À ces sé and buenas noches

April 4th, 2013

Jèrriais Logo

À ces sé and buenas noches

Office du Jerriaisgrammar, La Fête dé Noué, vocabulary

Et y’a acouo eune bliogu’thie à propos siez Language Log “Why plural days and nights in Spanish greetings?

Another interesting Language Log post (plus comments) on anomalous plurals in Spanish brings to mind the case of mixed plural and singular in Jèrriais time expressions.

  • à ces sé = this evening
  • à ches drein = recently, lately
  • ches S’tembre = this Autumn
  • ches R’nouvé = this Spring
  • ches Noué = this Christmas
  • ches Pâques = this Easter

The older form of à ces sé is the more regular à ches sé – somehow French ces has displaced native ches in this set expression (theories, anyone?). Ches is plural, but is singular; if we want to say “this evening” or “that evening” to refer to a particular evening we might say chu sé, or chu sé-là, with regular singular agreement (e.g. chu sé à bord, la mé ‘tait coumme eune hielle = this/that evening on board, the sea was dead calm), but the set time expression mixes plural adjective with singular noun. The same goes for expressions like à ches drein where ches is plural but drein is singular, and so on.

À ces sé is such a set expression that it turns up in literature as a single word, e.g. asêsé in Courting Days, and assêsé in A Cockfight and its Moral (both texts by E Le Brocq), or in a form such as à sêsé in Lé Temps Passèt.