On 23/06/2013 23:30, Eric Christopherson wrote:
> On Jun 23, 2013, at 2:28 PM, R A Brown wrote: [snip]
>> Or more strictly _perfect_ participles, as they denote
>> perfect aspect.  If the verb is intransitive such
>> participles are always _active_.
> You know, I did some thinking after asking my question,
> and came up with some hypotheses about the appearance of
> a "passive" perfect participle for ESSE. Digression
> time:
> The reasoning for my question was that a passive perfect
> participle formed from ESSE in CL or early VL wouldn't
> make sense, since it would mean something like *"a been
> thing".

This is true of Classical Latin.  Normally the perfect
participle had a passive meaning.  But it is not quite so
straight forward in that:
- the perfect participle of deponent verbs was always active.
- some non-deponent intransitive verbs are found also with
_active_ perfect participles, e.g. cēnāre "to dine" -->
cēnātus = "having dined."
- other (i.e. most) intransitive verbs could be with
_impersonal passive_ forms, e.g. ventum est = "they have
come, people have come, etc."

So, in theory, an active perfect participle of 'esse' could
have existed, but one is not attested.  The verb also lacked
a present participle in Classical Latin, though, according
to Priscan, Caesar used 'ēns' (not actually attested in any
extant works by Caesar).  In Late Latin we find both 'ens'
and 'essens' being used as present participles (vowel length
no longer phonemic)

Vulgar Latin, however, is a whole different beast   :)

It is apparent that:
- deponents were replaced by non-deponent forms but. if
intransitive, retained their active perfect participles.
- forms like cēnātus were no longer isolated peculiarities.
All verbs (with possible exception of "to be") now had
perfect participles - active if the verb was intransitive,
passive if transitive.
- the impersonal passive did not survive.

This meant that in Vulgar Latin the Classical "perfect
tense" came to be used as a simple past perfective (i.e.
Greek 'aorist'; English 'simple past'); and new perfect
forms developed thus:
- INTRANSITIVE VERB: "to be" plus perfect active participle,
agreeing with the subject; e.g.  *sum ventus = I have come
(literally: I-am having-come; cf. Esperanto "mi estas
venita", earlier English "I am come").
- TRANSITIVE VERB: "to have" plus perfect passive
participle, agreeing with the direct object;, e.g. *habeo
puellam visam = "I have seen the girl" (lit. I-have the-girl

The latter construction is found as early as Plautus (late
3rd, early 2nd cent BC).  In one of his plays we find, e.g.
_hāsce aedīs condūctās habet_ meaning little more than "he
has hired this house" (_aedes_ is a feminine plural word
with singular meaning: "building, temple, house).

Clearly this construction gained currency in the Vulgar
Latin of the late Republic and was well established by
imperial times.

> *HABEO VISUM PASSARUM "I have a seen bird," i.e. "I have
> a bird which has been seen"; the experiencer of the
> seeing being 1sg by implication, > "I have seen a bird"

Correct and, as I note above, well attested.

> *HABEO COMEDITUM "I have an eaten thing", i.e. "I have a
> thing which has been eaten" > I have eaten

Yep - if what was eaten was something masculine or neuter  ;)

But if the verb was intransitive you would have "to be" with
perfect _active_ participle, e.g. *sum status "I have stood."

> But now I don't think that's necessarily a true premise;
>  it's quite possible (and there might be documentary
> evidence to confirm or deny this) that the HABEO + PPP
> construction was already in existence

It was.

> when people realized they needed a way to use ESSE with
> it.

But that is incorrect.  The perfect of intransitive verbs
was colloquially formed with *ESSERE and perfect _active_
participle. They would have felt a need to create a perfect
active participle to "to be"; in Italy and Gaul they fell
back on using VL *status' = "having stood" ; in the Iberian
peninsular they developed a distinctive form, presumably
*essítus.   Romanian _fost_ suggest a form *fustum, though
it may well be a later analogical development with Romanian

> Can STARE function transitively?

