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Linguistic Society of America

The Latin and Romance Weak Perfect

Author(s): G. Bonfante
Source: Language, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1941), pp. 201-211
Published by: Linguistic Society of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/409201
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[In the perfect of the Latin first and fourth conjugations, the 'long' paradigm in
-ai -avisti, -!~I -zilisti, etc. is posterior in formation to the 'short' paradigm in
-i -4st;, -~i (-i) -tsti, etc. The latter represents an old inherited Indo-European
perfect paradigm; it was the normal form in Vulgar Latin, and is continued in the
'weak' preterites of the Romance languages.]

1. 'LONG' AND 'SHORT' PARADIGMS. In grammars of Classical Latin, the

paradigm of the perfect of the first and fourth conjugations (e.g. cantare, audire)
is usually presented as follows::
cantaui cantauimus audiui audiuimus

cantauisti cantauistis audiuisti audiuistis

cantauit cantdugrunt audiuit audiuurunt
These forms do not agree, however, with those to be reconstructed from the
evidence of the Romance languages:2
cantaf' cantamus audt, aud~i audbmus
cantlstZ cantdstis audtsti audtstis
cantit cantdrunt audit *aludrunt, audier
In the 1st person singular of the first conjugation, the pre
such is to be attributed to the analogical influence of the -i o
in the 1st sg. present perfect; cf. fn. 26. The forms of
(cantd), Spanish (cant6), and Portuguese (cantou) are to be tr
than to -dt; this -d4t cannot be derived from -dyit as suggested
could -dt be older than -dyit? (The ending -it is certainly
in nau-it, cf. Vedic jajiidu and the discussion below.) The 3d
is not attested, Latin only has -ierunt;4 but the fundamental
with and without -y- still remains.
1 Cf. Neue-Wagener, Lateinische Formenlehre 3.450 ff.
2 See Caix, GFR 1.229 ff. (1878); d'Ovidio, GFR 2.63 ff. (1879); G
(1879); Meyer-Liibke, ZRPh. 9.223 ff. (1886); Rom. Gramm. 2.?266;
gilistica rominica3 190 f. (?101), 293 f. (?190); Histor. Gramm. der
Das Altlogudoresische 46; Grandgent, Introduction to Vulgar Lati
Bourciez, Ellments de linguistique romanes 82; Men6ndez Pidal, M
hist6rica espafiola6 310 ff.; Origenes del espafiol 380 f.; von Wartbur
Wagner, ID 15.4 f., 14 (1939); Rosetti, Istoria limbii romAne2 1.133
3Rom. Gramm. 2.?265. Contrast the normal development of -du
chiave, Span. 1Have; grauis > Ital., Sp. grave; nauis > Ital., Span. nav
was perceived by Diez (Gramm. des langues romanes 2.137), who tho
that 'la langue populaire ... n'a fait qu'ajouter A la forme sourde [
voyelle d'appui, de m~me qu'elle a ajout6 cette voyelle dans cantan-o
feo = usec + o, etc.]: cantb est done syncop6 de cantao, comme vo d
explanation, as Caix correctly remarks (GFR 1.229 [1878]), will not ho
also has cant6.
' C. F. Bauer (The Latin perfect endings -ere and -erunt 22, with fn. 26; 45, ?36b [LANG.
Diss. No. 13, 1933]) proposes to read dormirunt in Plautus, Poen. 21, but all the manuscripts
give dormierunt. In general, Bauer's work is a very careful one and most useful; but he

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It is not possible to derive the

loss of -y-, for this loss does not
According to some doctrines,5
conditions, of which none is re
audfui only three persons coul
similar quality (audi, audit, aud
for audi and audit). All of thes
arguments by Burger.6 In Rom
dinian, Rumanian, and some
only after o and u.7 We woul
of cantdre some contractions w
phonetic rules in both Latin
then cantduit cannot give ch
linguistique romanel 78) > Fr. a
cincuenta < quadragintd, quin
tduimus > cantamos.
are, with one partial exceptio
grammarians, and inscription
evidence. It has been demonst
forms of the 2d person sing
audcsti89) are even more freq

