Very Quick Lessons

Piedmontese for English Speaking People

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Lesson 14

Piedmontese Grammar

Invariant Parts of the Speech (first part)

We had already a look at the Prepositions (and we still recall something about), then we have to speak about Conjunctions, Adverbs, Exclamations. This will conclude this short "fly" over the Piedmontese language.


Also in Piedmontese, as it is in Italian, the adverbs are classified into manner (manera), quantity (quantit), time (temp), place (leu), opinion (opinion). In Piedmontese there are many adverbial locutions, which are very used. We also remember that adverbs have forms of comparative and superlative, to which what said about adjectives can apply. We will speak about this point.
We note that, also in Piedmontese, there are words that can be used as adverbs, or as adjectives, pronouns, and so on, depending on the particular context in which are used.

Manner adverbs (adverb ëd manera)
First of all ve have to say that in Piedmontese there are many adverbial expression made up by two (sometimes more) words, whose the first is a preposition (ëd, an, a, për, etc.). More or less all of these expressions are manner adverbs (adverbial locutions). Examples:
completely = ëd pianta
abundantly = a malch
luckily = për asar
accidentally, randomly = a l'asar
quickly = zichin zichet
unwillingly = dë stracheur
on one's shoulders, on = a cl
seldom = da rir
blindly, rashly = a catrba
rudely = d sfrandon
secretely = d scondion
truly, really = pr dabon
on purpose = a sprss
accuralely = pr da bin
unfortunately = belavans
and so on (some pages in the vocabularies)
Then there are a number of manner's adverbs coming from the descriptive adjectives , and there is a rule for deriving them, that is: take the feminine singular of the adjective and add the desinence ment. This is not an absolute rule, and not always it works. For example the adjective quiet is translated into tranquil, the feminine singular is tranquila and by adding ment we obtain tranquilament = quietly. This rule is similar to the english one, where the suffix added to the adjective is "ly". Anyway, these adverbs are mainly to be considered as italianisms, even if they are quite used. In true classical Piedmontese there are also words that can be either descriptive adjectives or manner adverbs without changing. For example the word ancreus means deep (adj.) but also deeply (adv.). Of course, as adjectives they can change in gender and number, but as adverbs they are invariant. Then there are other words that can be substantive or manner adverbs, and so on. Otherwise there are specific words for the adverb or locutions, that are very common, making use of "an manera + adjective feminine singular (it is referred to "manera")" or "da + adjective (that can be in agreement in the context). Examples:
frt = strong , strongly
bin = well ; mj = better
mal = badly ; ps = worse
adasi = slowly ; dun-a = quickly
an manera stupida= stupidly ; da fl = foolishy
volont = willingly
parj = so, in that way
apsta = deliberately
ampressa = quickly, fast, rapidly
Then there is a series of piedmontese adverbs very close to the correspondent french adverbs (they are written, anyway, with a different graphy) and that come from beyond Alps. Among these adverbs there are:
dosman = sweetly, kindly
maloreusman = unluckily
notaman = mainly, particularly
vreman = truly, really
vitman = quickly

About "vitman" we have to note that in French there is not a similar corresponding adverb. This is an analogy having a piedmontese origin.

Examples of comparative and superlative with adverbs
Rules for comparetive and superlative with adverbs are the same of the ones related to adjectives. So we don't repeat all the description of these rules since we think that the question will be completely clear just after some examples. We still note that in Piedmontese "p/manch ... che ..." (literally: "more/less ... that...") is preferred with respect "p/manch ... d ..." (literally: "more/less ... of ...").
I go more quickly than you = I vado p ampressa che ti
I go very quickly = I vado motobin ampressa
I went more far away than you = I son andit p lontan che ti

I went less far away than you = I son andit manch lontan che ti
He comes very seldom = A ven motobin da rir
You will go quickly as much as possible (the most you will be able) = It andras l p vitman che it podras
More than in this way... = P che parj ...

As a last note we recall that in Piedmontese (but not only) there are sorts of alterations for adverb, usually as the diminutive for nouns a classica example is: "adasit = slowly, but an underlined "slowly" (the meaning of these forms is idiomatic, and can be achieved only with practice).

Quantity adverbs (adverb ëd quantit)
First of all we give a list of some adverbs of this type:
much, very = tant
so much = motobin, vire
enough = ass, pro, basta, bastansa
too much = trp ;
less = meno, manch
only = mach
few = pch
more = p
nothing = gnente, nn
Then there are some locutions like:
... and even more = ...e passa
just a bit = tansipch
Then ve note that the adverb "vire" = "so much", when used in questions, assumes the meaning of "how much?".
We can note that there aer some of these adverbs that are equal to corresponding adjectives (this is true also for English and Italian). In Syntax we will underline some particular behaviour of adverbs and adjectives of this type, in particular we will see "motobin" and "pch" that show some particularities.

