On the Friulian imperative (conjugation I verbs)

This entry will examine how the imperative of Friulian verbs of the first conjugation is formed. First conjugation verbs are those whose infinitive ends in -â, for instance, fevelâ (to speak), cjaminâ (to walk), cjapâ (to take). The formation of the imperative of verbs of the second, third and fourth conjugations must be dealt with in subsequent entries. Related reading: Formation of the negated Friulian imperative.

Second-person singular

The second-person singular form of the imperative is employed when speaking to a single person. It is formed by replacing the final of the infinitive with -e. Take for instance, the verb fevelâ, meaning to speak. The second-person singular imperative is fevele meaning speak! (or speak thou! to distinguish it from the English second-person plural form).

Examples

(i) The infinitive jentrâ means to enter, whereas the infinitive preâ means to pray; the second-person singular imperative forms are jentre and pree. In Matieu 6, Jesus speaks concerning prayer, that one should not be like the hypocrites. At verse 6, he says: jentre te tô cjamarute (enter into thy room); and, with the door shut, pree il Pari to che al sta tal segret (pray to thy Father who is in secret).

(ii) Cjapâ sù means to take up; its second-person singular form is cjape sù. At Gjenesi 19,15, in the recounting of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the angels say to Lot, urging him on: cjape sù la tô femine e lis tôs dôs fiis (take up thy wife and thy two daughters), that he and his family should not be consumed in the punishment.

(iii) The infinitive butâ means to cast. At Esodo 4,3, the Lord tells Moses to cast his staff on the ground: butilu par tiere (cast it on the ground). Of butâ, the second-person singular imperative is bute; when lu, meaning it, is added, the final -e of bute changes to -i, to form butilu. The masculine singular direct object lu is put for the masculine singular noun baston, meaning staff. Consider: butâ il baston (to cast the staff); bute il baston!; butilu! (cast {thou} the staff!; cast it!). This same change of the final -e to -i in the second-person singular imperative also occurs with the addition of the masculine plural direct object ju; of the feminine singular direct object le; and of the feminine plural direct object lis. Consider: bute i claps!; butiju! (cast {thou} the stones!; cast them!); bute la butilie!; butile! (cast {thou} the bottle!; cast it!); bute lis butiliis!; butilis! (cast {thou} the bottles!; cast them!).

Second-person plural

The second-person plural form of the imperative is employed when speaking to more than one person. It is formed by replacing the final of the infinitive with -ait. For instance, of the verb fevelâ (to speak), the second-person plural imperative is fevelait, meaning speak! (or speak you! to distinguish it from the English second-person singular form).

Examples

(i) The infinitive jemplâ means to fill; its second-person plural imperative form is jemplait. At Gjenesi 1,22, God tells the sea creatures: jemplait lis aghis dal mâr (fill the waters of the sea).

(ii) The infinitives amâ and preâ mean to love and to pray, respectively; the second-person plural imperative forms are amait and preait. At Matieu 5,44, Jesus says: amait i vuestris nemîs e preait par chei che us perseguitin (love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you).

(iii) The infinitive ingrumâ means to gather; its second-person plural imperative form is ingrumait. In Matieu 6, Jesus says not to gather treasures on earth (verse 19), but rather in heaven (verse 20): ingrumait tesaurs in cîl (gather treasures in heaven).

(iv) The infinitive copâ means to kill, whereas the infinitive lassâ means to leave; the second-person plural imperative forms are copait and lassait. At Esodo 1,16, the king of Egypt gives such order to those doing the office of midwives to the Hebrew women at the time of delivery: se al è un mascjo, copaitlu; se e je une frute, lassaitle in vite (if it be a male, kill him; if it be a girl, leave her in life). The second-person plural imperative copaitlu! means kill him!, with the masculine singular direct object lu being put for masculine singular noun mascjo (male). The second-person plural imperative lassaitle! means leave her!, with the feminine singular direct object le being put for feminine singular noun frute (girl). Consider: copait l’om!; copaitlu! (kill {you} the man!; kill him!); copait la femine!; copaitle! (kill {you} the woman!; kill her!); copait i oms!; copaitju! (kill {you} the men!; kill them!); copait lis feminis!; copaitlis! (kill {you} the women!; kill them!).

First-person plural

The first-person plural form of the imperative is employed where English uses let us, or the colloquial let’s. It is formed by replacing the final of the infinitive with -ìn. For instance, of the verb fevelâ, the first-person plural imperative is fevelìn, meaning let us speak! (or let’s speak! in colloquial form).

Examples

(i) The infinitive gjavâ means to withdraw; its first-person plural form is gjavìn. At Gjenesi 33,12, Esau says: gjavìn lis tendis e partìn (let us withdraw the tents and depart). The reader will have noticed that partìn (let us depart), from the infinitive partî, takes the same -ìn ending as does gjavìn (let us withdraw), from the infinitive gjavâ; however, partî is not a verb of the first conjugation but rather of the fourth, for its infinitive ends in -î.

(ii) The infinitive copâ means to kill, whereas the infinitive butâ means to cast; the first-person plural imperative forms are copìn and butìn. At Gjenesi 37,20, Joseph’s brothers say of him: copìnlu e butìnlu in cualchi poç (let us kill him and cast him into some well). Consider: copìn!; copìnlu! (let us kill!; let us kill him!); butìn!; butìnlu! (let us cast!; let us cast him!). Consider now a few more instances: confusionìnju! (let us confuse them!; infinitive confusionâ, masculine plural direct object); butìnle! (let us cast her!; infinitive butâ, feminine singular direct object); gjavìnlis! (let us withdraw them!; infinitive gjavâ, feminine plural direct object).

Final considerations

For the imperative of the third-person singular and plural, it is rather the present subjunctive which is employed. Taking, for instance, the infinitive scoltâ (to listen), consider the following: al scolte; che al scoltedi! (he listens; let him listen!); e scolte; che e scoltedi! (she listens; let her listen!); a scoltin; che a scoltedin! (they listen; let them listen!).