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Piedmontese for English Speaking People

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Lesson 7

Piedmontese Grammar


Pronouns

Pronouns (prnm) in Piedmontese, have a behaviour quite different with respect the corresponding italian and english. This is particularly evident with personal pronouns. In Piedmontese there are personal pronouns that are not present in Italian and in English (and not even in French).

Personal pronouns

In Piedmontese there are two series of these pronouns that do not exist in Italian, French, English, etc. Here we call "personal pronouns" the ones that have corresponding pronouns in Italian, "verbal pronouns" and "personal interrogative pronouns" the two series only present in Piedmontese. Then we will see the many piedmontese "pronominal particles". These latter will also be subject for the Syntax.

Verbal pronouns

We start with this series of pronouns, which is not present in Italian, French, Provençal and French-Provençal. This is a series of subject personal pronouns, always present with verbs in all tenses of all moods, except the imperative (and, of course the impersonal moods). Their presence is always mandatory both if the subject is explicitly written and when the subject is understood and not explicit. (in poetry may happen that they are omitted for metrical reasons, but it is just a "tolerated" error in that context). Their function is also of showing without ambiguity the person and the number of a verbal voice. These pronouns are (note that they are NOT the usual series of personal pronouns - see later -):
  • i = I -----> i leso = I read
  • it = you -----> it lese = you read (sing.)
  • a = he, she, it -----> a les = he, she, it reads
  • i = we ----->i lesoma = we read
  • i = you ----->i lese = you read (plur.)
  • a = they -----> a leso = they read
In spite of what it can seem, the present of the verb lese (= to read) here is written withou an explicit subject i. e. without the usual subject personal pronouns or other subjects. Even if an explicit subject is expressed, these verbal pronouns have to be added in front of the verb:
(he) reads = a les ; he reads = chil a les ; John reads = Gioan a les.
This series of pronouns, as we will see, incerases and complicates the pronominal particles. These elements are not present in English, there are in Italian, but in Piedmontese they are much more complex, and we will describe them later.
We note here and for the moment, that if the verb begins by an impure s (an s followed by consonant) at the second singular person, and therefore with "it" as verbal pronouns, then the verb assumes an euphonical starting ë.... This is the vocalic prosthesis. For example: scap = to escape ; i scapo = I escape ; it ëscape = you escape.
We anticipate here something about the pronominal particles and locative particles, in order to speak about other euphonical requirements connected to the verbal pronoun "it" (that we'll see again). If after the verbal pronoun "it" there is a pronominal particle "j" or a locative particle (place's adverb) "i", then an euphonical "i" is added between "it" and the particle, connected to the latter with an hyphen. This euphonical "i" is mandatory when the verb begins by consonant, and can be omitted if the verb begins by vowel. Examples:
  • ti it i-j dise = you tell him (euphonical i, hyphen, pronoun j)
  • ti it i-i vas = you go there (euphonical i, hyphen, locative particle i)
  • ti it j'ancontre = you meet them
  • ti it i andras = you will go there

Personal pronouns

Subject personal pronouns (nominative)

Piedmontese subjects expressed by personal pronouns have a use similar to the english or italian ones. They can be added to, but not substitute, the verbal pronoun, and can be unexpressed. Of course they are not present if the subject is a substantive or an equivalent locution. Their series is the following:
  • mi = I - in italian io
  • ti = you (sing.) - in italian tu
  • chil = he - in italian egli, lui, esso
  • chila = she - in italian ella, lei, essa
  • noi or noiutri = we (masc.) - in italian noi, noialtri
  • noi or noiutre = we (femin.) - in italian noi, noialtre
  • voi or voiutri = you (masc. pl.) - in italian voi, voialtri
  • voi or voiutre = you (femin. pl.) - in italian voi, voialtre
  • lor or lorutri = they (masc.) - in italian loro, essi
  • lor or lorutre = they (femin.) - in italian loro, esse
We remember that in Piedmontese there is not the neuter gender, and we add that the forms "lorutri, lorutre" (3rd plural person) are not so much used, and don't have a correspondent in Italian. Some examples:
  • mi i bufo = I blow
  • voiutri i seve trpi = you are too many
  • lor a viagio = they travel
  • chila a disa = she told
  • ti it andras da sol = you will go alone

