La Morphologgie Prunómiale

6.1 Personal Pronouns

The Tunisian personal pronoun system distinguishes three persons and two numbers. A masculine/feminine gender contrast exists in the third person singular. Like in most other Romance languages, the personal pronouns are the only remnants of Latin case marking, which was lost entirely in nouns and survives in a greatly reduced form in pronouns. In addition, there is a clear contrast between independent and dependent (or clitic) pronouns.

The independent pronouns consist of four series: subject (or nominative), direct object (or accusative), indirect object (or dative), and oblique (or prepositional). With the exception of the oblique series, most independent pronouns appear only in order to emphasize or contrast, with unmarked usage handled by verb conjugation or clitic pronouns.

The subject series, marking the subject of a verb, descend directly from the Latin nominative case pronouns. The direct object pronouns come from the Latin accusative pronouns, augmented with a prefixed y /i/, a reduced form of the Tunisian object marker a; note that this is written as part of the pronoun in the first and second persons, and as a separate word in the third person. The oblique pronouns, which typically mark the object of a preposition, descend from the Latin genitive case, in many cases augmented with -s (from Latin ipse “oneself”). The indirect object pronouns generally just consist of the preposition a “to, towards” plus the oblique pronoun, although in the third person a glide /j/ is inserted before the pronoun.

Independent Personal Pronouns
Subject Direct Object Indirect Object Oblique
1 Sg [ˈjɔə] ymé [i.ˈmeə] a meis [ʌ ˈmejs] meis [ˈmejs]
2 Sg [ˈtuː] yté [i.ˈteə] a teis [ʌ ˈtejs] teis [ˈtejs]
3 Sg M eu [ˈew] y eu [ˈjew] a yeos [ʌ ˈjews] eos [ˈews]
3 Sg F ele [ˈe.lə] y ele [ˈje.lə] a yels [ʌ ˈjeːls] els [ˈeːls]
1 Pl nos [ˈnos] ynos [i.ˈnos] a nostre [ʌ ˈnos.trə] nostre [ˈnos.trə]
2 Pl vos [ˈvos] yvos [i.ˈvos] a vostre [ʌ ˈvos.trə] vostre [ˈvos.trə]
3 Pl els [ˈeːls] y els [ˈjeːls] a yels [ʌ ˈjeːls] els [ˈeːls]

The clitic personal pronouns, while far more common than the indepenent ones, fall into just two categories: direct object and indirect object clitics.

In the first and second persons singular, each clitic has three forms: two proclitic and one enclitic. The proclitic forms include a vowelled form and a vowelless one, the latter used before a word beginning with a vowel. The enclitic forms are always vowelless, and are used in certain syntactic environments that require the clitic to be located after the verb. The first and second persons plural are similar, but lack a vowelless proclitic form.

The third person clitics are more complicated. The table below shows three sets of forms. The first set are the standard forms, behaving much as in the first and second persons, with the exception that the gender and number contrast is completely neutralized in the indirect object clitics. The second set are found in certain types of double object sentences where both indirect and direct object clitics are present. The third set, the so-called genitive clitics, are reserved for use in certain possessive constructions, as described later in this section.

Clitic Personal Pronouns
Direct Object Indirect Object Genitive
1 Sg me, m-, -m mi, m-, -m mi
2 Sg te, t-, -t ti, t-, -t ti
3 Sg M le, l-, -l; be, b-, -b li, l-, -l; le, l-, -l li
3 Sg F la, l-, -l; be, b-, -b li, l-, -l; la, l-, -l li
1 Pl nos, -ns nis, -ns nos
2 Pl vos, -os vis, -os vos
3 Pl els, -ls; be, b-, -b li, l-, -l; els, -ls us

6.2 Reflexive Pronouns

Unlike most other Romance languages, Tunisian lacks a series of reflexive direct object clitic pronouns; instead, it has a set of full form reflexive pronouns, historically derived from dative clitics plus the now-defunct noun stem anime “soul, self”. A trace of the former Latin reflexive pronoun “oneself” is seen in the third person reflexive pronouns, which are formed with a non-productive clitic s- rather than the usual dative clitic l-. Although the origins of these pronouns are transparently preserved orthographically, with the first and second persons plural even being written as two separate words, synchronically they are best analyzed as fused forms, since in the modern language dative clitics cannot directly modify nouns and there is no dative clitic s-.