does not consider or even cite Burge

old idea that the short forms are 'co
Neue-Wagener gives no material f
?36b: there are only two examples o
and one of -ierunt (dormierunt, P
above). The verb e and its compoun
(-ierunt, iere, exierunt, iniere, perie
Cf. Burger, Etudes de phonologie
Sommer, Handbuch der lateinischen
Meillet and Vendryes, Traits 258
oyeron < audierunt; see, however,
but not in Portuguese. See TLL s.v
124 ff., where the types audier5 (Sp
also studied. See on these also Meil
indo-europ6ennes7 214; M61. de Saus
5 See Leumann, Lat. Gramm. 112 ff
6 REL 4.115 ff. (1926); Etudes 39 ff
etudes 107 f.) that the perfects laui,
OIr. loathar, Lat. listrum), never sho
7 See Meyer-Liibke, Rom. Gramm.
(?101), with Castro's footnote; Bou
only apparent exception (pau5rem, re
case in which Romance preserved ear
Latin form to be expected, since -V3-
s See Burger, ]tudes 115 ff.; Somme
' The perfects in -iui, -ii, -i of som
mer, Handbuch' 565, 573) come und
verb e6, cf. the attestations of (-)i

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uistd, etc., and the same is true for the 3d plural cantkrun
cantdu~runt. Terence, for example, has 8 'long' forms, all at t
verse,10 as contrasted with 67 'short' forms;" in Cicero12 and
long forms are comparatively rare."a The same is true for th
forms of verbs like nfut, -pljul, fljuL, njui, -su;i, quiui, -olju
which have in the 2d person the forms ndsti (Plautus Cu. 423
(ex-plestei twice, CIL 4.1846, Pompeii), flEsti (Ov. Epist. 5.43;
P.32 P.), -sisti (Plautus, Miles 1072), quiesti, suisti, cristi (c
(cf. crisca), -suistZ -suistis, -olisti, -masti -mastis, -nist~ -nistis, se
3.480 ff. In this group belong also spruit, leui, seui, strdui, f
to the vicissitudes of transmission, no second-person forms ar
but other short forms are attested.14 For the third person plu
n5runt, -marunt, -sujrunt, flirunt, -plirunt, quijrunt, nerunt
greater frequency of long forms in certain prose texts is to b

material in Neue-Wagener 3.466 ff. The stem of ire was of course origin
ii comes probably from *iy-ai, cf. Indo-Aryan iy-dy-a (Sommer, Han
penetration of -tz- in this verb is late and rare; Plautus has only one
(the usual form is ii; see Engelbrecht, WSt. 6.240 ff. [1884]); Cicero, C
Livy never have iui.
10 Probably for metrical reasons (-u-); as pointed out by Engelbrecht
ence's use of the longer forms of the perfect only at the end of the verse,
forms elsewhere, indicates the currency of the latter in the sermo urbanus
See also Meyer-Liibke, ZRPh. 9.247.
11 These and the following indications also include the 'short' forms of th
the perfect system; but the facts are even clearer, on the whole, for the th
perfect studied here (and especially for the two second persons). Thus,
audisti 14 times and audiuisti once (doubtful moreover); audistis 74 ti
once (also doubtful); see Burger, REL 4.118 (1926). The reason why c
etc. are less frequent IN OUR TEXTS than cantdsti, cantasse, etc. is given
119 (see below, ?5).
12 That the 'short' forms were the usual ones is attested for their tim
11, Goetz-Sch6ll2 241), Cicero (Orat. 47, 147) and Quintilian (1.6.16); see So
563; Burger, REL 4.212 ff. (1926); Etudes 112.
13 Livy, who is by no means a 'vulgar' writer, has (according to our
-arunt, 134 -dugrunt, 88 -dugre (E. B. Lease, AJP 24.415 (1903]). The form
tively more frequent in the fourth (56 -drunt, 43 -dugrunt, 11 -duare) an
-drunt, 7 -dugrunt, 5 -dukre) decades than in the first (37 -drunt, 39 -du
This corresponds to the very literary and artificial character of the first
confirmed by the figures for -gre (a purely literary form) as opposed to
and vulgar form, which has passed into Romance (cf. Lease, 409 if.); the
ages are for -ire: 1st decade 54.7% (77.2% in Book 3), 4th decade 13.5%
5th decade 10.1% (3.3% in Book 41).
Lucretius has only one occurrence of -dugrunt (6.3), otherwise always -d
F. Muller (Mnemosyne 56.354 [1928]) correctly considers indicative of
colloquial character of Lucretius' style: 'Porro formae, quales sunt inrit
1.70, disturbdt 6.587, luculenter demonstrant Lucretium hac in re ues
sermonis cotidiani quam artissime haerere.'
14 Cf. Neue-Wagener 3.480 ff.; Sommer, Handbuch3 564; Burger, Ct
below; on the Romance forms of crfui, moul, see Meyer-Liibke and Cas
295 (?191), and Burger, ftudes 107 f., 111, 117. On laui, fdui, cdui see P
Neue-Wagener 3.478 f.); Burger, Etudes 107 ff.; Sommer, Handbuch3 562.

