Dependent vs. independent verb forms

Steve Hewitt s.hewitt at UNESCO.ORG
Thu Apr 22 10:59:50 UTC 2004

Following on from Annie Montaud's post about the evolution of verb forms in
Hindi, there is a very close parallel in the evolution of the TAM values of
verb forms/constructions in Welsh and Hindi:

Form 1 is present/future in Classical Welsh; an ordinary present in Old
Hindi. It becomes future in Modern Colloquial Welsh; present subjunctive in
Modern Hindi/Urdu.

Construction 2 is specifically a progressive in both Classical Welsh and
Old Hindi. It becomes a general imperfective present in both Modern
Colloquial Welsh and Modern Hindi/Urdu.

Both Modern Colloquial Welsh and Modern Hindi/Urdu have evolved a third,
expanded construction (3b: Welsh “I am at her, doing”; Hindi/Urdu “I
stayed do”) to express what is specifically progressive.

1 = simple tense form
2 = progressive-like construction
3 = expanded progressive construction (later periods only)
a = Classical Welsh, Old Hindi
b = Modern Colloquial Welsh, Modern Hindi/Urdu
TP = tense particle

 Classical Welsh
(1a) siarad-af
 I speak / I will speak

(2a) yr wyf  yn siarad
 TP be. PRES.1.SG in speak.VN
 I am speaking

 Old Hindi
(1a) bōl-ūñ
 I speak

(2a) bōl-tā  hūñ
 speak-PROG be.PRES.1.SG
 I am speaking

 Modern Colloquial Welsh
(1b) siarad-a i
 speak-FUT.1.SG I
 I will speak

(2b) rw  i ’n siarad
 be.PRES.1.SG I in speak.VN
 I speak / I am speaking

(3b) rw  i wrth-i  ’n siarad
 be.PRES.1.SG I at-3.F.SG  in speak.VN
 I am speaking (right now)

 Modern Hindi/Urdu
(1b) bōl-ūñ
 [that] I [may/should] speak

(2b) bōl-tā  hūñ
 speak-IPFV be.PRES.1.SG
 I speak / I am speaking

(3b) bōl rah-ā hūñ
 speak stay-PFV be.PRES.1.SG
 I am speaking (right now)

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