Time adverbs (adverb ëd temp)
As usual, a list of some of them:
at once = sbit, ëd longh
often = sovens, minca pch
now = adss
after = dp. aprss
then = peui
never = mai
always = sempe, semper
today = ancheuj
yesterday = jr
the day before yesterday = l'auterd
tomorrow = doman
Nothing else relevant about them (see vocabulaty).

Place adverbs (adverb ëd leu)
We have already seen that the adverbs "s" = "here", and "l, l" = "there", are often used associated to demonstrative pronouns and demonstrative adjectives. In case of pronouns they are connected after them with an hyphen: " this (here) = "cost-s", while in case of adjectives the construction is demonstr. adj + noun + adverb without hyphens, like: "sto liber s" = "this book here" (see also Syntax).
Then we give a list of these adverbs:
here = s, ambeless
there = l, l, ambelel, ambelel
near = davzin
far = lontan
in front = anans, danans
after = dar, darera
inside = drinta
outside = fra
over = d'zora
under = sota
where = andova, ant
As usual,. the complete list can be found in the vocabulary.

Opinion adverbs (adverb d'opinion)
What is relevant, in Piedmontese, are the different degrees of affirmation and negation. The usual affirmation is expressed with "s, " the latter can be stressed by repetition "-". A stronger affirmation is expressed by "j, euj", then there other affirmative expressions that we will see below. The negation is expressed by "no, and a stronger expression is "p"., then there other negative expressions that we will see below.
yes = s, , -, oj, euj
certainly = sicura, prpi, b
really = dabon
really, exactly = franch
yes, certainly = gi
yes, good = bin
surely = sens'utr, p privo
exactly, just = giusta
not, no = nen, n, p
absolutely not = nen d'autut
no more = p p, p nen
never again, never more = p p, mai p
maybe = frse, maraman
could be = miraco
who knows, I wonder whether = chiss (se)...
accorrding to ... , it sepends on ... = conforma
by chance = salacad
probably = probbil
We note here the following ways of saying of the Piedmontese:
yes, yes sir = s-sgnor(also in jocular sense)
no, no sir = n-sgnor(also in jocular sense)
to say yes = d che 'd s
to say no = d che 'd n
I think yes = miraco s
I think not = miraco n
We will see again these expressions later.

Still on Prepositions

Prepositions are used to specify complements. We remember that in Piedmontese not all the complements use the same prepositions that are used in English or in Italian. On this point we say something more in Syntax. We already mentioned some piedmontese particularities in using prepositions (see Articles, prepositions and prepositions linked with article). We recall the main points:
= of (different forms, can be linked with article)
a = to, at (can be linked with article)
da = from, by (can be linked with article)
an = in, into if it is followed by an article becomes ant (never linked with article)
con = with (never linked with article)
su = on, over (can be linked with article) when this preposition is linked with article usually is preceded by the preposition an
për = for (never linked with article)
fra = among, between (never linked with article)
also all the other prepositions are never linked with article.

We repeat here, for completeness, what we said about preposition at the beginning of this grammar.
Later, while speaking about syntax, we will better see what complements are associated to the various prepositions. In some cases piedmontese complements make use of prepositions that are different from the ones used in Italian, in French and in English, Here we recall what is the piedmontese translation of the most common english prepositions, used for making complements:
in, inside, into are translated into: an, n
to, at, into are translated into: a
among, between are both translated into: tra, fra (the first is less used).
on, upon, up, above are all translated into: su, dzora (d'sora)
under, below are translated into: sota
of, from, with, for are respectively translated into: d (d), da, con, pr
We note that the two english prepositions from, by are both translated into the piedmontese preposition da.
Other prepositions can be found in the vocabulary. In piedmontese sometimes more than one preposition can be connected to form a prepositive locution, often having an idiomatic character. In the following we report some prepositions and prepositive locutions.
piedm.: drinta, engl.: in, inside.
piedm.: fra, engl.: out, outside.
piedm.: danans, anans, dnans, engl.: in front.
piedm.: darera, engl.: behind.
piedm.: dp, engl.: after.
piedm.: vers, engl.: toward.
piedm.: d'd s, engl.: on this side.
piedm.: d'd l, engl.: beyond.
piedm.: da's pr tut, engl.: everywhere.

Some particular usage of prepositions, as already mentioned, is described in Syntax. Other piedmontese prepositions are in the Vocabulary.

 Winter in High Maira

. (photo B. Garmondi)

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