De Standaard’s language blog notes the trend in Dutch to use constructions like “I am forgotten the newspaper” instead of the standard issue “I have forgotten the newspaper.” This all sounds most peculiar to English, Romance, and an auditorium of other ears until one learns that in standard Dutch “have” is used as auxiliary for “forget” when one is talking about something that is out of sight (“I’ve forgotten the paper”) while “be” is called for when referring to something that is out of one’s mind (“I’ve forgotten the name of that Five Keys ballad”). (Here, since you ask, are general rules for the present perfect.)
Peculiar, but then one starts thinking of similar, more generalised shifts in other languages. Take por ejemplo the lurch from “be” to “have” as auxiliary with intransitives in Renaissance Iberian writing. Here’s the hit chart for a couple of examples from the RAE corpus:
|son idos (“are gone”)||0||1||2||5||27||8||0||8||3|
|han ido (“have gone”)||0||0||0||5||178||265||155||436||692|
|son entrados (“are entered”)||0||2||2||7||7||1||0||0||2|
|han entrado (“have entered”)||0||0||0||26||122||155||42||131||136|
The light, 19th century revival of the ser variant (after the enlightened had calmed down a bit) seems to have been exclusively due to a wish to write in an archaic or countrified fashion. I’d be interested to know why this morphosyntactic change took place in and around the 16th century, when written Castilian had settled down phonetically and, to a degree, lexically in the 13th.
But that’s enough: I’m gone to
Joan over in John Chappell’s 2004/02/04 02:35 comments section is getting annoyed about people using the word Spanish instead of Castilian.
- c(h)/qu => k and early/mobile spanish/italian writing
Tearing myself away from puffing the undoubted pleasures of wines of the Penedès for a moment, I would point out that
A Spanish friend once freaked me by referring to what Follow The Baldie does as “footing“. De Standaard’s language blog says
- Amando de Miguel gets something right about English
Amando de Miguel’s blog contains myriad hoards of fascinating localisms, but, as has been observed in the past, as soon as
- In praise of “guionación”
Margaret of Fürth comments on the online edition of Ronald McIntosh and David Fawthrop’s A discussion of the changing principles of