These forms appear to be calqued from a Semitic source, as languages such as Punic and Arabic use the noun “soul” with possessive suffixes to mark reflexivity.

Reflexive Pronouns
1 Sg m-anime [ˈmaː.ni.mə]
2 Sg t-anime [ˈtaː.ni.mə]
3 Sg s-anime [ˈsaː.ni.mə]
1 Pl nis anims [ni.ˈsaː.niːmz]
2 Pl vis anims [vi.ˈsaː.niːmz]
3 Pl s-anims [ˈsaː.niːmz]

6.3 Possessive Pronouns

Tunisian is the only Romance language to have completely lost its inherited possessive adjectives, replacing them with a fixed phrasal form consisting of the relativizer yc “that, which” plus a pronominal form, the genitive clitics. Thus, a form such as the first person singular yc mi could literally be interpreted as “which [is] of me”. If the preceding word ends in a vowel, yc will reduce to simply c.

Possessive Pronouns
1 Sg yc mi, c mi [ik.ˈmi, ˈkmi]
2 Sg yc ti, c ti [ik.ˈti, ˈkti]
3 Sg yc li, c li [ik.ˈli, ˈkli]
1 Pl yc nos, c nos [ik.ˈnos, ˈknos]
2 Pl yc vos, c vos [ik.ˈvos, ˈkwos]
3 Pl yc us, c us [ik.ˈuz, ˈkuz]

In certain fixed expressions and in archaic texts, the historical possessive adjectives may be seen, but these are not used in the modern language. Their declension largely follows the adjectival pattern, but with a few irregularities. They are as follows:

Archaic Possessive Adjectives
Masculine Feminine Plural
1 Sg [ˈmiː] míe [ˈ] mis [ˈmiz]
2 Sg túv [ˈtuːv] tuve [ˈtu.və] tuvs [ˈtuvz]
3 Sg lóv [ˈlɔəv] love [ˈlɔ.və] lovs [ˈlovz]
1 Pl nustr [ˈnus.tɪr] nustre [ˈnus.trə] nustrs [ˈnus.tɪrz]
2 Pl vustr [ˈvus.tɪr] vustre [ˈvus.trə] vustrs [ˈvus.tɪrz]
3 Pl lóv [ˈlɔəv] love [ˈlɔ.və] lovs [ˈlovz]

For instance, the opening to the Lord’s Prayer is well-known as Nustr Patr [ˈnus.tɪr ˈpaː.tɪr] “Our Father”, rather than the modern Patr yc nos [ˈpaːtr ik nos].

Two of the historical Latin possessives survived into modern as regular adjectives with non-possessive meaning: nustr “our kind, local” and lóv “their kind, foreign”. Note that lóv in this sense maintains its long vowel in all forms, as normal adjectives would, rather than losing it in the feminine and plural forms as the historical possessive did.

6.4 Demonstrative Pronouns

Tunisian has three demonstrative adjectives, a proximate (“this, these [near me]”), distal (“that, those [near you]”), and obviative/anaphoric (“that, those [away from both me and you]”). As can be seen in these glosses, there is a strong correspondence between these three forms and the first, second, and third persons. These agree with the noun they modify in gender and number, as with other adjectives.