Complement personal pronouns

These pronouns are subdivided into two series (groups), the first one being "tonic compl. pers. pronouns" and the second "atonic compl. pers. pronouns". In order to define these two series we have to look at a difference between English and Piedmontese. In English a complement personal pronoun is always an independent word, preceded or not by a conjunction, according the particular complement that it expresses. So, for example we have: "you sent it to him", where "it" and "him" are complements (respectively accusative and dative) or "how kind of them sending it to us", and so on. In Piedmontese, as it is in Italian, in some cases the complement personal pronouns change in form, follow the verb and are attached to the verb itself. In other cases they precede the verb. We'll see later that they also give raise at pronominal particles that can be quite complex. The series of complement personal pronouns that are independent words that follow the verb are called tonic series, while the complements connected to the verb are called atonic series, since they never hold the stress of the composite word, as well as the complement preceding the verb. Probably things will be clear after some examples.

Tonic series
It is exactly the same of the one of subject personal pronouns:
  • mi = me ---> a l'ha parl pr mi = he spoke for me
  • ti = you ---> a diso mal d ti = they speak ill of you
  • chil = him ---> sn a l' pr chil = this is for him
  • chila = her ---> sn a l' pr chila = this is for her
  • noi (noiutri) = us ---> a parla con noi (noiautri) = he speaks with us (masc.)
  • noi (noiutre) = us ---> a parla con noi (noiautre) = he speaks with us (femin.)
  • voi (voiutri) = you ---> i parlo con voi (voiautri) = I speak with you (masc.)
  • voi (voiutre) = you ---> i parlo con voi (voiutre) = I speak with you (femin.)
  • lor (lorutri) = them ---> a parla con lor (lorutri) = he speaks with them (masc.)
  • lor (lorutre) = them ---> a parla con lor (lorutre) = he speaks with them (femin.)
With these pronouns it is possible to have all the complements, even if the accusative and dative usually require the atonic pronouns. They are never connected with other particles and so they do not give raise to pronominal groups. The tonic series has an use which is similar to the italian and english ones. The main differences there are with atonic pronouns and groups.

