Dormouse559 wrote:No, you're right. French, Portuguese and Spanish have less noun/adjective declension than Romanian, at least; I don't know much about Swedish, though. F/P/S have number and gender marking. (At the risk of splitting hairs, article/adjective gender agreement is declension, while gender variations in nouns are typically grouped into derivation). In addition to those, Romanian has case marking and a third gender.
Hey, I'm glad you're still active on here! I haven't come across Romanian's third gender yet on Duolingo, though perhaps they're saving it for a future lesson. One thing I find confusing about Romanian feminine though is that the indefinite article is o
while the masculine is un
. I've gotten a little more used to it now, but at first it confused me because I kept thinking of the Portuguese masculine definite article.
In fact, I'm curious why the feminine indefinite articles in F/P/S are une/uma/una
, respectively, and Romanian is so different! Not only was the initial /u/ dropped, but so was the nasal, and the final vowel was raised and sent to the back of the mouth. That also makes me wonder how Romanian definite forms became declined while F/P/S (and Italian afaik) all use a separate article to show definiteness. Though, perhaps it's more the other way - Romanian kept definite declension from Latin, while F/P/S somehow all developed a separate article?
As for Swedish, there are only two genders - common and neuter, but gender, definiteness and number are all declined. Similar to French though, Swedish uses only one (declined) form for plural, so really, you have at most about 5-6 declined forms for a given adjective: common indefinite singular, common definite singular, neuter indefinite singular, neuter definite singular, indefinite plural and definite plural.
What's curious is that some sentences almost have a triple definite agreement. I was doing a Duo lesson and came across the sentence de rosa byxorna är hennes
to translate to English. It means "the pink pants are hers". Breaking it down, though, you get:de
- definite plural determinerrosa
- definite plural form of "pink"byxorna
- definite plural form of "pants"är
- present form of "to be"hennes
- plural form of feminine 3rd singular object pronoun
The first word, de
, usually is the 3rd plural subject pronoun meaning "they", but in this case functions as a determiner. The same need for a determiner that declines in agreement holds for singular nouns as well:den rosa bilen
= the pink cardet rosa huset
= the pink house
In this case, car is common gender and house is neuter gender. Also, den
usually function as Swedish's versions of "it". When "it" refers back to a specific noun, den
is used if the noun is common gender, while det
is used for neuter gender. When "it" is the empty pronoun, det
is used by default.