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tendency (correctly pointed ou

the shorter forms by the long
the influence of late literary
they could seldom do in the te
have nevertheless done so som
Burger, itudes 116; and cf. P
Paris, 1932]).16
The 3d person singular has als
-d-t it, even in very 'good' auth
see also W61fflin, ALLG 9.139
1.109), Manilius (desit 5.563), M
in Terence (Ad. 104: sit = siuit
expoleit 6.260; munit 3.3201
poseit ibid. 1481; audit (with i
in Thebes (Karnak), CIL 3.38, 4
45), but in 47 (audit et donat) a
material in Neue-Wagener 3.44
11.19 ff. Plautus has some plac
(either -dut or -dt); cf. Somm
audit, cupit is assured by Prisc
Romance accent (Fr. chanta, fi

15 On the importance of the literar

the longer forms with -y-, cf. also
(1885): ' ... da wifhlte die Vulgdirspr
mit dem jeder Kunstsprache [!] eige
in solchem Streben das klassische Sa
16 The accent of cantAt, audit is of
tion; but it is well attested by the g
cf. also 1.451) and is no more unus
illAc istic addic adddc tantbn Pyrr
found in Sommer, Handbuch3 87 f.;
ff. (where, curiously enough, cant
nunciation of Greek and Latin2 179
Arpinrs nostris Samnis. The Roman
of 'exceptional' Latin accentuation
istic > It. costi); they likewise add m
regoit; dembrat > Fr. demeure; coltb
Cf. Meyer-Liibke, Rom. Gramm. 1.??
similar cases in Ausonius and other l
grammarians. And we see now ver
centuation Cdmillus CBthagus, sin
Eigenn. 322).
The accent of cantat, audit has be
the other forms of the perfect (-&a

the present
between the tense (4' .ads
3d singular Lat ant)
present an
tion of the Romance AND LATIN form
should be considered analogical inst
(or preserved) by analogy.

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forms in the 3d person are limited exclusively to the first and fou
The 1st person plural also has in some cases the shorter form, although the
syntactical interpretation of the tense is sometimes doubtful, owing to possible
confusion with the first plural present; we find namus (Ennius Sc. 160); inar-
ramus (Ter. Andria 365); sufmus (Lucr. 1.60, 310; 4.367), intrdmus (?) (Verg.
Aen. 5.57); narrdmus, mutdmus, flemus, consumnus17 (Propertius 1.7.5; 2.7.2;
15.3, 9); audimus (CIL 3.30 [65 A.D.], cf. audiuimus [63; Cic. Att. 8.11d.3;
9.15.16 (M)]; De Orat. 93 [a part of the mss.]; Aurel. Ad Front. 31.5N; see TLL
s.v. audi3, col. 1262, 11.25 ff.); more material in Neue-Wagener 3.449, 494.18
For the 1st person singular, the material is scarcer, and is exclusively limited,
as for the 3d, to the first and fourth conjugation types (no *-plet, *nbi, *-plit,
*net, or the like is to be found). AudTi is attested by Servius ad Aen. 1.451;