Atonic series
We note that the pronouns of this series take place in front of the verb and after the verbal pronoun when the tenses of the verb are simple, while they go after the past participle (and are joined to it) when the tenses are composite. They also go after the verb in imperative mood. We will see this subject in a more complete way in Syntax.
The main use of these complements is accusative (object) and dative. There are some forms for each person and number. As a first approximation these forms follow the use's rules of the masculine singular article. We need anyway to present them at this point, even if things will be more clear only after having spoken about pronominal groups (pronominal particles = pron. part.) and other particles. Phrases with an asterix (*) will be explained later:
  • First singular person
    For accusative and dative
    • "---me" after the verb and connected to it: ---> give me that = dame ln
    • "---m" in pron. part.: ---> he gives me that = am d ln *
    • " më " before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> he studies me = a studia also am ëstudia
    • " m' " before the verb, separated; in front of vowel : ---> he recalls me = a m' arciama also am arciama
    • " m " before the verb, after consonant : ---> you tell me = ti it m dise
    • "---m---" between verb and pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. : ---> give it me = dmlo *
  • Second singular person
    For accusative and dative
    • "---te" after the verb and connected to it: ---> he have taken that to you = a l'ha pijte ln
    • "---t" in pron. part.: ---> he gives you = at d *
    • " të " before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> he studies you = a studia also at ëstudia
    • " t' " before the verb, separated; in front of vowel : ---> he recalls you = a t' arciama also at arciama
    • " t " before the verb, after consonant : ---> you tell yourself = it t dise
    • "---t---" between verb and pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. : ---> take (you) it = pijtlo *
  • Third singular person
    For accusative
    • ---lo masculine after the verb and connected to it: ---> I have accompained him = i l'hai compagnalo
    • lo masculine between verbal pronoun and verb. I accompain him = i lo compagno
    • ---la feminine after the verb and connected to it: ---> I have accompained her = i l'hai compagnala
    • la femminile tra pronome verbale e verbo. I accompain her = i la compagno
    • see after (translation of the italian particles lo, li, la, le) about the derived forms
    For dative
    • Object complement pronouns (accusative) are "lo" for masculine and "la" for feminine
    • "---je" after the verb and connected to it: ---> buy that to him (her) = catje ln
    • "---j" in pron. part.: ---> he tell him = a-j dis *
    • " jë " before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> you give him = it das
    • " j' " before the verb, separated; in front of vowel : ---> we recall (to) him = i-j'arciamoma *
    • "---j---" between verb and pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. : ---> give it to him = dajlo *
    • "---ij / ej---" as before, when the verb ends by consonant (euphonic "i" or "e") : ---> take that to him = pijejlo , tell that to him = disijlo. *
    • See notes 1) and 2)
  • First plural person
    For accusative and dative
    • "---ne" after the verb and connected to it: ---> he wants to give us a fine = a veul dne na bna
    • "---n" in pron. part. : ---> he saw us = an vëdda *
    • " në " before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> you tire us out = it strache
    • "n' " in front of vowel : ---> he recalls us = a n'arciama also an arciama *
    • "n" after consonant : ---> you tell us = it n dise.
    • "---n---" between verb e pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. : ---> he wants to give it to us = a veul denlo.
  • Second plural person
    For accusative and dative
    • "---ve" after the verb and connected to it: ---> he wants to give you (pl) a fine = a veul dve na bna
    • "---v" in pron. part. : ---> he saw you (pl) = av vëdda *
    • " vë " before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> he tires you out = a straca also av ëstraca *
    • "v' " in front of vowel : ---> he recalls you (pl) = a v'arciama also av arciama *
    • "v" after consonant : ---> (there is not a reasonable case)
    • "---v---" between verb e pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. : ---> he wants to give it to you (pl) = a veul devlo.
  • Third plural person (similar to third singular person but ...)
    For accusative and dative
    • "---je" after the verb and connected to it: ---> buy that to them = catje ln
    • "---j" in pron. part.: ---> he tell them = a-j dis *
    • " jë " before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> you give them = it das
    • " j' " before the verb, separated; in front of vowel : ---> we recall (to) them = i-j'arciamoma *
    • "---j---" between verb and pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. : ---> give it to them = dajlo *
    • "---ij / ej---" as before, when the verb ends by consonant (euphonic "i" or "e") : ---> take that to them = pijejlo , tell that to them = disijlo. *
    • See notes 1) , 2) and 3)
Note 1) - When the verbal pronoun it (2nd sing. pers.) is followed by the complement j (3rd sing. or plur. pers.), usually this does not become ëj but it takes an euphonical i, connected with a hyphen: you give him = ti it i-j das.
Note 2) - In Piedmontese there is not difference, for complement pronouns of the 3rd person, between masculine and feminine: I tell him = I tell her = i-j diso
Note 3) - In the third plural person the construction is the same of the singular, while in Italian the complement pronoun changes position (see also Syntax).
Other Notes 1) - In Piedmontese there are also the forms no and vo corresponding to the italian forms ci and vi (english to us, to you (pl)). We'l see again later these two particles. He tell us = a no dis ; he tells you (pl) = a vo dis but also, respectively: an dis, av dis. These particles are more used if the verb starts with an impure "s". It seems to us = a no smija, but also an ësmija..
Other Notes 2) - We've seen, in the examples, that in simple tenses (without auxiliary verb) that the position of these pronominal forms is the same as it is in Italian, and different from English. In composite tenses (auxiliary + past participle) the pronoun or the pronominal group has a position, connected to the verb, which is peculiar of Piedmontese. Other pronominal groups in the examples will be seen below.

