This is part four in a series on the modern Provençal language. See part one to start from the beginning.
In this article we will take a deeper look at negation.
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I am not a native speaker, nor any kind of authority on Provence or the Provençal language. I'm compiling these notes from limited and fragmented resources as a way to teach myself, and while I've made every effort to be as accurate and in-depth as possible, mistakes are bound to happen.
I try to verify and weigh information against multiple sources, but something may ultimately come down to a difference between dialects or individual speakers. If you have any comments or corrections, please contact me, including your source(s) and/or credentials.
For now, consider this a work-in-progress.
We've already seen how to negate a sentence:
- L'amiga novèla de la dròlla manja pas la carn
- The girl's new friend does not eat meat
- Marià e sa sòrre an pas de cats
- Maria and her sister don't have any cats
- A Jacòb li agradan pas lei pomas o lei peras
- Jacòb doesn't like apples or pears.
The word ges is sometimes used as a synonym for pas or to mean "not at all":
- Beve ges dau vin
- I don't drink wine (at all)
- La comprenon ges
- They don't understand it (at all)
The word ren means "nothing" or "not anything":
- Vesèm ren
- We don't see anything
- Ditz ren a ela
- He/she says nothing to her
The opposite, while not exactly a negative, is que which means "only" or "just". It can be combined with ren to mean "nothing but":
- Lo brau vòu que dormir
- The bull just wants to sleep
- La trobairitz escriu que lei poèmas d'amor
- The trobairitz only writes love poems
- Lei cavaus de Marià bevon ren que dau vin roge
- Maria's horses drink nothing but red wine
The word jamai means "never":
- Aprenon jamai
- They never learn
- Risètz jamai de mei galejadas
- You never laugh at my jokes
The word plus means "no more", "no longer", or "not anymore":
- L'aiga bolhe plus
- The water doesn't boil anymore
- Leis aucèus cantan plus
- The birds sing no more
- Avèm plus lo libre
- We no longer have the book
The word gaire means 'barely':
- Sabe gaire coma cosinar
- I barely know how to cook
- Es gaire un mormolh
- It is barely a whisper
The word degun means 'no one', 'anyone', or 'not anyone':
- I a degun aicí
- There is no one here
- Ame degun qu'ela
- I don't love anyone but her
- Ausètz degun defòra?
- Do you hear anyone outside?
- Degun es ocupat per ara
- No one is busy at the moment
- No one is busy right now
The word enluòc means 'nowhere' or 'not anywhere':
- Vau enluòc
- I'm not going anywhere
- L'aranha es enluòc
- The spider is nowhere
To say "neither A nor B" use pas A ni B:
- L'insècte es pas jaune ni roge ni verd
- The insect is neither yellow nor red nor green
- Vese pas la fantauma ni l'ause
- I neither see the ghost nor hear it
The word non is sometimes used in older texts instead of pas:
- L'òme non saup
- The man doesn't know
While non is no longer used this way in the modern language, it is sometimes used together with pas as a double negative, to emphasize:
- L'òme non saup pas
- The man really doesn't know
- Non pas!
- No, really!