signa(u)i calc~i
of an are attested in
inscription by Greek
Probus, GL 4.160.14
characters ff. and
of 160 A.D.182.11; the aayv
(CIL 3.959) is not=
quite sure (see W6lfflin, ALLG 9.140 [1894-5]; Sommer, Krit. Erlaiut. 165 f.).
For the fourth conjugation we have older examples: petf (Seneca, Med. 248;
Herc. Oet. 1848; Statius, Theb. 1.62); sepell (Persius 3.97); then audi Memnonem
(CIL 3.31 [71-2 A.D.], 33 [79 A.D.], 34 [80 A.D.], 36 [84 A.D.], 35 [82 A.D.], 44
[134 A.D.], 49 [170 A.D.], 50 [195 A.D.?] 51 [196 A.D.], 57, 59, 64 [audi et egi; cf.
audiui Memnonem 32 (72 A.D.), 42 (127 A.D.)], 54, 58, 60, 61 and CIL 4.1852
[a Pompeian graffito]; and see TLL s.v. audi5, col. 1262, 11.4 ff.), also Pliny,
Epist. 6.21.2; quaess! (5.6842, assured by the meter); desi (5.4656, also assured
by the meter).'9 See also Neue-Wagener 3.434 f.20
which of the two paradigms is older, cantadu cantduistf or cantdi cantisti? Most
scholars regard the latter type as deriving by phonetic development, syncope, or
analogy from the former; we suggest, however, that the 'short' paradigm is older
than the 'long', as it represents the addition to the verb stem (= root + thematic
vowel) of an inherited Indo-European set of endings characterized by -st- in the
2d singular and plural but not in the other persons; whereas the -ui perfect is an
isolated phenomenon and has no parallel outside of Latin. Using as a base the
observations of Petersen (LANG. 9.28-9 [1933]), Meillet some years ago reached
17 No *flPuimus is attested, so that the real conjugation of the perfect of fle5 is flmu flesti
(twice, flJuisti once, Lygd. 6.40) flauit flimus *fljstis flirunt (Verg., Ovid., Val. Fl., Statius;
also fljuere). Likewise, we find suemus, consuemus, but no *(con)sujuimus. See TLL s.v.
flee; Neue-Wagener 3.480. Consequently, Meillet's skepticism (BSL 27.234.6 [1927]) about
the antiquity of nimus seems excessive.
18 On nomus, enarramus, etc., see also Engelbrecht, WSt. 6.224 ff.; on inimus, abimus,
perimus (?) ibid. 235, 240; on it ibid. 239 (and TLL s.v. ed); on peri ibid. 243.
19 The inscriptions have occurrences of the type posi (beside posiui), perfect of pwnd; of
these, two are old: posit, CIL 1.1780; poseit 1781 (both from Rome). Plautus has imposisse
(Most. 434); Vergil has deposisse (Catal. 10.16, assured by the meter); see Sommer, Hand-
buch' 573.

0 For pasi, des7, quaesi, etc. (posit, desit, quaesit, etc.) Burger (Etudes 126 ff.) considers,
chiefly on the basis of the Romance forms (It. ppsi, ppse [OIt. also puosi, puose], etc.; chitsi,
chifse, etc.), that the accent was on the penult.

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the conclusion21 that an Ind

which an element -st- occur
this paradigm is preserved i
442; 380), and in Hittite (see S
traces in Indo-Aryan:
(pai- 'give') (wen-) (tak-) (kot-)
pehhun weiKd tdk& - eg
pesta weidt tdk&?t - igist! (also -sti:
dixti, di-rixt
in Vergil, etc.22
[pesta] we fid(-m) tak, taka-m kot jgit
piyawen wefi[mdms] takmas - egimus
pesten23 weias[ ]24 - kotas (?) gistis (also -stis:
dixtis, etc.)
peyer wendr tdkar - grunt or gere
For Indo-Aryan, cf. Vedic vddhim 'I struck', 3d sg.
(and subj. vddhipas); avddit 'he said', 2d sg. vadithads
'I strode', 2d sg. middle dkramighas, 3d sg. akramit,
ending), 3d pl. dkramur; see also Macdonell, Vedic
382 ff., ?529, and Meillet, BSL 34.127 f.25

