Old Occitan > Morphology, Part One
Old Occitan has a two cases, nominative and oblique, and two numbers, singular and plural. Nouns may be masculine or feminine, but there are vestiges of the neuter for some pronouns and for adjectives.
Standard Masculine Declension
Note the pattern of this: the -s occurs for the nominative singular and the oblique plural, and the ending drops for the oblique singular and the nominative plural. In practice the articles will usually clear up this confusion.
Some masculine nouns will introduce some other letters with the -s:
Agent nouns (Lat. -tor) are declined so:
Nouns from Latin -o, -onis. Note that the n in parentheses means it is liable to drop out.
Some nouns decline after the pattern of om:
Feminines in -a have only two forms, singular and plural. The oblique is identical to the nominative:
Standard (-a) Feminine Declension
But the other feminines decline so:
There are two irregular feminines:
Adjectives agree in case and number with their nouns. There are two types of adjectives in Old Occitan, those which decline the feminine like domna and those which do not.
The first type, bons, good:
The second type, tals such:
By the late medieval period many adjectives had moved from the second into the first class.
The comparative is formed by adding plus, for example plus gentils. The superlative is made by adding an article or possessive to the comparative: lo plus gentils. Often, however, simple plus gentils can be interpreted also as a superlative.
A few synthetic forms survived:
- mèlher, melhór better
- peier, peiór worse
- máier, maiór greater
- menre, menór fewer (méns less)
Adverbs are derived from adjectives in two
ways. The most common is to suffix -(a)mén to the
feminine form of the adjective, finamen finally.
Another way is to suffix -s, premiers. Both may be
combined into -méns, often spelled -mentz.
Some forms of the definite article are prone to
both elision of the final vowel (l'us) and enclitic reduction.
For enlitics the reduced article will be suffixed to the preceding
word. In old editions this wasn't marked, but is now usually marked
with a dash (e-l son cozi) or with a raised dot (e·l
son cozi). In the list below elided (proclitic) forms are
marked with an apostrophe, enclitics with the raised dot.
Some forms of the definite article are prone to both elision of the final vowel (l'us) and enclitic reduction. For enlitics the reduced article will be suffixed to the preceding word. In old editions this wasn't marked, but is now usually marked with a dash (e-l son cozi) or with a raised dot (e·l son cozi). In the list below elided (proclitic) forms are marked with an apostrophe, enclitics with the raised dot.
|nom.sg.||lo, le; l'; ·l, ·ls||la, li; l'; ·lh, ·l|
|obl.sg.||lo; l'; ·l, ·ll||la; l'|
|nom.pl.||li; l', ll', ·l, ·ls||las|
|obl.pl.||los; ·lhs, ·ls||las|
The numeral one does duty for the indefinite article a, an. In the plural it means some.
The personal pronouns, like the definite article, are prone to appear in proclitic or enclitic forms. The third person pronouns are a little more complex, so here are the first and second person pronouns first:
|first person||second person|
|nom.sg.||èu, ièu; ie·, I||tu, you|
|obl.sg.||me, mi; m'; ·m||té, ti; ·t|
|nom.pl.||nos; ·ns, we||vos; ·us, you (pl.)|
|obl.pl.||nos; ·ns||vos; ·us, ·eus|
The first person form ie· is used when it's followed by an enclitic.
The indefinite pronoun ("one", Fr. on) is forms of óme (including on), but uses forms of vos for the oblique.
Unlinke nouns and the first and second personal pronouns, the third person pronouns have several forms of the oblique: accusatives for the direct object of a verb and datives for the indirect object. Also, there are forms which are used after prepositions, and finally there are forms which seem to be emphatic, though not always very.
|Indirect object||li; l', lh'; ·l, ·lh||li; l', lh'; ·l, ·lh|
- the enlcitics of the indirect object singular (li) may be spelled ·il, ·ll, ·ill
- the emphatic obliques may be used after prepositions, as direct objects or as indirect objects
- the reflexive pronoun is always oblique and has the same form for direct and indirect objects: se, si; s'; ·s, ·is
Possessive pronouns have distinct adjective and pronoun forms in the singulars my, your, his, her, its. The adjectives modify nouns and the pronouns occur by themselves ("this is mine").
The pronoun forms:
- mèus my
- tèus your
- sèus his, her, its
These decline identically:
Since the -e- is open, these may all diphthongize, mièus, mièuas etc.
The adjectival forms of the possessives again decline identically, mos, tos, sos:
The forms for our, your, their have identical pronoun and adjective forms:
- masculine nostre our, which may optionally add a final -s to the masc.nom.sing. form; the feminine is nostra, nostras
- vostre your (pl.) takes the same endings as nostre.
- lor, lur their does not change form.
Old Occitan demonstrative pronouns may act as either pronouns or adjectives (cel that (one) or cel om that man).
First, there is a neuter series which can be translated "it" but which most of the time refers not to a thing, but to something just said or about to be said:
Ò needs no completion, but sò does, and is usually followed by a relative pronoun, so que that which: so qu'ieu vauc deziran that which I am desiring. Aco requires no relative.
The two following demonstrative systems come in three forms. The weak form is given in the first paradigm. An introductory form which may take completion, like so above, but does not require it, and is formed by prefixing c- (often spelled s-) to the weak form. The strong form is emphatic, and is formed by prefixing unaccented aic-, ais- or aqu- to the weak form.
As examples, the masculine nominative singular introductory form is cést and the strong is aicést or aquést.
The weak froms of the cel series (el, ela, etc.) are the third person pronouns. As an example of a strong form, the feminine oblique plural would be aicélas or aquélas.