On the negated imperative in Friulian

By the term ‘negated imperative’, the reader will understand such utterances as kill not, rob not, let him not speak, let us not look, and so forth. This entry will detail how to form constructions of the sort in Friulian.

Second-person singular: NO STA

In English, second-person singular was traditionally identified by the subject pronoun thou, employed when addressing a single person. To form a negated imperative in Friulian on the level of second-person singular, no sta is used, followed by the infinitive. Consider first the following Friulian vocabulary, encountered in the matter of the fifth to the seventh of the ten commandments: copâ (to kill); fâ adulteri (to commit adultery); robâ (to rob).

The fifth commandment is expressed so in Friulian: no sta copâ, where the infinitive copâ is preceded by no sta. The second-person singular no sta copâ translates from the Friulian as kill not. The sixth commandment in Friulian is no sta fâ adulteri (commit not adultery); the seventh commandment is no sta robâ (rob not).

At Matieu 4,7, in the matter of the temptation of Jesus by the devil, Jesus says: al è ancje scrit: no sta tentâ il Signôr to Diu (it is also written: tempt not the Lord thy God). The Friulian infinitive tentâ means to tempt; by placing the second-person singular no sta before tentâ, the English reading tempt not is obtained.

In a more contemporary style of English, the second-person singular no sta may also be read as do not, so that, for instance, no sta copâ may additionally take the English reading do not kill.

More examples, all on the level of second-person singular: no sta fevelâ (speak not; do not speak); no sta vê pôre (have not fear; do not have fear); no sta cjalâ (look not; do not look); no sta pecjâ (sin not; do not sin).

Second-person plural: NO STAIT A

Second-person plural is employed when addressing more than one person. To form a negated imperative on this level, one need only place no stait a before the infinitive in question: no stait a fevelâ (speak not; do not speak); no stait a vê pôre (have not fear; do not have fear); no stait a cjalâ (look not; do not look); no stait a pecjâ (sin not; do not sin).

The reader will note that contemporary English employs the same form in the imperative of both the second-person singular and the second-person plural; this is not so in Friulian, where a distinction in form must be observed. Consider the following instances, where thou identifies second-person singular, and you identifies second-person plural: i) no sta vignî (come {thou} not); no stait a vignî (come {you} not); ii) no sta scrivi (write {thou} not); no stait a scrivi (write {you} not); iii) no sta vaî (weep {thou} not); no stait a vaî (weep {you} not).

At Luche 23,28, Jesus says: fiis di Jerusalem, no stait a vaî par me (daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me). No stait a vaî par me is second-person plural: weep {you} not for me.

First-person plural: NO STIN A

First-person plural of the negated imperative takes the English reading let us not (or colloquially, let’s not); this is formed by the placement of no stin a before the infinitive in question: no stin a fevelâ (let us not speak; let’s not speak); no stin a vê pôre (let us not have fear; let’s not have fear); no stin a cjalâ (let us not look; let’s not look); no stin a pecjâ (let us not sin; let’s not sin).

At Gjenesi 37,21, when Reuben would seek to rescue his brother Joseph from the clutches of his brothers, he says: no stin a copâlu (let us not kill him). In this instance, the infinitive copâ (to kill) is found with the direct object lu (him) attached to it: no stin a copâ (let us not kill); no stin a copâlu (let us not kill him).

Masculine, third-person singular: CHE NOL

The third-person singular forms of the negated imperative are three; the first of the three to be discussed here is the masculine singular. The third-person forms are of a more difficult formation than the first-person and second-person forms presented above, for they require the use of the subjunctive. The formation of the subjunctive is beyond the scope of this entry; however, a few notions will be presented below.

The Friulian for he speaks not is the indicative nol fevele; in the present subjunctive, this becomes nol feveli. With this subjunctive form, the following may now be said: che nol feveli (let him not speak). With verbs taking a final â in the infinitive, the third-person singular e ending of the present indicative (fevele) changes to i in the present subjunctive (feveli).

The Friulian for he extends not is the indicative nol slungje; in the present subjunctive, this becomes nol slungji. With this subjunctive form, the following may now be said: che nol slungji (let him not extend). In the third chapter of the book of Genesis, in the matter of the fall, God prevents man from also picking of the tree of life; in regard to man, God says: che nol slungji la man (let him not extend his hand).

The Friulian for he picks not is the indicative nol çume; in the present subjunctive, this becomes nol çumi. With this subjunctive form, the following may now be said: che nol çumi (let him not pick). Again in regard to man and the tree of life, God says: che nol çumi dal arbul de vite (let him not pick from the tree of life).

Feminine, third-person singular: CHE NO

To form the feminine, third-person singular of the negated imperative, one need only replace nol of the masculine singular form described in the foregoing section with no.

The Friulian for she speaks not is the indicative no fevele; in the present subjunctive, this becomes no feveli. With this subjunctive form, the following may now be said: che no feveli (let her not speak).

The Friulian for she is not is the indicative no je; in the present subjunctive, this becomes the irregular no sedi. With this subjunctive form, the following may now be said: che no sedi (let her not be). The reader will note that no je may also take the English reading it is not, in the case where the subject of e je is a feminine noun but not a person, for instance la dì, meaning the day. At Jeremie 20,14, we read: maladete la dì che o soi nassût (cursed be the day when I was born); la dì che mi à parturît mê mari (the day when my mother bore me) che no sedi benedide! (let it not be blessed).

Third-person plural: CHE NO

The third-person plural makes no distinction between masculine and feminine; however, the third-person plural and subjunctive form of verb must be employed.

The Friulian for they say not is the indicative no disin; the present subjunctive form is the same. With the subjunctive form, the following may now be said: che no disin (let them not say). At Salms 35,25, we encounter: che tai lôr cûrs no disin […] (let them not say in their hearts).

The Friulian for they overtake not is the indicative no brinchin; the present subjunctive form is the same. With the subjunctive form, the following may now be said: che no brinchin (let them not overtake). At Fi di Sirac 23,6, we read: che no mi brinchin brame e lussurie (let not desire and lust overtake me).