Romance verbs

Romance verbs

Romance verbs refers to the verbs of the Romance languages. In the transition from Latin to the Romance languages, verbs went through many phonetic, syntactic, and semantic changes. Most of the distinctions present in classical Latin continued to be made, but synthetic forms were often replaced with analytic ones. Other verb forms changed meaning, and new forms also appeared.

Morphological changes

Comparison of conjugations

The following tables present a comparison of the conjugation of the regular verb "amare" "to love" in Classical Latin, and Vulgar Latin (reconstructed), and four modern Romance languages.

#The future indicative tense does not derive from the Latin form (which tended to be confounded with the preterite due to sound changes in Vulgar Latin), but rather from an infinitive + HABEO periphrasis, later reanalysed as a simple tense.
#Formally identical to the future perfect indicative except in the first person singular. The two paradigms merged in Vulgar Latin.

emantic changes

In spite of the remarkable continuity of form, several Latin tenses have changed meaning, especially subjunctives.
* The supine became a past participle in all Romance languages.
* The pluperfect indicative became a conditional in Catalan and Sicilian, and an imperfect subjunctive in Spanish.
* The pluperfect subjunctive developed into an imperfect subjunctive in all languages except Romansh, where it became a conditional, and Romanian, where it became a pluperfect indicative.
* The perfect subjunctive became a future subjunctive in Old Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician.
* The imperfect subjunctive became a personal infinitive in Portuguese and Galician.WILLIAMS, E.B. "From Latin to Portuguese"]


In many cases, the empty cells in the tables above exist as distinct compound verbs in the modern languages. Thus, the main tense and mood distinctions in classical Latin are still made in most modern Romance languages, though some are now expressed through compound rather than simple verbs. Some examples, from Romanian:

* Perfect indicative: "am fost, ai fost, a fost, am fost ați fost, au fost";
* Future indicative: "voi fi, vei fi, va fi, vom fi, veți fi, vor fi";
* Future perfect indicative: "voi fi fost, vei fi fost, va fi fost, vom fi fost, veți fi fost, vor fi fost".

New forms also developed, such as the conditional, which in most Romance languages started out as a periphrasis, but later became a simple tense. In Romanian, the conditional is still periphrastic: "aș fi, ai fi, ar fi, am fi, ați fi, ar fi".

ee also

* Romance languages
* Vulgar Latin


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