Demonstrative Adjectives
Masculine Feminine Plural
Proximate iccest [ˈi.kəst] icste [ˈiks.tə] icceçs [ˈi.kəʃtʃ]
Distal icceo [ˈi.kew] icle [ˈi.klə] iccels [ˈi.kəlz]
Anaphoric ilí [i.ˈliː] ilie [ˈi.ljə] ilis [ˈi.liz]

The demonstrative pronouns do not mark gender, and for the proximate and distal are identical to the masculine singular demonstrative adjectives plus a mandatory definite article: l-iccest [ˈli.kəst] “this one”, l-icceo [ˈli.kew] “that one”. The obviative has a special form llí [u.ˈliː] “that one” dissimilated from an earlier *l-ilí.

The obviative demonstratives are sometimes also known as anaphoric demonstratives, given their usage to reference abstract notions previously referenced in conversation: Llí fís c l-ai dict [u.ˈliː fiːs k laj ˈdi.kɪt] “That is what I said”. It is also frequently used as a reflexive possessive if the subject is in the third person: Viçenut-ae a llí cay [ˈvi.ʃə.nu.taj aw.ˈliː ˈkaj] “He saw his dog”.

6.5 Correlatives

The non-personal pro-forms can be summarized in a series of correlatives tables. Gaps in the tables represent forms that must be expressed periphrastically.

Interrogative Proximal Distal Obviative
Determiner cal [ˈkaːl]
iccest [ˈi.kəst]
icceo [ˈi.kew]
ilí [i.ˈliː]
Person calom [kʌ.ˈloːm]
l-iccest [ˈli.kəst]
l-icceo [ˈli.kew]
llí [u.ˈliː]
Thing çé [ˈʃeə]
l-iccest [ˈli.kəst]
l-icceo [ˈli.kew]
llí [u.ˈliː]
Place duve [ˈdu.və]
nic [ˈnik]
imlí [ˈiːm.liː]
imlá [ˈiːm.laː]
Direction áduv [ˈaː.duv]
Origin diduv [ˈdi.duv]
Time caltemp [ˈkaːl.təmp]
toe [ˈtwe]
oahta [ˈwaːx.tʌ]
induic [ˈiːn.duːk]
Amount cot [ˈkot]
“how much?”
tend [ˈteːn]
“this much”
tend [ˈteːn]
“that much”
tend [ˈteːn]
“that much”
Way come [ˈkɔ.mə]
copsí [ku.ˈpsiː]
“this way, thus”
chíf [ˈkiːf]
“that way”
chíf [ˈkiːf]
“that way”
Reason pro-ç [ˈproʃ]

6.5.1 Interrogative Forms

The Tunisian set of interrogatives is rather exceptional from a Romance perspective, with quite a few forms not derived directly from their Latin analogs.

The interrogative adjective cal [ˈkaːl] means “which?”, “what?”, or “what kind?”. It declines as a regular adjective, with feminine singular form cale [ˈkaː.lə] and plural cals [ˈkaːlz]. This is a direct descendant of Latin quālis “which?”, which is well-represented across the other Romance languages: French quel, Spanish cuál, Portuguese qual, Italian quale, and Romanian care.

The pronoun calom [kʌ.ˈloːm] means “who?”, and has a corresponding plural form caloms [kʌ.ˈloːmz]. This descends from Latin quālis homō “which person?”, entirely displacing Latin quī “who?”. The Tunisian propensity to develop new interrogatives of the form “which [noun]?” may be due to Semitic influence, as similar developments can be seen both in Phoenician and later regional Arabic dialects of the region, such as Tunisian Arabic شكون “who?” (originally, “which being/person?”).

The pronoun çé [ˈʃeə] means “what?”. It descends directly from Latin quem, the accusative singular of quis/quid “what?”. Unlike calom, it does not mark number, and so is always treated as a singular even if it implicitly has plural meaning.

Calom and çé share a clitic variant, ç [ʃ], which is used after primitive prepositions: dí-ç [ˈdiːʃ] “from whom, from what?”, pól-ç [ˈpɔəlʃ] “for whom, for what?”, ispe-ç [ˈis.pəʃ] “on whom, on what?”, etc. This clitic form is unmarked in such circumstances, but may be replaced by the full pronoun for emphasis: pól calom “for whom?”.

