SEr, estar origin of the diverse conjugational forms

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by phil-s, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. phil-s Junior Member

    Puerto Rico/Oregon - English
    Saludos - (This question will go much faster if I write in English.) I once found a good explanation of how "ser" came to have such a wild conjugation in Spanish but, like Snoopy, I buried it somewhere and now I can't find it. Tried Google and a search of this forum. No joy. Someone point 'me to a thread or a link? Or if it really hasn't been discussed here, and someone feels like having a go at it -- I'd be delighted. No importa en cual idioma escribe. The obvious players in this story are ser, soy, era, and, the joker, fui, fue, etc. Oddly, I found several good articles on the origin of ser vs. estar but none of them dealt with the preterite of ser. Thanks. -- Phil
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  2. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    The verb "ser" has a double origin: esse (to be, to exist) in Latin gives most of the irregular forms of "ser": present, imperfect, past simple, imperfect subjuntive. Sedere (to sit) gives the infinitive (future/conditional), all forms with se-, present subjunctive, past participle.
    The verb "estar" has a clear origin: stare (to stand) in Latin.
     
  3. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
  4. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Hi phil-s and merquiades!
    You guys will be surprised to learn the difference between essere/stare in Italian.
    See this post on the Accademia della Crusca forum and this thread on another forum.. It's sort of the opposite of Spanish!
    When talking about place collocation, Italian essere is closer to Spanish estar, and Italian stare is closer to Spanish ser.
    And all the regional differences, that nearly no Italian knows the usage in Standard Italian [broadly Tuscan usage].
    I was also very surprised to learn the differences between the Standard Italian usage and my regional [Roman] usage.

    But not in Italian, or at least I don't think so.
    "Sedere" has different conjugation from "essere".

    In Italian "essere" and "stare" share the past participle (stato).
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  5. phil-s Junior Member

    Puerto Rico/Oregon - English
    Thanks, folks. Much more complex than I had imagined. So as In understand we have now conflated "esse", "sedere", and to some extent "stare". But I'm still unsure as to how "ire" got added into the mix. Is it simply, as Peterdog said in another thread, that:

    Supongo porque las conjugaciones en latín eran muy parecidas:

    esse (ser): fui, fuisti, fuit, fuimos, fuistis, fuerunt.
    ire (ir): ii, isti, iit, iimus, istis, ierunt.

    ?

    In any case, this must have happened during the evolution of Latin as the Wikipedia shows it present in all Romance languages.

    I also wonder if "copula" isn't dealt with a little simplistically in many of these discussions. Clearly, many many verbs become entangled in the "copular" mix. To use the modern Spanish equivalents, we have, in addition to "ser" and "estar", "haber", "ir", "tener", "quedar", "hallar", "ubicar", "yacer" and probably more. And we go creating (!) new ones all the time. I am also in awe of "van llegando" vs. "vienen llegando", but that's a different topic, which Guy Deutsch covers very well.
     
  6. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    These "mixtures" are quite frequent.
    I've already mentioned the mixture of essere/stare in Italian for the past participle.

    In Italian ir has been completely replaced by "andare", but retains many v- forms similar to Spanish. Mixture even occurs in the same tense.
    For example, present tense of "andare": vado, vai, va, andiamo, andate, vanno.
    "Ir" forms were completely disappeared.
    The past participle is "andato", but in Rome dialect we say "ito", maybe that's the only remaining form of the Latin "ir".

    In Italian, passive forms can be formed, in addition to "essere", also with "venire" and "andare".
    "I bambini vengono picchiati" = The children get beaten.
    "I bambini vanno amati" = Children ought to be loved.

    I'm not sure about why Spanish uses "fui" as simple past of the verb. Maybe the meaning was close? Because when you have been there, you went there.
    See? Even English uses "have been" to a certain place, with a little different meaning than "have gone" (have been means you've come back, while have gone means you haven't -- at last this is what they taught me in English classes).

    About "van llegando", does it have the meaning of future, as the Portuguese "vão chegando"?
    In Portuguese ir+infinitive is used to express future, in Brazil it's even more used than the future tense.
    I was wondering if the Portuguese ir+infinitive has something to do with the English be going to.

    Not sure what "vienen llegando" means...
     
  7. phil-s Junior Member

    Puerto Rico/Oregon - English
    Youngfun - I've had a year of French but no Italian, so the Italian version of language evolution I find quite interesting. I've read that the various Italian dialects differ greatlly in verb forms. The roots catually change as opposed to the Iberian languages (Spanish, Galician, Catalan, etc.) where it's mainly just a change in a couple of vowels and consonants.

    FYI, Spanish also has substituted andar for ir in at least one case: Costa Ricans say vos andés instead of trying to create a form like "is". I suspect that goes way back in history as the vos form itself is old.

    As for "van llegando", yes it implies future. As best I can tell,""van llegando" is a little farther into the future than "vienen llegando" and the latter might be more likely used by the people waiting for the arrivals. Both cases are more likely to be used (I think) by people other than those traveling. But again this was Costa Rican usage and I'm no longer in Costa Rica so I can't ask. Maybe I'll post it under grammar. (Oh yeah, "iban llegando" is used also. And in English we have "going to go". Moving, sitting, standing, and being continue to hybridize I suspect in all languages. )

    Cheers.
     
  8. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    "Van llegando" means they are slowly arriving, little by little, maybe even one after the other in some contexts. It's not the same as "van a llegar" or "irán llegando".
    "vienen llegando" is the same but could add the notion it's been a long arrival or it already started in the past.
     
  9. phil-s Junior Member

    Puerto Rico/Oregon - English
    Neat. As I said, I thought I had the drift correct but I can see now that I didn't. This makes much more sense. Thanks!
     
  10. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Thanks merquiades. I clearly confused "van llegando" with "van a llegar".
     
  11. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    Don't worry, merquiades was only talking about Spanish, because that's what phil-s asked about. I guess it's OK to extend the discussion to Italian, but keep in mind that a lot of this is already covered in the threads I linked to above, especially the one about "Italian serà".
    The mix is only in one direction: ire borrowed forms from esse in Ibero-Romance, not the other way around (and the reason, as explained more or less in the other thread, was primarily semantic, not phonetic). So if you're mainly interested in the conjugation of ser, at least in this thread, you don't need to worry much about ir.
     
  12. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Sorry Carnprep, I wanted to make comparisons about Romance languages in general as well.

    I'm glad that my guessing was good. :)
     

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