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Piedmontese for English Speaking People

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Lesson 2

Piedmontese Grammar
Being Piedmontese a neo-latine language, if we compare its grammar with english grammar we can approximately find the same main differences that are noticeable in english to italian or english to french comparisons. Piedmontese grammar, anyway, shows particularities that cannot be found in French or Italian.
We will start considering Articles and Prepositions. Even if prepositions are invariant parts usually considered later, here they are considered together articles due to their property of combining with articles into " prepositions linked with article". This ability, in Piedmontes, is anyway reduced with respect Italian.

Articles, Prepositions and Prepositions linked with article
Articles, in Piedmontese, can be Determinant or Undeterminant. The articles in the first categoty can be masculine and feminine, singular and plural, while in the second category they can be only singular masculine and feminine.
Determinant articles can produce prepositions linked with article, i.e. unique short words acting at the same time as article and preposition. Articles are in concordance, for gender and number, with the noun they are associated to. In Piedmontese they are very important, since often the nouns they are associated to, are invariant with respect the number, and the article is the way for distinguishing singular from plural. In the same way the article is useful for defining in an unique way, the gender of the noun.

Determinant articles
They are the particles that translate the english the.
For the masculine singular the articles are:
1) - ël For nouns starting with consonant, with the exceptions indicated below. (ël ci = the nail)
2) - For nouns starting with the group s+consonant or with a "strong s" (usually a s followed by a diphthong), or starting with particular groups of consonants. (lë strass = the rag , lë siass = the sieve , lë mnis = the litter)
3) - l' For nouns starting with vowel. (l'aso = the donkey)
4) - 'l For the cases at point 1), when the preceding word ends with a vowel. (torna 'l prim = again the first)
If the preceding word ends by vowel and the noun starts by vowel, the rule is as for point 3), since the rule 4) is not strictly mandatory. (torna l'aso = again the donkey).
For the masculine plural the articles are:
1) - ij For nouns starting with consonant, with the exceptions indicated below. (ij ci = the nails)
2) - For nouns starting with the group s+consonant or with a "strong s" (usually a s followed by a diphthong), or starting with particular groups of consonants. (jë strass = the rags , jë siass = the sieves , jë mnis = the litters)
3) - j' For nouns starting with vowel. (j'aso = the donkeys)
No matter what is the end of the preceding vowels.
For the feminine singular the articles are:
1) - la For nouns starting with consonant. (la c = the house , la str = the street)
3) - l' For nouns starting with vowel. (l'ala = the wing)
No matter what is the end of the preceding vowels.
For the feminine plural the articles are:
1) - le For nouns starting with consonant. (le c = the houses , le str = the streets)
3) - j' For nouns starting with vowel. (j'ale = the wings)
When these articles are associated with prepositions (i.e. of the... , to the ... , from the ... , etc.), also in Piedmontese there are some prepositions linked with article, as in Italian, but only in a fewer number of cases. For this the relevant prepositions are:
1) - ëd ; dë d' ; 'd all the four mean of and their use is the same as for the masculine singular article seen above.
2) - a that can mean to or, in some cases at and in other cases into.
3) - da that can mean from or, in other cases by.
4) - an ; ën that can mean in or inside and in other cases into.
5) - con standing for with.
6) - su standing for on.
7) - për standing for for.
6) - fra standing for between or among.
Possible combinations are shown in the following table which is self-explaining. The first column contains all the forms of the determinant articles, while the first row contains the prepositions that are often used in connection to an article. The second column shows when the various forms of the articles are used, and the second row shows when the various forms of the preposition of (the only one having different forms) are used. Then each cell of the table, which is the crossing point of an article and a preposition, shows if a preposition linked with article (unique particle) is generated, or if the two remain separated particles. The empty cells are of situations that cannot exist.

We draw the attention on two particularities. The first is that the preposition an, ën = in , when associated to an article, becomes ant. The second is that usually, (not always but often) in Piedmontese, the preposition su = on is preceded by the preposition an. We will repeat these points in the examples, and in Syntax.

..Prepos.
Artic.....
.
ëd
of

of
'd
of
d'
of
a
to
da
from
an, ën
in
con
with
su
on
për
for
fra, tra
among
(the) Usage as for ël as for as for 'l as for l' . . . . . . .
msc. sng.
ël
before nouns
starting for
consonant
-
dël
of the
-
-
al
to the
dal
from the
ant ël
in the
con ël
with the
an sël
sël

on the
për ël
for the
fra'l
tra'l

among the
msc. sng.
before nouns
starting for
"impure" or
strong s
ëd lë
of the
dlë
of the
-
-
a lë
to the
da lë
from the
ant lë
in the
con lë
with the
an slë
slë

in the
për lë
for the
fra lë
tra lë

among the
msc. sng.
'l
after vowel
before nouns
starting for
consonant
-
dël
of the
-
-
al
to the
dal
from the
ant ël
in the
con ël
with the
an sël
sël

on the
për ël
for the
fra'l
tra'l

among the
msc. sng.
l'
before nouns
starting for
vowel
ëd l'
of the
dl'
of the
-
-
a l'
to the
da l'
from the
ant l'
in the
con l'
with the
an sl'
sl'

on the
për l'
for the
fra l'
tra l'

among the
fem. sng.
la
before nouns
starting for
consonant
ëd la
of the
dla
of the
-
-
a la
to the
da la
from the
ant la
in the
con la
with the
an sla
sla