The three locative interrogatives are duve [ˈdu.və] “where?”, áduv [ˈaː.duv] “whither, to where?”, and diduv [ˈdi.duv] “whence, from where?”. Duve comes from Latin ubi “where?”, augmented by “from”, in much the same way as Italian dove. The final /ə/ appears to be excrescent, with the expected reflex *duv seen in the compounds áduv (cf. a “to, towards”) and diduv (cf. “from”).

The adverb caltemp [ˈkaːl.təmp, ˈkaːl.teːmp] means “when?”, and like calom is another example of a compound interrogative displacing the original Latin form quandō, much like Tunisian Arabic وقتاش (lit. “what time?”) displaced classical متى. In this case the source is Latin quāle tempus “what time?”, notable since the noun temp in Tunisian no longer means “time” and can only be used in the sense of “weather”.

The interrogative adverb cot [ˈkot] “how many?” or “how much?”, and declines as a regular adjective with feminine singular cote [ˈkɔ.tə] and plural cots [ˈkots]. This is the only Romance interrogative to descend from Latin quotus “which (in a sequence)?”, displacing the usual Latin quantus “how many?” which had merged phonetically with Tunisian sçend “second”. Even though it is an adjective and can be used as such (cote acce? “how much water?”, cots biçis? “how many bicycles?”), it is more common to insert the preposition yd “of” between it and the noun, while maintaining gender and number agreement: cote d acce? [ˈkɔ.tə ˈdaː.kə], cots yd biçis? [ˈkots id ˈbi.ʃiz].

The adverb come [ˈkɔ.mə] means “how?”, descending from Latin quōmodo “how?” much as in the other Romance languages.

Pro-ç [ˈproʃ] means “why?”, and consists of an older frozen form of pól “for” and the clitic ç “what?”. Although there no longer is an independent preposition pro in Tunisian, this form is still considered to be an instance of the preposition + clitic interrogative construction, as it also has the non-clitic emphatic variant pro çé [prɔ ˈʃeə].

6.5.2 Proximal Forms

The proximal series of correlatives marks things considered close to the speaker in space, time, or purview.

The demonstrative adjective iccest [ˈi.kəst] “this” and demonstrative pronoun l-iccest [ˈli.kəst] “this [one]” have been previously described. The pronominal forms are invariant for gender and number when referencing abstract entities, though may mark gender and number (feminine l-icste [ˈliks.tə] and plural l-icceçs [ˈli.kəʃtʃ]) if there is a clear but non-explicit referant. Note that while l-iccest and its variants may be used for both persons as well as objects, pronominal usage referring to a person tends to be somewhat pejorative, with third person personal pronouns preferred.

The adverb nic [ˈnik] means “here”, referencing a location close the speaker. It derives from Latin in “in” + hīc “here”, with the preposition in serving as a semantically-bleached locative augment for many Tunisian adverbs and prepositions.

The adverb toe [ˈtwe] means “now”, referring both to the present time (this very moment) and changes over time (now as opposed to previously). It traces its origins to Tunisian Arabic توا, with the same meaning.

The adjective tend [ˈteːn] means “this much/many” or “so much/many”. It derives from Latin tantus “of such size”, with direct cognates in forms such as Spanish tanto and French tant. Like its interrogative counterpart cot, it may modify nouns directly, but more typically the preposition yd “of” intervenes between the adjective and noun.

Copsí [ku.ˈpsiː] means “like this” or “thus”. It derives from the Latin sīc “thus”, which regularly developed into Old Tunisian si. This was later augmented by the conjunction com “like, as”, resulting in com si, eventually becoming copsí through denasalization and stress-induced lengthening.

