Article published in:Latin influence on the syntax of the languages of Europe
Edited by Bert Cornillie and Bridget Drinka
[Belgian Journal of Linguistics 33] 2019
► pp. 210–250
Language contact and language borrowing?
Compound verb forms in the Old French translation of the Gospel of St. Mark
This study investigates the potential influence of Latin syntax on the development of analytic verb forms in a well-defined and concrete instance of language contact, the Old French translation of a Latin Gospel. The data show that the formation of verb forms in the Old French was remarkably independent from the Latin original. While the Old French text closely follows the narrative of the Latin Gospel, its usage of compound verb forms is not dictated by the source text, as reflected e.g. in the quasi-omnipresence of the relative sequence finite verb + pp, which – with a few exceptions – all trace back to a different structure in the Latin text. Engels (VerenigdeStaten) Another important innovative difference in the Old French is the widespread use of aveir ‘have’ as an auxiliary, unknown in Latin. The article examines in detail the relation between the verbal forms in the two texts, showing that the translation is in line with of grammar. The usage of compound verb forms in the Old French Gospel is therefore autonomous rather than contact stimulated, let alone contact induced. The results challenge Blatt’s (1957) assumption identifying compound verb forms as a shared feature in European languages that should be ascribed to Latin influence.
Keywords: Old French, Gothic, Latin, analytic (verb forms), synthetic (verb forms), compound (verb forms), brace constructions, translation, borrowing, Bible translation, have (auxiliary), be (auxiliary), word order
Published online: 30 March 2020
Adams, James N.
Bauer, Brigitte L. M.
[ p. 248 ]
Forthcoming. “Finite Verb + Infinitive + Object in non-Standard Latin.” Latin vulgaire – latin tardif XII.
In preparation a. “Brace constructions in the history of Latin-Romance.”
In preparation b. “Language sources and reconstructing dead languages: discrepancies and evolution in Old French grammar.”
Hewson, John, and Vit Bubenik
Higgleton, Elaine P.
Klein, Jared[ p. 249 ]
Meillet, Antoine, and Joseph Vendryes
Nestle, Erwin, Kurt Aland, and Barbara Aland
Thomason, Sarah, and Terrence Kaufman[ p. 250 ]