on the
për la
for the
fra la
tra la

among the
fem. sng.
l'
before nouns
starting for
vowel
ëd l'
of the
dl'
of the
-
-
a l'
to the
da l'
from the
ant l'
in the
con l'
with the
an sl'
sl'

on the
për l'
for the
fra l'
tra l'

among the
msc. plr.
ij
before nouns
starting for
consonant
-
dij
of the
-
-
ai
to the
dai
from the
ant ij
in the
con ij
with the
an sij
sij

on the
për ij
for the
fra ij
tra ij

among the
msc. plr.
before nouns
starting for
"impure" or
strong s
ëd jë
of the
djë
of the
-
-
a jë
to the
da jë
from the
ant jë
in the
con jë
with the
an sjë
sjë

on the
për jë
for the
fra jë
tra jë

among the
msc. plr.
j'
before nouns
starting for
vowel
ëd j'
of the
dj'
of the
-
-
a j'
to the
da j'
from the
ant j'
in the
con j'
with the
an sj'
sj'

on the
për j'
for the
fra j'
tra j'

among the
fem. plr.
le
before nouns
starting for
consonant
ëd le
of the
dle
of the
-
-
a le
to the
da le
from the
ant le
in the
con le
with the
an sle
sle

on the
për le
for the
fra le
tra le

among the
fem. plr.
j'
before nouns
starting for
vowel
ëd j'
of the
dj'
of the
-
-
a j'
to the
da j'
from the
ant j'
in the
con j'
with the
an sj'
sj'

on the
për j'
for the
fra j'
tra j'

among the

We observe that the preposition that translated the english of has, in piedmontese, different forms that depend, as for the articles ël, lë, on the initial of the word which they are associated to.

Some examples:
ël capél the hat (masculine) ; ij capéj the hats (masculine)
lë stupid the fool man ; jë stupid the fool men ; la stupida the fool woman ; le stupide the fool women
l'aso the donkey (masculine) ; j'aso the donkeys (masculine)
l'nia the duck (feminine) ; j'nie the ducks (feminine).
prta 'l can bring the dog (instead "of porta ël can", which is not strictly wrong, but it sounds badly).

sn a l' fit ëd puta = This is made of mud
sn a l' fit dë stagn = This is made of tin. Also possible: sn a l' fit d'ëstagn (prosthetic ë added).
sn a l' fit d'aram = This is made of copper. Note that only the preposition can be shorted in d' when followed by vowel, while the preposition da remains unchanged in these cases.
Also the possessive case makes use of the preposition and its modifications:
Ël negssi dël pruch = The barber's shop. (literally: the shop of the barber).
L'ngol dla str = The way's corner. (literally: the corner of the way).

Sla cadrega or An sla cadrega On the chair (the second form, very common, literally is In on the chair). When the preposition su = on is articled, usually is preceded by then preposition an = in. See also Syntax.
Ant ël canton In the corner. When the preposition an = in is accompained by an article it does not generate prepositions linked with article, but it changes into ant. This is a general rule.
Al pais At the village but also To the village. The two english prepositions at, to are both translated into the piedmontese a.
Ant ëc or antëc At home. This is a particular expression (literally in home using the form ant instead of an and with a prosthetic ë). It is an idiomatic piedmontese expression.
Fra le doe Between the two. We observe that "among" and "between" are translated in the same way, using fra. Neolatin languages do not distinguish between the two concepts.
We still observe that the two english prepositions by, from, in piedmontese are both translated into da. Of course the two concepts remain differend, and are distinguished by the context of the sentence. Mi i ven-o da Susa = I am coming from Susa ; Sn a l' fit da chil = This is made by him.
The same we cal say about the english prepositions in, into. Usually they are translated with an. Sometimes into is translated also with a, that express the motion towards a place. See also below,

Still about prepositions
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, ën
to, at, into are translated into: a
among, between are both translated into: tra or fra (the first is less used).
on, upon, up, above are all translated into: su or dzora (d'sora)
under, below are translated into: sota
of, from, with, for are respectively translated into: dë (ëd), da, con, për
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.: fòra, engl.: out, outside.
piedm.: danans, engl.: in front.
piedm.: darera, engl.: behind.
piedm.: dòp, engl.: after.
piedm.: vers, engl.: toward.
piedm.: dë'd sà, engl.: on this side.
piedm.: dë'd là, engl.: beyond.
piedm.: da's për tut, engl.: everywhere.
Some particular usage of prepositions, as already mentioned, is described in Syntax. Other piedmontese prepositions are in the Vocabulary.

Undeterminant articles
This type of articles are, of course, only singular, and they have a masculine form and a feminine one. Their usage is similar to the one of the corresponding english articles a, an.
For the masculine:
un, ('n) is used in the same way as ël ('l), in front of nouns starting with consonant. The initial apostrophe is for the case in which the article follows a word ending by vowel. For example un tòch = a piece, torna 'n tòch = again a piece.
në, n' are used in the same way as lë (l'), in front of nouns starting with inpure or strong s (or some other particular consonantic group) and, respectively, in front of nouns starting by vowel. For example në stopon = a cork, n' aso = a donkey.
For the feminine:
un-a, na is used in front of nouns starting with any type of consonant. The second form is the most common, and it is always used if the preceding word ends by vowel or if this article is the first word of a sentence. For example na fomna = a woman, un-a galin-a = a hen. This second expression recalls a "numeral" idea.(one hen). Sometimes we can also find the graphy: una instead of un-a.
n' is used in front of nouns starting with a vowel. For example n'nia = a duck.


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pratorot
Another alpine village in Maira valley

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