I recently saw this image comparing different first person plural masc. pronouns to Pokémon. For reference the pronouns listed are

  • Nosaltres (Cat. Central)

  • Natros (Tortosí)

  • Moatros (Val. Central)

  • Naltres (Lleidatà)

  • Noltros (Mallorquí)

  • Mosatros (Val. Meridional)

  • Naltros (Tarragoní)

  • Natres (Ribagorçà)

This seemed neat because the only one of these I had ever heard of was nosaltres, so I went to learn more. Aside from nosaltres for which it is easy to find attestation, I was able to find attestation for:

  • mosatros, moatros and natros without citation in a wikipedium claiming they are variants used in Valencian. This matches, but is less specific, than the descriptions in the image. For posterity it says:

    Several variations for nosaltres, vosaltres ('we, you'): mosatros, moatros, natros; vosatros, voatros, vatros; also for the weak form mos/-mos instead of standard ens/-nos ('us').

  • All versions in the image plus some extras in this forum discussion (this site is in Catalan), but this is super informal and not very informative. It does tell me that these pronouns, apart from nosaltres, are probably considered colloquial.

  • All versions in the image plus some extras in the Institut d'Estudis Catalans Diccionari Català-Valencià-Balear (site is in Catalan). It verifies that these regional variations exists and gives some rather strange example sentences.

At this point though I can't find any more. It seems that these variations (plus some more) do exist but that's about it. I would love, though, to be reading more about these, their histories. In particular which changes happened first or second and which forms diverged from each other. Ideally I would like to be able to make a sort of tree or something like that.

Are there any more informative and scholarly resources about the history of the first person plural pronouns in Catalan dialects? I would suppose that these changes would be a part of larger phenomena ongoing in these languages, so a source does not need to specifically reference this word if it clearly applies. I would prefer sources in English or Castilian when possible, but I can read Catalan very slowly.

  • 3
    The distribution is given in the long paragraph that begins with “Fon.” (i.e., pronunciation). They start off giving pronunciations for nosaltres, then say that these are literary forms that aren’t often used in spoken Catalan and that the actually used forms vary by dialect, many dialects having multiple commonly heard forms in free competition or variation. Then they give all the phonetic variants they have collected (in sort of pseudo-IPA) followed by which locations each pronunciation is attested for. Apr 10, 2020 at 23:45
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    @JanusBahsJacquet "the forms with initial m- have taken that over from the 1pl ending -mos" -- that seems rather implausible IMO (though admittedly I don't have a better explanation).
    – TKR
    Apr 11, 2020 at 0:37
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    Another possibility is that the initial no- developed an on-glide nwo- (as it did in Spanish nuestro), and there was then a fusion [nw] > [m].
    – TKR
    Apr 11, 2020 at 2:51
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    @vectory: First-person plural pronouns are not interrogative. German "mir" is thought to be from coalescence of a preceding verb-final nasal with the "w" of "wir": a recent, not an old development. Apr 11, 2020 at 16:10
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    @jk-ReinstateMonica What do you mean? Encyclopedia is singular even in (Neo-)Latin. The second root comes from the Greek word παιδεία, which is also singular.
    – cmw
    Jul 28, 2022 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


The following isogloss map from L’Atles Lingüístic del Domini Català details the different pronunciations by region:

enter image description here

ALDC phonetic symbol guide

  • 3
    Any idea what the raised L for 118 means? I’m guessing it means the L is weakened somehow, but I can’t figure out what the comment for 118 means… (Also, what’s up with the stress marks being in the middle of the syllable? That’s weird IPA’ing.) Apr 13, 2020 at 17:04
  • 1
    You can find here the phonetic symbols used in the Atles Lingüístic del Domini Català: the raised l means that is a barely perceptible sound.
    – Charo
    Jul 28, 2022 at 12:30

You need a complete set of rules. To find them, perhaps the easiest way would be to find the relevant proto-Occitano-Romance form. On the basis of the other nearby languages

  • Occitan: nosautres (m.) / nousaltras (f.)
  • Aragonese: nusa(l)tros (m.) / nusa(l)tras (f.)

we can confidently reconstruct the proto-Occitano-Romance forms:

*nos-altres (m.) / *nos-altras (f.)

We now see that two allomorphies and two frequent elisions between vowels explain all the forms.

  1. *nosaltres > naltres > natres
  2. nosaltres > nosaltros > naltros > natros (-os is allomorphic plural form)
  3. *nosaltres > *nosaltros > naltros > noltros

The Valencian forms with mo-: moatros and mosatros have parallel forms in southern Spanish dialects were nos > mos (because the plural first person desinence -mos):

  1. *nosaltres > *nosaltros > *mosaltros > mosatros > moatros

we can see in many of the above forms sporadic elision of /-s-/ and /-l-/ in nosaltres/-os.

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