Glorie a Diu tal plui alt dai cîi

At Luke 2:14, a multitude of angels praise God upon the birth of Jesus:

«Glorie a Diu tal plui alt dai cîi
e pâs in tiere ai oms che lui ur vûl ben».

In this entry, the reader will examine the language of the praise as it is expressed in Friulian. Before he continues, the following Friulian usages related to the words of this entry’s introductory text can be learnt: une fulugne di agnui (a multitude of angels); laudâ Diu (to praise God); i agnui a laudin Diu (the angels praise God); la nassite di Jesù (the birth of Jesus); la laut (the praise); il vanzeli seont Luche (the gospel according to Luke).

Glorie is a feminine noun meaning glory; the Friulian, then, for glory to God is glorie a Diu. As for heaven, the Friulian is the masculine noun cîl, which, in the plural, takes the form cîi. Consider: il cîl (the heaven); dal cîl (of the heaven); i cîi (the heavens); dai cîi (of the heavens). The reader will note that the plural cîi is not irregular; it follows the rule that when a noun ends in a vowel + l, the final l changes to i. More examples: agnul, agnui (angel, angels); nûl, nûi (cloud, clouds); cjaval, cjavai (horse, horses).

The Friulian for the adjective high is alt. Its four forms are alt (masculine singular); alts (masculine plural); alte (feminine singular); altis (feminine plural). The ark (f., arcje) made by Noah, for instance, was thirty cubits high: alte trente comedons. Of alt, the comparative is plui alt (higher), whereas the superlative is il plui alt (the highest). Il plui alt dai cîi, then, means the highest of the heavens.

In the praise, we encounter tal plui alt dai cîi, where the masculine singular tal means in the. The reader will note that the Friulian for in the is variable. For instance, whereas the Friulian for in the beginning is tal imprin, the Friulian for in the heavens is tai cîi; and whereas the Friulian for in the ark is te arcje, the Friulian for in the waters is tes aghis. Consider: the preposition in + the masculine singular definite article il = tal; the preposition in + the masculine plural definite article i = tai; the preposition in + the feminine singular definite article la = te; the preposition in + the feminine plural definite article lis = tes. Tal plui alt dai cîi, then, means in the highest of the heavens.

The Friulian for peace is the feminine noun pâs; for earth, the Friulian is the feminine noun tiere. In the praise, we encounter e pâs in tiere (and peace on earth [and peace in earth]). Another instance of in tiere is encountered in the Pater Noster (in Friulian, il Pari Nestri), when we recite these words in Friulian: come in cîl, cussì in tiere (as in heaven, so on earth [so in earth]).

Om is a masculine noun meaning man; its plural form is oms (men). In the praise, we encounter ai oms: just as the preposition in (in) contracts with a definite article (see above), so too does the preposition a (to, unto). For instance, whereas the Friulian for unto the priest is al predi, the Friulian for unto the priests is ai predis; and whereas the Friulian for unto the woman is a la femine (or ae femine), the Friulian for unto the women is a lis feminis (or aes feminis). Consider: the preposition a + the masculine singular definite article il = al; the preposition a + the masculine plural definite article i = ai; the preposition a + the feminine singular definite article la = a la (or ae); the preposition a + the feminine plural definite article lis = a lis (or aes). Now it must be said that whereas English speaks of men (as in humans) without the definite article, Friulian speaks of i oms, with the definite article (literally, the men). To name an example, Genesis 6 tells of la coruzion dai oms (the corruption of men), where dai (of the) is the contraction of the preposition di (of) and the masculine plural definite article i. As for ai oms from the praise, this is read in context as to men or unto men, rather than to the men or unto the men.

In its infinitive form, the Friulian volê ben means to love. The present indicative follows: jo o vuei ben (I love; first-person singular); tu tu vuelis ben (thou lovest; second-person singular); lui al vûl ben (he loveth; masculine, third-person singular); jê e vûl ben (she loveth; feminine, third-person singular); nô o volìn ben (we love; first-person plural); vualtris o volês ben (you love; second-person plural); lôr a vuelin ben (they love; third-person plural). Volê ben takes an indirect object: mi (unto me); ti (unto thee); i (unto him, unto her, unto it); nus (unto us); us (unto you); ur (unto them). These indirect objects replace the atonic pronouns, so that, for instance, I love him is jo i vuei ben; thou lovest me is tu mi vuelis ben; he loveth them is lui ur vûl ben; she loveth thee is jê ti vûl ben; we love you is nô us volìn ben; they love us is lôr nus vuelin ben, and so on. Consider moreover: jo i vuei ben a Zuan (I love John); jê i vûl ben a Jacop (she loveth Jacob); lui i vûl ben a so pari (he loveth his father); Diu ur vûl ben ai oms (God loveth men); tu ur vuelis ben ai tiei fradis (thou lovest thy brethren). In the praise, we encounter: ai oms che lui ur vûl ben (to men whom he loveth).

«Glorie a Diu tal plui alt dai cîi
e pâs in tiere ai oms che lui ur vûl ben».

Glory to God in the highest of the heavens
and peace on earth to men whom he loveth.