Ælfwine wrote: ↑
29 Jul 2018 01:44
Yay or nay:
Pelsodian my romlang builds the pluperfect like Slovene or Croatian, taking the past form of the word "to be," and adding the participle of a verb. This seems to be an areal feature
This differs from French, which builds it with "to have," and Romanian/Portuguese, which still build it synthetically.
The reason for the different choice of the auxiliary verb is that the Slovene and Croatian l-participle is an active
past (more precisely, perfect) participle, while french participle is a passive
past participle. In fact, Latin had no active past participles at all, and as far as I know no Romance language has developed one of their own.
The auxiliary verb is used to give the participle person-number agreement so it can be used as a verb. Whether it agrees with the subject or the object depends on the voice of the participle. If french used only the verb "to be" as its auxiliary verb, then all tenses which use the past participle would be passive by default, as Dormouse559 said. This is not an implausible development (in fact, this is how Hindi developed split-ergativity), but Romance languages remodeled these tenses as active using the auxilliary verb "to have" - it has a subject in the Nominative case, and an object which agrees with the participle.
Eg. In French you say: J'e l'ai vu
"I saw him." and Je l'ai vue
"I saw her.", while in Croatian the aggreement is with the subject: Vidio sam to
. "I (m.) saw that." and Vidjela sam to
. "I (f.) saw that."
The fact that some intransitive verbs (in particular, verbs of movement) still use the verb "to be" is explained by the fact that they don't distinguish between active and passive voices and that they have only one argument - the past participle can only agree with the experiencer, so the intransitive auxilliary verb "to be" is a good choice of a copula. Some verbs of movement, actually, use both auxiliaries depending on whether they are used intransitively or transitively.
Eg. Je suis sorti du garage
. "I went out of the garage" and J'ai sorti mon velo du garage
. "I took my bike out of the garage."
In conclusion, I'd say it would be hard to develop an exact analogue of the Slavic construction in a Romance language - if there is enough contact, then maybe "to be" could be generalized with transitive verbs as well, but probably not by itself - judging from other Romance and Germanic languages, the tendency seems to be the generalization of the verb "to have".
Concerning passives, while Croatian does have a passive voice, it overwhelmingly prefers to use the reflexive pronoun in an impersonal-passive sense. The syntax of the construction is weird (the only other language I've seen that has something similar is, of all languages, Irish Gaelic
!) and doesn't quite match what Hungarian does, but the absence of a designated passive voice does seem to be an areal feature.