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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Modern Descendants of Latin            357
the paper adjective ends in such a silent consonant (-T, -S, -ER, -N)
addition of the -E makes the latter articulate Thus the pronunciation
of vert (masc ) and verte (fern), meaning green, is roughly vair-vairt
Soraetunes the final -T or -S is double in the written form of the
feminine equivalent, e g net-nette (clean., distinct), sot-sotte (stupid),
gros-grosse (big), gras-grasse (fat) Six adjectives ending in -et do not
double the final consonant (complet-complete, concret-concrete, discret-
discrete^ inquiet-inqmete^ uneasy, replet-repUte^ stout, secret-secrete)
Those ending in -er change to -eres with change of vowel colour, e g
premier-premiere, regulier-reguliere Vowel change also occurs if the
masculine singular terminal is -N This silent consonant symbol labels
the preceding vowel as a nasal (p 257) The vowel of the feminine
form is not nasal A silent -N becomes an explicit -NE or -NNE, e g
bon-bonne (good), plem-pleine (full) Doubling of the last consonant
before the final -E of the written form of the feminine also occurs if
the masculine singular ends in the articulate terminals -EL or -UL,
e g cruel-cruelle or nul~nulle (no) In the spoken language these adjectives
belong to the genderless class.
A few irregularities among gender forms of the French adjective recall
feminine forms of couplets which stand for persons (e g masseur-masseuse)
Thus -eux becomes -EUSE, eg gloneux-gloneuse, fameux-fameuse
Similarly we have a berger-bergere (shepherd-shepherdess) class repre-
sented by premier-premiere As -eux becomes -euse, -aux, and -oux become
-AUSSE and -OUSE, eg faux-fausse (false)>jaloux-jalouse (jealous) As
with the couplet veuf-vewve (widower-widow), -/ changes to -VE, e g
neuf-neuve (new), bref-breve Four apparent exceptions to rules given
depend on the fact that there are alternative masculine singular forms
One which ends in a vowel precedes a word beginning with a consonant
The other precedes a word beginning with a vowel or h These masculine
couplets are nouveau-nouvel (new), beau-bel (beautiful), meux-vieil (old),
mou-mol (soft), as in un well homme (an old man), un vieux mur (an old
wall) or un beau gar$on (a fine boy), un bel arbre (a beautiful tree) The
feminine derivatives correspond to the second or older number of the
couplet in conformity with the rules stated, i e nowvelle, belle, weille>
molle> e g une vieille femme, or une belle dame
The few irregular masculine plural forms of the adjective recall those
of nouns with the same singular terminals If the singular ends in -s or
-x there is no change Thus // est heureux = he is happy, and ils sont
heureux = they are happy If the masculine singular ends in -EAU or
-AL, the masculine plural terminals are respectively -EAUX or -AUX,
as in beau-beaux^ nottveau-nouveaux, or cardmal-cardinaux The corre-
sponding feminine forms are regular, e g nouvelles or cardmahs The
masculine plural of tout (all) is tous The corresponding feminine forms
are regular (tovte-toutes) When tous stands by itself without a noun the
final 5 is always articulate