Three gaps exist in the above table for the Direction, Origin, and Reason rows. The two locomotive forms are formed by combining the prepositions a “to” and “from” with nic “here”, yielding a nic [ʌ ˈnik] “to here, hither” and dí nic [ˈdiː nik] “from here, hence”. However, the bare form nic can be used to mean “to here” if the direct object marker a is present in the same clause: Iprot-l a nic! [i.ˈprɔ.tu ʌ ˈnik] “Bring it here!” versus Iprot-l nic a cruse! [i.ˈprɔ.tu ˈnik ʌ ˈkru.sə] “Bring the chair here!”. The Reason row must be occupied by one of several possible collocations, such as pól iccest rèzun [poːl ˈi.kəst ri.ˈzuːn] “for this reason” or pól tends [poːl ˈteːnz] “therefore”.

6.5.3 Distal Forms

The distal series mark things considered to be close to the listener (second person) in space, time, or purview. Not surprisingly, these forms are quite similar to the proximal series.

The demonstrative adjective icceo [ˈi.kew] and demonstrative pronoun l-icceo [ˈli.kew] have been previously discussed. Like with the proximal demonstratives, the pronouns are invariant in reference to abstract entities, and tend to have a pejorative connotation when used in reference to people rather than the third person personal pronouns.

The adverb imlí means “there”, referencing a location near closer to the listener than to the speaker. It may also refer to a location remote from both speaker and listener if it is perceived to be strongly associated with the listener in some way; for example, the listener’s home may be referred to as imlí even if the conversation is taking place far from that location. It derives from Latin in “in” + illic “there”. Motion is indicated using prepositions: a imlí [ʌ ˈiːm.liː] “to there, thither”, dí imlí [diː ˈiːm.liː] “from there, thence”.

Two Arabic loans fill the Time and Way rows. Oahta [ˈwaːx.tʌ] means “then” in reference to a past time, and derives from Tunisian Arabic وقتها. Future times are always expressed using the obviate series; see the following section. Chíf [ˈkiːf] means “like that” or “thus”, from Tunisian Arabic كيف “like [that]”; it is more often used with obviate rather than distal meaning, though the distal sense can be used as an interjection meaning roughly “good job!”.

The quantifier tend [ˈteːn] is the same as the proximal form, with no formal distinction between “this much” and “that much”.

An expression like “for that reason” must be formed periphrastically much as with the proximal forms. Pól tends “therefore” may be used with distal meaning as well as proximal, or the expression pól icceo rèzun [poːl ˈi.kew ri.ˈzuːn] “for that reason” may be used if distal meaning is required. This construction usually means the reason or idea originated with the second person.

6.5.4 Obviative Forms

The obviative series mark things considered to be far from both the speaker and listener in space, time, or purview. This series shares a lot in common with the distal series, with only a few distinct forms.

The obviative demonstrative adjective ilí [i.ˈliː] and pronoun llí [u.ˈliː] have been previously discussed. These forms are particularly common in reference to conversational entities, referring back to something previously mentioned in a conversation rather than the physical location of something. The demonstrative adjective ilí is commonly used with reflexive possessive meaning.

The obviative adverb of place imlá [ˈiːm.laː] means “there” when referring to locations previously mentioned in conversation or out of sight. Colloquially it often completely displaces the distal form imlí “there” to refer to places within view as well.

The obviative adverb of time induic [ˈiːn.duːk] means “then”. This contrasts with distal oahta “then” in that oahta refers to specific points in the past, while induic refers to future or counterfactual times, or to events in series (i.e., first A, then B).

In all other cases, the obviative forms fall in line with the distal forms. Obviative meaning can be emphasized through the use of obviative demonstratives rather than distal pronouns (e.g., pól llí rèzun [poːl u.ˈliː ri.ˈzuːn] “for that reason [I previously mentioned]”).

