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Subject: Alternative Verb Conjugations
Question: I am looking for examples of two alternative sets of verb
conjugations for the same tense, aspect, or mood that co-exist in
a language.

As an example, modern Spanish has two distinct conjugations for
the imperfect subjunctive. The older conjugation ends in -se and
comes from Latin's pluperfect subjunctive. The newer conjugation
ends in -ra and comes from Latin's pluperfect indicative. The -ra
set is more popular in the spoken language but -se is still used
in written Spanish, and I have occasionally heard it spoken.
There are some minor differences in usage but when it comes to
the primary functions of the imperfect subjunctive, -se and -ra
are interchangeable.

Do you know of other examples?

Judy Hochberg, Fordham University

Reply: If I understand your question correctly, to me the obvious example would be the two French tenses, passé simple and passé composé, e.g. "je vis" versus "j'ai vu", which do the same semantic job (they express perfective aspect), but the former is reserved for writing while the latter is normal in speech (though it occurs in writing also).

Incidentally, when you talk about Latin "pluperfect subjunctive", I don't think there was such a thing. Perhaps "perfect subjunctive"?

Geoffrey Sampson
Reply From: Geoffrey Richard Sampson      click here to access email
Date: 10-Jun-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Alternative Verb Conjugations    Herbert Frederic Stahlke     (10-Jun-2013)
  2. Re: Alternative Verb Conjugations    Henrik Joergensen     (10-Jun-2013)
  3. Re: Alternative Verb Conjugations    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (10-Jun-2013)
  4. Re: Alternative Verb Conjugations    James L Fidelholtz     (10-Jun-2013)

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