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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

356                The Loom of Latignage
vn hbi o giallo      (a yellow book)     un Duce loquace     (a talkative leader)
hbn gialh            (yellow books)      Dua loquaci          (talkative leaders)
una nazione ncca  (a rich nation)       una macchinafoi te (a strong machine)
nazwni ncche       (rich nations)        macchne forti        (strong machines)
The Spanish equivalents for black, poor, and common sufficiently
illustrate the use of appropriate forms of the Spanish or Portuguese
adjective
Sing Masc        negro    j                bre
Smg Femin       negra    J
Plur Masc         aegros   j               feres
Plur Femin        negras   J
There is one noteworthy exception to the rules illustrated by these
examples Adjectives signifying nationality take the feminine terminals
-a or -as, even if the masculine singular ends in a consonant, e g mgles-
mglesa, espanol-espanola
Representative exhibits of Portuguese noun-adjective concord are:
o navio novo      the new ship         a pessoa simpdtica          the congenial
person
as namos novas   the new ships        as pessoas simpdticas      the congenial
persons
o(d) aluno(a) inteligente             the intelligent pupil
os(as) alunos(as) mtehgentes       the intelligent pupils
Genderless Portuguese adjectives ending in -7 have contracted forms in
the plural, e g neutral^ faal, azul (blue)Śneutraes, facets, azms.
The genderless class of French adjectives is relatively small About
the time of Agincourt the old genderless adjective got drawn into the
orbit of the two-gender class It assimilated the feminine ending -E, so
that fort (strong), originally a common gender form, has now separate
masculine (fort) and feminine (forte) singular and corresponding
plural forms (forts-fortes) Genderless are* biave> large, juste, nche, vide
(empty), tnste (sad)5/aa/e (easy), difficile, rouge (red), tiide (lukewarm),,
temble, humble, capable, ana others which end in -He The plural
suffix of all these is -S (rouges, faciles, etc) This rule applies to the
separate masculine or feminine plural forms of most French adjectives
which do not belong to the genderless class
If we want to write down the feminine equivalent of the masculine
singular of most French adjectives, all we have to do is to add -E.
What happens in speech is another story The final consonant (p. 257)
of most French words is silent When the masculine singular form of