Nope.  It was always intransitive.  The related word SISTER
was the transitive one.

> I think I've seen a hypothesis that Span. _ser_ comes
> from SEDERE. There were at least formerly some other
> forms of the paradigm that came from SEDERE, but they
> don't spring to mind right now (possibly the present
> subjunctive).

You may be correct.  Or it could be a confusion *essere and
sedēre.  Some parts of the modern Spanish verb "to be" are
from sedēre.

>>> Nor do I know the origin of French etre.
>> être <-- estre <-- *essre <-- *essere
> I've read that the /t/ in this one was due to
> contamination by STARE; but I suppose it's reasonable
> that it was epenthetic.

It's possible that it's both   ;)

On 24/06/2013 03:04, Roger Mills wrote:
> RM I suspected that might be the case in French. Is a VL
> essere attested?

Not that I aware of - unless you count early Italian   ;)

On 24/06/2013 04:15, Douglas Koller wrote:
>> *HABEO VISUM PASSARUM "I have a seen bird," i.e. "I
>> have a bird which has been seen"; the experiencer of
>> the seeing being 1sg by implication, > "I have seen a
>> bird"
> If you move "passarem" before the participle (ie: "Habeo
> passarem visum." or "Passarem habeo visum."), and change
> the object to something feminine (ie: "Habeo puellam
> visam."), you see the accord of PPP with preceding
> direct object which soldiers on in modern French and
> Italian:

Which _always_ happened in Latin, whatever the word order.

> Je l'ai vu (sth. masc.)/Je l'ai vue (sth. fem.)
> le passereau que j'ai vu/la fille que j'ai vue
> L'ho visto/L'ho vista
> il passero che ho visto/la ragazza che ho vista

Yep - because in this order it still retains the earlier
Latin construction   :)

>> *HABEO COMEDITUM "I have an eaten thing", i.e. "I have
>> a thing which has been eaten" > I have eaten
> ?Habeo comesum?

Yes, *comeditum might be a Vulgar Latin term used in the
Iberian peninsular - tho _comido_ could be a later
analogical formation.  In the best Classical Latin _comesum_
the form used, but we do also come across _coméstum_ .

> As you mention, swap out "habere" for "esse" (as was
> discussed earlier, using an oblique case with a copula
> in a language like this is echt verboten):

...and certainly would not happen in Latin
> ?Sum homo status./?Homo status sum.//?Sum femina
> stata./?Femina stata sum.

Not possible in Classical Latin.  But in VL there would have
been a perfect _active_ participle *status = "having stood".
  But *_homo status sum_ would mean something like: "I, a
man, have stood."

> In Italian, at least, has "essere" as the auxliary for
> "essere/stare":

..and also in VL.  The perfect construction was quite simply:
- INTRANSITIVE: *essere + perfect active participle,
agreeing with the subject.
- TRANSITIVE: _habere_ + perfect passive participle,
agreeing with the direct object.


> Why French excludes "être" from its DR MRS VAN DER TRAMP
> verbs as the sole hold-out, I have no idea.

Nor I - but analogy worked changes on the simple VL system.
  Modern English now uses "have" as the only perfect tense
auxiliary; so, I believe, does Portuguese.  Spanish likewise
now uses "haber" as the sole auxiliary, but it no longer
uses the verb in the sense of "to have."

> (As you say, Spanish and Portuguese (?) laid waste to
> the whole avoir/être aux. distinction: Hé ido.)

Yep - just contemporary English has (except for the odd
archaism used in certain contexts, e.g. "I am come")

> visum => visto (Italian/Spanish/Portuguese)  ?

Simple analogy with other participles ending (originally) in
-tum; cf. _comēsum ~ comēstum_ in Classical Latin.

"language … began with half-musical unanalysed expressions
for individual beings and events."
[Otto Jespersen, Progress in Language, 1895]