On Jun 23, 2013, at 2:28 PM, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On 23/06/2013 19:52, Roger Mills wrote:
>> From: Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]>
>> True; good point. But I wonder if anyone could fill me in
>> on how the copula, at least in English and Romance, ever
>> developed a passive participle in the first place, if the
>> copula can't be made passive (as a finite verb)?
>> ----------------------------------------------------
>> RM mainly by analogy I suspect. In fact, I'm not sure you
>> can call been, Sp. sido, estado etc. "passive"
>> participles;
> You can't - or rather you shouldn't, because they aren't.
>> they are simply _past_ participles.
> 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". While I was thinking about this, I initially reasoned that "have" + PPP in the periphrastic perfect function would have prompted creation of an analogical PPP for ESSE; but I then discarded that idea when I remembered that "have" + PPP resulted from this sort of reanalysis:

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

But I reasoned that a PPP for ESSE still wouldn't make sense; e.g.

*ESSITUS/A/UM "a 'been' person/thing"
*HABEO ESSITUM HOMINEM "I have a 'been' man" - what would it mean for a man to be "been"?
*HABEO ESSITUM "I have a 'been' thing"

To bring this digression to a close: At this point I was thinking that in order to use HABEO + PPP, the PPP would have to have some existence of its own *independently* of that construction. 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 when people realized they needed a way to use ESSE with it. (And if not HABEO + PPP, there was also the construction ESSE + PPP of intransitive verb, which was later supplanted in Spanish at least by the transitive HABEO construction.)

> Some people do distinguish between perfect and passive
> participles in that with a very few verbs some people do
> make a distinction; e.g.
> "to prove"
> I haven't proved it   (perfect part.)
> It hasn't been proven  (passive part.)
> "to show"
> He has never showed a taste for oysters   (perfect part.)
> This result has never been shown before   (passive part.)

Interesting! But this terminological distinction doesn't apply to any Romance languages?

> (Oh dear - will this trigger YAEDT?)

I was about to say something; but I'm biting my tongue :)

>> And of course Span. and Ital. took Lat. sta:re 'to stand'
>> to fill in certain usages of 'to be',
> Yep - as did French also. e.g. été <-- statum(m)

Can STARE function transitively? If so, it probably had a PPP, which might have been a good impetus for the creation of one for ESSE (in those languages where the two didn't both adopt the same PPP).

>> in addition to Sp. ser and Ital. essere (also analogical
>> formations, not based on Lat. esse (I don't know what VL
>> might have had for 'to be'.)
> They are based on 'esse', which in VL was extended by
> gaining a normal Latin infinitive ending, i.e. *essere. Span. 'ser' is derived from it; in Italy the form had stayed the same for some 2000 years   :)

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).

>> Nor do I know the origin of French etre.
> ętre <-- 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.

>> And Ital. essere has no past part., they use the PP of
>> stare > stato
>> Note that Sp and Ital. (and IIRC Port.) use estar/stare
>> to form the progressive-- Sp está comiendo, It. sta
>> mangiando 'he is eating', but use forms of ser/essere to
>> form passives-- Sp. ha sido comido, It. e stato mangiato
>> 'it has been eaten'
> Yep.