Reflexive personal pronouns

When the action, expressed by the verb and done by the subject, is referred to the subject itself, which is at the same time also object.
The mechanism and the forms are the same as for the complement pronouns, for the first and second singular person and for the second plural person. We have instead different forms for the third persons both singular and plural, and also for the first plural person. That according to the following:
  • First singular person
    In English, when the object is the same person of the subject, it uses myself. In Piedmontese are used the same forms of the complement pronoun, in the same way:
    • I son dame a studi = I devoted myself to study
    • Im faso la barba = I shave myself
    • I m stiro = I stretch myself
    • I m'ancamin-o = I start (myself)
    • I son dmlo = I told myself
  • Second singular person
    In English, when the object is the same person of the subject, it uses yourself. In Piedmontese are used the same forms of the complement pronoun, in the same way:
    • It ses date a studi = you devoted yourself to study
    • It ët fase la barba = you shave yourself
    • It t stire = You stretch yourself
    • It t'ancamin-e = you start (yourself)
    • It ses dtlo = You told yourself
  • Third singular person
    In English, when the object is the same person of the subject, it uses himself. In Piedmontese there are specific reflx. pers. pronouns :
    • "---se" after the verb and connected to it: ---> he calmed himself = a l' pasiasse
    • "---s" in pron. part. : ---> he calms himself = as psia *
    • "s" before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> he unbosoms himself = a sfga also as ësfga *
    • " s' " in front of vowel : ---> she beautifies herself = as'anzoliva also as anzoliva *
    • "---ss- ---" between verb e pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. (hyphen before the pronoun): ---> he wants to give it to himself = a veul dss-lo.
  • First plural person
    In English, when the object is the same person of the subject, it uses ourselves. In Piedmontese there are specific reflx. pers. pronouns, similar to the ones of the third persons. :
    • "---se" after the verb and connected to it: ---> let's get calm = calmomse
    • "---s" in pron. part. : ---> we calm ourselves = is pasioma *
    • "s" before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> we unbosom ourselves = i sfogoma also is ësfogoma *
    • " s' " in front of vowel : ---> we beautifiy ourselves = is'anzolivoma also is anzolivoma *
    • "---ss- ---" between verb e pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. (hyphen before the pronoun): ---> we want to give it to ourselves = i voroma dss-lo.
  • Second plural person
    In English, when the object is the same person of the subject, it uses yourselves. In Piedmontese are used the same forms of the complement pronoun, in the same way:
    • I seve dave a studi = you devoted yourselves to study
    • Iv feve la barba = you shave yourselves
    • I v stire = you stretch yourselves
    • I v'ancamin-e = you start (ourselves)
    • I seve dvlo = you told yourselves
  • Third plural person
    In English, when the object is the same person of the subject, it uses themselves. In Piedmontese there are specific reflx. pers. pronouns :
  • "---se" after the verb and connected to it: ---> they calmed themselves = a son pasiasse
  • "---s" in pron. part. : ---> they calm themselves = as psio *
  • "s" before the verb, separated; in front of impure s or consonantic group : ---> they unbosom themselves = a sfgo also as ësfgo *
  • " s' " in front of vowel : ---> they beautifiy themselves = as'anzolivo also as anzolivo *
  • "---ss- ---" between verb e pronoun, connected to them, in pron. part. (hyphen before the pronoun): ---> they want to give it to themselves = a veulo dss-lo.
Note: When the reflexive "---se", connected to the verb, is preceded by a vowel, the "s" becomes twin ("ss"), in order to maintain the same sound. We have seen the sentence he calmed himself = a l' pasisse, where the double s is for having the sound \ s \ and not \ z \.

Reciprocal personal pronouns

When the action expressed by the verb is mutual between subject and object. In english the form "each other" is used.
In Piedmontese these pronouns are identical to the reflexive personal pronouns in the plural number (reciprocal implies the presence of two entities). This is also the italian mechanism. So, for example, a person speaking about himself and his girl friend in English can say "We call each other all the days". This sentence is translated, in Piedmontese, into "Is ciamoma tuti ij d", that sounds as "we call ourselves all the days", but the context evidentiate the actual meaning.