Indefinite Negative Universal
Determiner calc [ˈkaːlk]
néc [ˈneək]
tot [ˈtot']
Person calcum [ˈkaːl.kuːm]
nicum [ni.kuːm]
“no one”
l-ísmul [ˈliːz.muːl]
Thing cuse [ˈku.sə]
nèmic [ˈne.mik]
il tot [il ˈtot]
Place í calche pèrite [iː ˈkaːl.kə ˈpe.ri.tə]
í nécce pèrite [iː ˈneə.kə ˈpe.ri.tə]
í tots pèrits [iː ˈtots ˈpe.rits]
Direction a calche pèrite [ʌ ˈkaːl.kə ˈpe.ri.tə]
“to somewhere”
a nécce pèrite [ʌ ˈneə.kə ˈpe.ri.tə]
“to nowhere”
a tots pèrits [ʌ ˈtots ˈpe.rits]
“to everywhere”
Origin dí calche pèrite [diː ˈkaːl.kə ˈpe.ri.tə]
“from somewhere”
dí nécce pèrite [diː ˈneə.kə ˈpe.ri.tə]
“from nowhere”
dí tots pèrits [diː ˈtots ˈpe.rits]
“from everywhere”
Time a mumènt [ʌ mu.ˈmeːnt]
mais [ˈmajz]
dima [ˈdi.mʌ]

6.5.5 Indefinite Forms

The indefinite series indicate something of indeterminate identity or quality, whether due to lack of knowledge (something unknown to the speaker), lack of disclosure (something known to the speaker but deliberately concealed), or lack of specifity (anything).

The indefinite determiner calc [ˈkaːlk] (feminine singular calche [ˈkaːl.kə], plural calcs [ˈkaːlks]) means “some”, “some kind of”, “a few”, or “various”. It indicates that the speaker has at least some sort of conception of the nature or quantity of the noun described, even if not fully understood: Aié-m calcs idés “I have a few ideas”, Ele sofre calche ífremure “She is suffering from some ailment”. It is not used to refer to a truly indefinite or partitive quantity, in which case the indefinite articles or a construction with the quantifier poc “a little” are preferred: uis acns “some grapes”, pocce d acce “some water”.

The pronoun calcum [ˈkaːl.kuːm] means “someone” or “anyone”, historically from calc + -um, a suffix seen in several pronouns that results from a confusion of reduced forms of Latin unus “one” and homō “man, person”. It has a plural form calcums [ˈkaːl.kuːmz] used to refer specifically to multiple unknown persons.

The pronoun cuse [ˈku.sə] means “something” or “anything”, and derives from Latin causa “cause, thing”. Unlike calcum, cuse is always singular.

Indefinite adverbs of place and motion are phrasal, but almost always rely on the fixed expression calche pèrite [ˈkaːl.kə ˈpe.ri.tə], literally “some place”. This can then be combined with the prepositions ít “in”, a “to”, and “from” to make í calche pèrite [iː ˈkaːl.kə ˈpe.ri.tə] “somewhere”, a calche pèrite [ʌ ˈkaːl.kə ˈpe.ri.tə] “to somewhere”, and dí calche pèrite [diː ˈkaːl.kə ˈpe.ri.tə] “from somewhere”.

The expression a mumènt [ʌ mu.ˈmeːnt] means “sometime” or “anytime” in the sense of an indefinite time period. It does not mean “sometimes” in the sense of “from time to time”, which is translated by the unrelated adverb ávics [ˈaː.viks].

6.5.6 Negative Forms

The negative series indicate the absence of some thing or some quality, generally with the opposite meaning of the corresponding indefinite form.

The negative determiner néc [ˈneək] (feminine singular nécce [ˈneə.kə], plural nécs [ˈneəks]) means “no” in the adjectival sense (i.e., “not [even] one”). It derives from Latin nec “not even” or early Tunisian *ne[c] qui “not even [the one] that”, reanalyzed as an adjective.

The pronoun nicum [ni.ˈkuːm] means “no one” or “nobody”, and consists of néc plus the suffix -um described in the previous section. It has a plural form nicums [ni.ˈkuːmz], although for semantic reasons its usage is heavily restricted (since a singular ‘nobody’ implies the absence of multiple people as well); it is primarily used for parallelism in response to statements or questions containing the plural calcums “somebody, anybody”: Aié calcums yc...? “Are there multiple people who...?” — Nóm, n-aié mí nicums “No, there isn't anyone”.

