people, things)
cueum cue (ste) saet /'k9~k@(st@)'se/: anybody, whoever it is
cué cue (ste) saet /'kek@(st@)'se/: anything, whatever it is
(iou) ne sav cueum /(ju)n@sa'k9~/: I don't know who
(iou) ne sav cué /(ju)n@sa'ke/: I don't know what
Aulhe is the only indefinite pronoun to be employed with the articles. Yet with
it the indefinite article is usually omitted.

The indefinite adjectives:
The most used ones are:
aulhe(s) /ol_j/ or /oj/: other
cuêoucue /'kEuk/: some (masc. sg.)              cêouxcue /'kEuk/: some (masc. pl.)
cuêlecue /kElk/: some (fem. sg.)                        cuêlescue /kElk/: some (fem. pl.)
tod /tO/: all (masc. sg.)                                       tod /tO/: all (masc. pl.)
todde /tOd/: all (fem. sg.)                             toddes /tOd/: all (fem. pl.)
câdcue /kak/: every, each
âoucue /'auk/: no
cierte /sjErt/: a certain                                       ciertes /sjErt/: certain (pl.)
maidums /'mEd9~/: various
cuêou(x)... cue (ste) saet: any (masc.)
cuêle(s)... cue (ste) saet: any (fem.)
(iou) ne sav cuêou(x): I don't know which (masc.)
(iou) ne sav cuêle(s): I don't know which (fem.)
Aulhe and tod are employed with the articles (but the indefinite article can be
omitted with aulhe and tod is put after the article, contrary to the French and
Spanish customs).

Well, that's it for the pronominal system. Numbers can be considered as
pronouns, but they will be dealt in a later part, at least after I deal with the
verbs, which will be the subject of my next post. But for now, I'm waiting for
your comments on this part :) .