Personal pronouns for impersonal sentences

We speak about those situations in which an action is said to happen, without a specific subject, like : "it is said that ..... , someone says that ....., they say that .....". In Piedmontese there are similar ways of expressing the concept, with a difference: instead of using the passive form "it is said ..." (that logically supposes an agent compl. by somebody) an expression is used that has a reflexive form (but of course not a reflexive meaning) and so : "as dis che ....". The other way of saying are the translation of the english ones : "quaidun a dis che.... , a diso che .....".

Particles "union" of verbal pronouns and complement personal pronouns

We go on one step in building the piedmontese pronominal groups. We have already seen some of these particles in the preceding exemples. When in front of the verb there are complement personal pronouns, since in all personal tenses (not imperative) also there is always the verbal pronoun, often this latter and the complement pers. pron. give raise to a unique particle (sometimes with a hyphen). In the resulting particle there are the characteristic consonants of the complement particle, which are specific for person and number.
The verbal pronouns (usual order) are "i, it, a, i, i, a" while the characteristic consonants (same order) are: "m, t, j, n, v, j", to these latter we have to add the "s", which is characteristic of the reflexive and recoprocal complement personal pronouns, and the two particles lo, la (even if they do not give raise to a specific group). We can build the following table:

--- Complem. pron. --->
Verbal pronoun.
'm 't 'j 'n 'v 'j 's lo la
i im i ët i-j ---- iv i-j ---- i lo i la
it it ëm it ët it i-j it ën ---- it i-j ---- it lo it la
a am at a-j an av a-j as a lo a la
i ---- i ët i-j ---- iv i-j is i lo i la
i im ---- i-j in iv i-j ---- i lo i la
a am at a-j an av a-j as a lo a la

We can note that the unique particle there is or not according the final letter of the verbal pronoun and the first letter of the complement pronoun (when present, of course, before the verb). In Syntax there is the rule for the position of the complement personal pronouns. Some examples:
  • they say to me ---> lor (a + ëm) diso = lor am diso
  • they say to us ---> lor (a + ën) diso = lor an diso
  • I say to you ---> mi (i + ëv) diso = mi iv diso
  • you (pl.) say to him ---> voiutri (i + ëj) dise = voiutri i-j dise
  • he says to you (sing.) ---> chl (a + ët) dis = chil at dis
  • you (sing.) know him ---> ti (it + lo) consse = ti it lo consse
  • you (pl.) say to us ---> voiutri (i + ën) dise = voiutri in dise

Observations and other pronominal particles

We collect here some observations, even if we will repeat something already seen above:

A) - After the verbal pronoun it (2nd sing. pers.) for euphonical reasons, usually a vowel is required, or the semi-vowel ë therefore:
you say to me = ti it m dise
you say to us = ti it n dise
you give (to) him = ti it i-j das where the i- is purely euphonical.

B) - The particle i, is not only a verbal pronoun but it can be also the corresponding italian complement of place (locative particles) ci, vi, and the english there. In Piedmontese it is required to pay attention, since this particle does not substitute the verbal pronoun, but is added to it, and usually is connected to it with an hyphen. Then:
I would go there = mi i-i andra (in italian io ci andrei)
they will go there = lor a-i andran
Moreover, with the verbal pronoun it, also the locative particle i assumes an euphonical i- :
you go there = ti it i-i vades
The locative i has a particular use with the verb "esse" (to be). For this use see the section on verbs.