The pronoun nèmic [ˈne.mik] means “nothing”, and derives from néc + old Tunisian mic “thing” (still seen in the modern Tunisian negative particle mic). As with its indefinite counterpart, it is always singular.

Negative adverbs of place and motion are formed similarly to their indefinite counterparts, using the phrase nécce pèrite “no place” in combination with the prepositions ít “in”, a “to”, and “from”.

The negative adverb of time is mais [ˈmajz], meaning “never”. It derives from Latin iam magis “yet more”.

6.5.7 Universal Forms

The universal series indicate that the reference is to all members or to the full extent of a given class.

The universal determiner is tot [ˈtot], meaning “all”. It has the feminine singular form tote [ˈtɔ.tə] and plural form tots [ˈtots]. The plural forms are typically used with count nouns (e.g., tots dís “every day”), while the singular forms are used with mass nouns (e.g., tot ví “all of the wine”) or with a divisible noun to mean “whole” (e.g., tote nozte “the whole night”). Any noun phrase modified by tot is automatically definite and does not need to make explicit use of definite articles.

The pronoun l-ísmul [ˈliːz.muːl] means “everyone” or “everybody”. It derives from the noun ísmul, which literally means “group” or “arrangement”, and is etymologically related to French ensemble. It always takes singular agreement.

The pronoun il tot [il ˈtot] means “everything”. It is essentially just the masculine singular form of the determiner tot “all” serving as a nominal. The article drops when the pronoun enters the determined state, as would normally be expected of definite articles: depus tot “after everything”, not **depus il tot.

The adverb dima [ˈdi.mʌ] means “always”. It derives from Tunisian Arabic ديما, with the same meaning.

Distributive Alternative
Determiner çesc [ˈʃɛsk]
eld [ˈeːld]
Person chescum [kəs.ˈkuːm]
“each one”
calcum mis [ˈkaːl.kuːm ˈmis]
“someone else”
Thing chescum [kəs.ˈkuːm]
“each one”
cuse mis [ˈku.sə ˈmis]
“something else”
Place ílius [ˈiː.ljuz]

6.5.8 Distributive Forms

The distributive series are conceptually similar to the universal series, but instead of treating the group as a whole, they refer to each member individually.

The distributive pronoun is chescum [kəs.ˈkuːm] “each one”. It is used to refer to both animate and inanimate nouns, and is always singular. It derives from Vulgar Latin *casquunum, a conflation of Latin quisque unum and Vulgar Latin *catunum, both meaning “each one”. The final /m/ was influenced by the -um suffix seen in other pronouns.

The distributive determiner çesc [ˈʃɛsk] means “each” or “every”. Its feminine singular form is çèsche [ˈʃɛs.kə] and plural form is çescs [ˈʃɛsks]. It is a backformation from chescum formed by removing the ending -um, which is used as a pronominal marker in several other pronouns; this form subsequently underwent a divergent phonetic evolution due to the different stress.

6.5.9 Alternative Forms

The alternative series are conceptually similar to the indefinite series, but specify that the referant in question is distinct from the topic.

The determiner eld [ˈeːld] means “other” or “another”. It has a feminine singular form elde [ˈeːl.də] and plural form elds [ˈeːldz]. It derives from Latin alter “other”.

The two alternative series pronouns are calcum mis [ˈkaːl.kuːm ˈmis] “someone else” and cuse mis [ˈku.sə ˈmis] “something else”, consisting of the corresponding indefinite pronoun plus mis “more”, and thus literally meaning “someone/thing more”. The animate form may be used in the plural as calcums mis [ˈkaːl.kuːmz ˈmis] if multiple referants are desired.

The adverb ílius [ˈiː.ljuz] means “elsewhere” or “somewhere else”. It derives from Latin aliōrsum “[to] somewhere else”, and is the only survival in Tunisian of the original Latin alternative series in ali-.