Let’s take a closer look at noun modulators, especially common noun modulators. We have seen that adjectives could be considered, in the present conceptual framework, as noun modulators. In this context, the question arises, are there other forms of noun modulators? It seems that there are.
Let us consider elements of sentences such as ‘bois de châtaignier’ (chestnut wood; legnu castagninu) or ‘oiseau de proie’ (bird of prey; aceddu di preda). In ‘bois de châtaignier’, ‘de châtaignier’ seems to play the role of noun modulator, in the same way as an adjective. In traditional grammar, ‘de châtaignier’ is considered as a noun complement. In the present framework, it would be a noun modulator, since it clarifies and restricts the meaning of the noun ‘bois’ (wood; legnu). The role of ‘de proie’ in ‘oiseau de proie’ is identical, as it acts as a modulator of the name ‘bird’.
Interestingly, it turns out that the comparison between languages tends to validate this type of analysis. Indeed, ‘bois de châtaignier’ is better translated in Corsican language by legnu castagninu than litterally by legnu di castagnu (chestnut wood); and in this case, castagninu (of chestnut) is an adjective, i.e. a noun modulator. Thus, castagninu and di castagnu being equivalent here, confirming in both cases their same nature of adjective modulator.
We have mentioned the special category of determinant modulators. It seems that this category is interesting and deserves to be explored further. A determinant modulator is placed before a determinant and changes its meaning. As we have already seen, from the viewpoint of two-sided grammar, a determinant preceded by a determinant modulator (MODD) remains a determinant.
We can give some examples that apply to different categories of determinants:
- MODD applying to possessive determinants (mes, tes, ses, nos, vos, leurs; my, your, his/her, our, your, their; i me, i to, i so, i nostri, i vostri, i so), demonstrative determinants (ces; these; ‘ssi/’sse) and definite article determinants (les; the; i/e): certaines de, certains de, l’un de, l’une de, la majeure partie de, la plupart de, tous, toutes, une bonne partie de, une grande partie de; some of, some of, one of, one of, most of, most of, all of, all of, a good part of, a large part of; une poche di, uni pochi di, unu di, una di, parte è più di, a maiò parte di, tutti, tutte, une bella parte di, parte assai di. Here are some examples: “certains de mes chevaux étaient bruns” (some of my horses were brown; uni pochi di i me cavalli eranu bruni); la majeure partie des (= de les) habitants étaient riches (most of the inhabitants were rich; a maiò parte di l’abitanti eranu ricchi).
In addition, we have three other categories of MODDs that have already been mentioned:
- MODD applying to cardinal determinants (deux, trois, quatre, cinq, … ; two, three, four, five…; dui, trè, quattru, cinqui,…): au moins, presque, quasiment, environ, plus de, moins de, approximativement, etc. (at least, almost, nearly, about, more than, less than, approximately, etc. ; alminu, guasgi, guasgi, circa, più di, menu di, apprussimativamenti, etc.)
- MODD applying to indefinite article determinants: plus de, au moins; more than, at least; più di, alminu
- MODD applying to indefinite determinants (aucun, aucune, quelques; none, none, a few ; nisciunu, nisciuna, calchì): au moins, presque; at least, almost; alminu, guasi
Finally, it seems that this category of MODD has some consistency and could be of practical interest.
Let us try to delve more deeply into the case of adverbs. We shall continue now to define them by their position in relation to other grammatical categories. The result is that adverbs are divided into several different categories. Now let’s look at the adverbs that may be placed before an adjective modulator. To begin with, let us cite but a few adjective modulators:
- peu, très, extrêmement, surtout, étonnamment, à peine, vraiment, assez, bien, trop, tellement, etc.
- pocu, assai, estremamente, sopratuttu, in modu stunante, appena, propriu/propria/proprii/proprie, abbastanza, bellu/bella/belli/belle, troppu/troppa/troppi, troppe, tantu/tanta, tanti/tante, etc.
- not very, very, extremely, especially, surprisingly, hardly, really, enough, all/very, too, so, etc.
Now some modulators of adjective modulators are:
- pas, peut-être, surtout, vraiment, etc.
- micca, forse, soprattuttu, veramente, è cetera.
- not, maybe, mostly, really, etc.
Here are some relevant examples: “il était surtout trop blanc” (he was mostly too white, era sopratuttu troppu biancu); “il était vraiment très beau” (he was really very beautiful, era propriu bellissimu); “il était bien trop grand” (he was far too tall ; era bellu troppu maiore).
Let’s call this category modulators of adjective modulators. The fact of being placed before the adjective modulator is related to the fact that the modulator modifies the meaning of the adjectivemodulator.
Hence, if we reason in terms of two-sided grammar, an adjective modulator preceded by a modulator remains an adjective modulator: MOD-MODAQ = MODAQ.
To sum up. So far we have distinguished several categories among the classical class of adverbs:
- modulators of adjectives
- modulators preceding verbs: verb pre-modulators
- modulators following verbs: verb post-modulators
- modulators preceding cardinal determinants
- modulators preceding adjective modulators