C) - The italian pronominal particles "lo, li, la, le" (accusative pronouns at 3rd sing. pers.) like in: bevilo, bevili, bevila, bevile, with the meaning respectively "drink it (drink something masculine), drink them (m.), drink it (femin.), drink them (f.)", in Piedmontese are "lo, je, la, je" respectively, and so we have: bivlo, bivje, bivla, bivje.. We have already spoken about these particles. When they are in front of the verb, we will see below their behaviour. Here we note that for the verbs (auxiliary in Piedmontese) "esse" and "avj", which have forms containing the euphonical l' if also one of the particles "lo" or "la" is present in front of the verb, the particles are changed into ël , 'l as it is shown in the following examples (we report also the italian form, since some expression has a different syntax in English):
english italian piedmontese notes
I am - (without object pronoun) io sono mi i son nothing particular
I am (him, that, it) - (with object pronoun) io lo sono mi i lo son the pron. part. is alone, since the verbal voice does not have an l'
he was - (without object pronoun) lui era chil a l'era the past (imperfect) has the l'
he was (him, that, it) - (with object pronoun) lui lo era chiel a 'l l'era in this case the lo becomes 'l
you have tu hai ti it l'has the verb avj uses the l'
you have it tu ce l'hai (tu lo hai) ti it ël l'has in this case the lo becomes ël
We have seen that the plural of lo, la is je and so, the plural of the form 'l is 'j. When this pronoun is present with the euphonical l' of the verbs that we have seen, becomes a j', accordin to the following examples:
english italian piedmontese notes
he have it lui ce l'ha chil a 'l l'ha the pronoun is singular, as before
he have them lui (ce) li ha chil a 'j j'ha also the euphonical l' becomes j'
you have it tu ce l'hai ti it l l'has the pronoun is singular, as before
you have them tu li hai ti it i-j j'has not only plural (l' becomes j'), but also an euphonical i- before the pronoun (as we,ve seen above)


D) - In Italian there is the particle ne, that can be partitive, and that in English can be translated into "some, any, none", or "of it" as in the examples: "non ne voglio = I don't want any" ; "ma prego, prendine = but please take some" ; "non ne prendo = I'll take none" or also "io ne sono fiero = I am proud of it". In Piedmontese the use is similar to the italian one, but with some particularities, and different translations:
  • ne after the verb and connected to it. take some (of them) = pijne
  • na / në before the verbo. I take some = i na pijo = i pijo (the most used is na)
  • 'n after a vowel, in front of the auxiliary avj, thah changes the euphonical l' into n'. I have some = i 'n n'hai
  • ën as before after the verbal pronoun it. you have some = ti it ën n'has.
We've seen that this particle changes the euphonical l' of the verb avj into n'. With the verb esse, at the third singular person of the present ( a l' = he/she/it is, this particle changes the euphonocal l' into j' : there is some = a-i na j'.

E) - The italian particles ci, vi with an english value of us, you(pl.) or to us, to you, in Piedmontese can also be translated into no, vo respectively, when they are before the verb. In this case the verbal pronoun remains separated. When they are after the verb they follow what we have already seen and remain always ...ne, ...ve. They are after the verb in composite tenses (auxiliary + past participle), at the Imperative mood, and in impersonal moods. Examples:
  • he notifies us = (in Italian : "ci avverte" ) = a no avert ; an avert
  • he notified us = (in Italian : "ci ha avvertito" ) = a l'ha avertne
  • he tells you = (in Italian : "vi dice" ) = a vo dis ; av dis
  • he told you = (in Italian : "vi ha detto" ) = a l'ha dive
  • you(sing.) tell us = (in Italian : "ci dici" ) = it no dise
The particle no is rather used, while the vo is much less used.

Pronominal groups (accusative + dative)

They can be subdivided into two categories, the ones after the verb and connected to it, and the ones before the verb. We have already spoken about the position of these groups. See alsi Syntax for a complete description of these rule. For the group of "tail" particles the following table is valid:

.......... Accusative. --->
Pers. Num. (Dative)............
..... + lo ..... + la ..... + je ..... + ne
1st pers. sing. (e.g. give it to me) m' + lo = --mlo
---it (masc.) to me
m' + la = --mla
---it (femin.) to me
m' + je = --mje
---them to me
m' + ne = --mne
---some to me
2nd pers. sing. (e.g. give it to you) t' + lo = --tlo
---it (masc.) to you
t' + la = --tla
---it (femin.) to you
t' + je = --tje
---them to you
t' + ne = --tne
---some to you
3rd pers. sing. (e.g. give it to him) j' + lo = --jlo
---it (masc.) to him
j' + la = --jla
---it (femin.) to him
j' + je = --j-je
---them to him
j' + ne = --j-ne
---some to him
3rd pers. sing. (reflexive) s' + lo = --slo
---it (masc.) to himself
s' + la = --sla
---it (femin.) to himself
s' + je = --sje
---them to himself
s' + ne = --ss-ne
---some to himself
1st pers. plur. (e.g. give it to us) n' + lo = --nlo
---it (masc.) to us
n' + la = --nla
---it (femin.) to us
n' + je = --nje
---them to us
n' + ne = --n-ne
---some to us
1st pers. plur. (reflexive) s' + lo = --slo
---it (masc.) to ourselves
s' + la = --sla
---it (femin.) to ourselves
s' + je = --sje
---them to ourselves
s' + ne = --ss-ne
---some to ourselves
2nd pers. plur. (e.g. give it to you) v' + lo = --vlo
---it (masc.) to you
v' + la = --vla
---it (femin.) to you
v' + je = --vje
---them to you
v' + ne = --vne
---some to you
3rd pers. plur. (e.g. give it to them) j' + lo = --jlo
---it (masc.) to them
j' + la = --jla
---it (femin.) to them
j' + je = --j-je
---them to them
j' + ne = --j-ne
---some to them
3rd pers. plur. (reflexive) s' + lo = --slo
---it (masc.) to themselves
s' + la = --sla
---it (femin.) to themselves
s' + je = --sje
---them to themselves
s' + ne = --ss-ne
---some to themselves

We note that sometimes, for euphonical reasons, the tail group is preceded by an ë. Sometimes, instead, also for the same reasons, the tail group generates the fall of the ending vowel (or dyphtong) of the verb. The two effect in some cases are combined, and this generates the change of the ending vowel of the verb into an ë. Moreover, if the verbal voice ends with a palatal c (pron. \[ch]\) or g (pron. \ j \), the sound is maintained with opportune changes, as in the examples:
(imperative) eat = mangia ; eat it = mangg-lo ; eat (you) it (pleonastic form) = mangtlo
(imperative) bring it to me = (prta chil a mi) = (porta...mlo) = port...mlo = portmlo
Also in the last line of the table the double "ss" is a graphical way for maintaining the deaf sound of "s"
As usual, some examples:
  • I have not given it to him = i l'hai nen djlo
  • I have not recount them to you = i l'hai nen contvje
  • only few left ... he took some by himself = mach p pchi ... chil a l' pijss-ne
  • give me them later = damje dp
  • we've done it ourself = i soma fslo
  • he gave you them = a l'ha dtje
  • he forgot to give us them = a l' dsmentiasse 'd dnje
  • he does not want to give us some = a veul nen dnje
As far as the group preceding the verb are concerned, is valid the following table:

English Italian Piedmontese Example
--- it/him (masc.) to him
--- it/him (masc.) to her
(the object is masculine singular)
glielo -j lo if he comes i will say it to him = se viene glielo dir = se (chil) a ven i-j lo dirai
if she comes i will say it to her = se viene glielo dir = se (chila) a ven i-j lo dirai
--- it/her (femin.) to him
--- it/her (femin.) to her
(the object is feminine singular)
gliela -j la if he comes i will give it to him = se viene gliela dar = se a ven i-j la darai
if she comes i will give it to her = se viene gliela dar = se a ven i-j la darai
--- them (masc.) to him
--- them (masc.) to her
(the object is masculine plural)
glieli -j je if he comes i will give them to him = se viene glieli dar = se a ven i-j je darai
if she comes i will give them to her = se viene glieli dar = se a ven i-j je darai
--- them (masc.) to him
--- them (masc.) to her
(the object is feminine plural)
gliele -j je if he comes i will give them to him = se viene gliele dar = se a ven i-j je darai
if she comes i will give them to her = se viene gliele dar = se a ven i-j je darai
--- some to him
--- some to her (the object can be masc. or femin.)
gliene -j na / -j n I don't give him/her any = non gliene d = i-j na dago nen = i-j n dago nen

We remember again that in Piedmontese the position of the pronominal group is not always the same as in Italian. In composite tenses the pronominal group passes as a tail of the past participle: I did not bring it to him ---> in Italian : non glielo ho portato. ---> in Piedmontese : i l'hai nen portajlo. As usual, see Syntax.

