Conjunctions are among the most common words in Talossan (or any language), and so you have certainly seen many of them in action already during this course. We will be able to go through them very quickly. The first set are the simplest and most common: the coordinating conjunctions.
The Talossan coordinating conjunctions are:
- es (= and)
- mas (= but)
- eda (= or)
- ni (= nor)
- cair (= for, since, because, as in “he will succeed, for he is rich”; notice that this is different from the English word “for” as a preposition, as in “he will ask for food”)
- ocsà (= also)
- sa (= so, then, thus)
Correlative conjunctions are those that are used in pairs, as English “neither” is used with “nor”. The Talossan correlative conjunctions are:
- come (= as, like). For example, come fred come la giatza (= as cold as ice). Notice that the coordinating conjunction sa (= so) can also be used for either for the first of the pair: sa fred come la giatza, and that the word qe (= than) can be used for the second: sa fred qe la giatza.
- es (= both, and). For example, es del pà es dal apa (= both bread and water). Notice that the numerical adjective embù (= both) is also used: embù dal pà es dal apa.
- eda (= either, or). For example, eda l’iens eda l’altreu (= either the one or the other).
- ni (= neither, nor). For example, ni l’iens ni l’altreu (= neither the one nor the other).
- non (= not). For example, non l’iens mas l’altreu (= not the one but the other).
- siat (= whether). For example, siat l’iens eda l’altreu (= whether the one or the other).
Some common subordinating conjunctions in Talossan are:
- tanmateisch (= all the same)
- come (= as, like)
- schinò (= or else)
- altramint (= or else, otherwise)
- ivenðo (= even though)
- bilc’häc (= by the way)
- masmint (= however)
- parqet (= whereby)
- petosch (= moreover)
- qe (= than); this important word was mentioned above as an option when creating comparisons using coordinating conjunctions, and is also discussed below.
Conjoining Subordinate Clauses
The conjunction qe (= that) is used as in English to connect a subordinate clause to a preceding verb. Although it is often omitted in English, it is improper to omit it in Talossan. For example, o zireva qe os tignhovent menxhat (= he said that they had eaten); while English can omit the underlined word “that” in the example, supplying it in Talossan is required.
This conjunction often elides — becoming q’ — before vowels. This is seen in the phrase uréu q’estadra sa (= I pray that it would be so).
Conjunctive Use of Adverbs and Prepositions
In English, it is common to use adverbs and prepositions as conjunctions. For example, “I ate while he slept”. In Talossan, such constructions are usually formed by adding qe (= that) after a primary adverb. For example, menxheveu quand qe o dormeva (= I ate while [literally “when that”] he slept).
This same conjunction, qe, is also employed after prepositions that are used in a conjunctive sense. For example, non menxharha salva qe o menxhadra pirmalaiset (= I will not eat unless [it is] that he eats first).
…Of course, there is an exception, and it is for the word come. That adverb does not use qe after it when used in a conjunctive sense. For example, la sopran sè voce füt come la voce d’iens àinxhell (= the soprano’s voice was like that of an angel).
Some other conjunctive phrases to know are moschut qe (= as soon as), sa schi (= as if), and sa mûchet come (= so [very] much like). For example, a menxharha moschut qe noi (= she will eat as soon as we [eat]), o menxha sa schi lo starvetz (= he eats as if you guys starve him), and o menxha sa mûchet com’iens porc (= he eats much like a pig). Remember that this last construction (sa mûchet come) also has adjectival use: for example, o menxha sa mûchet eziun com’iens aic (= he eats as much food as a horse [eats]).