Ajuntament de Santa Margalida

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THE LOCAL VERNACULAR OF SANTA MARGALIDA

The Caracteritzat per:

1) Phonetics

a) General tendency among adults to pronounce the neutral vowel (*) in the demostratives “aqueix/aquiexs [àqüeis]”. It is less so among young adults due to the influence of education and the different ways of speaking in other towns. (*) Neutral vowel: a vowel used in Mallorca (except in Alaró, Binissalem and Lloseta) to pronounce words (in Catalan) such as “pera”, “res” or “vera”.

b) As in other towns of the area (Petra, Artà, Maria and Llubí), the closing of the unstressed o followed by a stressed i (cosí-cusí; molí-mulí, t'ho diré-t'hu diré-) or u (romput-rumput, poruc-puruc, tot d'una -tut d'una).

c) The pronunciation of the neutral vowel at the end of a word, which is very similar to the closed or Spanish e. This feature was already described by mossèn Alcover. (Margalida-Margalide, Antònia-Antonie). It is a general tendency among adults, less so among young adults due to the influence of education and the different ways of speaking in other towns.

d) A particularly declining tendency among older people to pronounce stressed e’s and o’s open (**) instead of closed (**) in learned words of Spanish origin. For instance, “po[è]ma” and “idi[ò]ma”. Although it is a feature that will most likely disappear in a few years, the pronunciation of the word “problema” with an open e (probl[è]ma) is still common.

(**) Open e, as in “cor” and “por”.
Closed e, as in “fer” and “té”.
Open o, as in “cor” and “por”.
Closed o, as in “botó” and “petitó”.

2) Syntax

a) Combination of the article “es” or its femenine “sa” and a person’s name or nickname. This structure is used colloquially or comically to talk about someone, especially to single the person out from a larger group of people. For instance, “això ha estat sa Margalida!”.

b) Inversion of the order of the demostratives: “aqueix” (aquëix/aquëixs [aquëis]) to signal proximity and “aquell” (aquël(l)/ aquël(l) s) and “aquest” (aquëst/ aquësts) used in a figurative or derogative way.

c) Use of “què” as an interjection at the end of the sentence signaling a request for approval (“això és un doiarro, què?”; “amb aqueix entrenador no farem res, què?”).

3) Morphology

a) Retention of the old Catalan plural form in medial demonstratives (aqueix: aqueixs-aqueis) and in certain forms such as the compund “aqueix mateix” (aqueixs mateixs-aqueis mateis) or the noun “feix” (feixs-feis).

b) Several variations in verbal morphology, depending on age and social background:
i) Second person plural of inchoative verbs (parteixs [parteis]/parteixes; repeteixs [repeteis]/repeteixes; pateixs [pateis]/pateixes).
ii) Present subjunctive in verbs such as “haver”, “anar”, “dir”, “partir”, “beure”, “creure” or “fer” (faça/faci/fai; faces/facis/fais; faça/faci/fai...).
iii) Imperfect subjunctive in first conjugation verbs (anàs/anés; anasses/ anassis/anessis; anàs/ anés; anàssem/anàssim/anéssim ; anàsseu/anàssiu/anéssiu, anassen/anassin/anessin). [This innovation, even though it coincides with the mainland eastern Catalan block, is not a result of the influence of standard Catalan. It is rather a result of the same analogical process that eastern Catalan dialects underwent with the imperfect tense in second conjugation verbs -cregués, anés, fes, vengués...]
iv) Others: “faç” (traditional)/”faig” (modern); “haguera” (traditional)/ “hagués” (modern).

4) Lexicography

a) A great many archaisms that died out in other towns are still preserved in Santa Margalida, especially among older people: “cura (tenir bona o mala cura de qualque cosa)”, “despesa -fer una cosa a cost i despesa de qualcú”, “pertocar”, “positura”, “terme” or “termini”.

b) Characteristic of Santa Margalida or not documented in other towns:
i) “betzofiada”, augmentative of “betzef”.
ii) “berul”, dim-witted.
iii) “bosquet”, someone from a low social background.
iv) “bosquetada”, characteristic of “bosquets”.
v) “bruf”, refreshment.
vi) “carrerassa”, estate road.
vii) “fondo”, a section of coast near the mouth of a stream.
viii) “raga –tala”, damage to crops or vegetation.

c) Words used also in nearby towns: “pitxos” (peas) and “nius” (birds).

d) Sayings and phraseology. They mention people and places of Santa Margalida that have been incorporated into the collection of sayings. Some examples are: "tenir cap de Calafat" (to be very intelligent), "ésser a sa Figuera" (to be in one’s deathbed), "pensar-se ser en Cocou, que rompia ses camies" (to refer to people who brag about their strength).

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