Some examples

The Piedmontese pronominal particles are quite an odd subject, and this is due to the presence of the verbal pronouns, to a locative similar to a pronoun, to euphonical vowels, euphonical consonants in the auxiliary verbs "esse" and "avj", and euphonical changes in some particle for some cases. If we consider also the very similar piedmontese pronunciation of the letters "i" and "j", we can understand that a good practice is required in order to understand the spoken Piedmontese. A little inflection of voice can change the meaning of a sentence. Also the written Piedmontese can require some "decoding" effort to people not used to read it.
A good way for doing practice is to look at some examples. For some of them the pronunciation is reported (when it is essential):

I give him = mi i-j dago
I give it to him = mi i-j lo dago
I give them to him = mi i-j jë dago
give (to) him = dje
give it to him = dajlo
give some to him = dajne
give some to us = dan-ne \ d'&[ng]ne \
he doesn't give it to us = an lo da nen
he didn't give it to us = a l'ha nen danlo
send them to me = mndëmje \ m'&nd&mye \ ¹
send them to me = mandmje \ m&nd'emye \ ¹
bring it to me = prtëmlo \ p'ort&mlu \ ²
bring it to me = portmlo \ purt'emlu \ ²
I brought it to him = i l'hai portajlo
write to him = scrivje
write it to him = scrivëjlo
write them to him = scrivëj-je
do them to him = faj-je ³
do them to him = fej-je ³
do it to you = fatlo
it should have it = a ventra avjlo
it should have them = a ventra avj-je
it should have said it to him = a ventra avj-j-lo dit
it should have done them to him = a ventra avj-j-je fait

1) - the first is an imperative 2nd singular person, the second is an imperative 2nd plural person
2) - idem as before
3) - idem as before

Interrogative personal pronouns

This is another series of pronouns which does not exist in Italian and in French (and not even in English). They are used in questions and in some other case that we will see in Syntax. In modern Piedmontese the question can also be made simply by the voice inflection or with the question mark. There are anyway some interrogative sentences that commonly continue to use these pronouns, and there are places in Piedmont where always these pronouns are used. These pronouns follow the verb and are connected to it with an hyphen (sometimes the hyphen is not written and the pronoun is directly connected to the verb). The presence of these pronouns makes no more mandatory the verbal pronoun, which becomes pleonastic. The following table reports these pronouns with notes and examples.

Pers. and Num. Pronoun Example Notes
1st sing. pers. -ne will I have cold? = l'avrai-ne frid? We need to pay attention not to confuse with a partitive
2nd sing. pers. -to do you go away at once? = vas-to via subit? also: vasto via subit?
3rd sing. pers. -lo / -la is it all ok? (does it go well?)= va-lo bin? lo =masculine and la = feminine
1st plur. pers. -ne what do we say? = cos diom-ne? We need to pay attention not to confuse with a partitive
2nd plur. pers. -ve / -vo ---------- no more in use
3rd plur. pers. -ne or -lo will they be able to get off? = saran-ne bon a gavesla? We need to pay attention not to confuse with a partitive


We will see later the negative conjugation of verbs (just speaking of verbs in the relative section). We note that the desinence of the verbs, is modified in some cases by the presence of the interrogative personal pronoun. Questions sustained by prch?, cs?, chi?, andoa?, ant? (= respectively : why?, what?, who?, where?, where?) take the negative conjugation with interrogative personal pronouns, as in the cases: "why you too do you go? = prch vas-to 'dc ti?" or "who is that fellow = chi l'-lo chil-l?. In these cases, if the intensive particle " ch' " is used (very common in Piedmontese), then the question is non more made using these pronouns: "why you too do you go? = prch ch'it vas 'dc ti?" or "who is that fellow = chi ch'a l' chil-l? (and the verbal pronoun becomes again mandatory). We will see these subjects more in deep speaking about verbs.





lago1
An alpine lake
   in Maira valley

.
. (photo B. Garmondi)
.


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