21 BSL 34.127 (1933); cf. also Introduction7 214. See also P

anderen indoeuropaiischen Sprachen 94 ff.
22 Dxti, dixtis are older than dixisti, dxiistis; see Burger, Et
Wagener 3.500 ff. They are frequent in archaic Latin, and
correctly remarks (108, 133) that lauisti, mouisti must be d
roots being bisyllabic (Gk. X6-oaa, etc.); the ending is the
fjcisti, 7gisti, cucurristi, etc. are of course formed on the ana
23 The final -n of Hitt. pesten is analogical, according to Pet
original Tocharian 2d plural ending to have been -ste. We m
-P of Gk. 44pouev to Lith. nasame and Czech neseme (Vedic, Avestan -ma?) or also the
Vedic 2d pl. sthdna, vddathana, itana, pfinitdna; see Brugmann, Grundriss2 2.3.619 ff., 624.
24 In Tocharian B (or 'Kuchean') the material is scarce; no forms of either the 1st or 2d
person are to be found in our texts, as far as I know. The 3d person forms correspond to
those in A (considering that A drops the final vowels, which B usually preserves). As
dialects A and B are on the whole very closely related, the paradigms of A may to a certain
extent be considered as holding for B also. See the material in L6vi and Meillet, MSL 18.2
ff. (1914).
The brackets in the form weiids[ ] indicate that our ms. is cut at this point, and we do not
know whether or not a -t followed the -s. We have no complete 2d. pl. form.
25 In Slavic we also find a mixed paradigm, in which some forms have -s- and some do not,
but the distribution is different (2d and 3d singular not sigmatic, all other persons sig-
matic), cf. Leskien, Altbulg. Gramm." 201 f., 166.
On OE cneow, seow (perhaps = Lat. gn5uit, sjuit) see Leumann, Lat. Gramm. 335 (with
bibliography); on blawan (cf. flau!?), Hirt, Idg. Gr. 4.268 f.; Handbuch des Urgerm. 2.148,
150 f.
Vendryes (Rev. celt. 44.258 [1927]) also compares the mysterious Celtic ieuru (3d sg.

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If we consider all these facts, we reach the conclusion th

jg! igisti, etc. is very old. If, therefore, we add to the stem
for example, the endings -~ -sti -t -mus -stis -runt26 (ig-9-runt
jg-i-st!), we obtain exactly the 'Primitive Romance' paradigm
cantd-t cantd-mus cantd-stis cantd-runt. This is consequen
'regular' paradigm cantdui cantduisti, etc., which has no su
outside of Latin.28
4. ORIGIN OF -y- IN THE 'LONG' PARADIGM. One problem remains to be solved:
whence comes the -y- of cantadu cant&uisti, etc.? This question can now be
easily answered by a suggestion of Meillet (BSL 27.234 ff. [1926]; cf. also Intro-
duction' 231; Rev. des 6t. arm. 10.183 f. [1930]), based upon Burger's article,
REL 4.212 ff. (1926) (cf. also itudes 112 ff.). In effect, if we remember that no
forms without -y- are ever found in the 1st and 3d singular of the verbs like
noSu, -plu!u etc., we easily reach an ancient Latin paradigm:
noui nomus -pljul -plimus
n~sti nostis -plist! -plistis
n5uit nrrunt -plauit -plirunt
This paradigm, as we have seen, is not a hypothetical reconstruct
actually existed." Now, exactly these two roots have in Vedic an ele
in the perfect in the same two persons (1st and 3d singular), and o
paprdu 1st and 3d sg. 'I filled', 'he filled', jajiidu 1st and 3d sg. 'I knew
(Macdonell 355).30 This, as both Meillet and Burger31 have pointed o

26 The Latin 3d plural ending -runt is compared by Burger (REL 4.213 [1926]
with Skt. -ran (cf. also Sommer, Handbuch3 578); it could also, of course, be ex
sigmatic form: *amd-s-ont, *-pl.-s-ont, although this would present the dis
separating it from the corresponding Hittite and Tocharian forms, which h
-unt can easily be explained, like the -an of Vedic -ran, as an imitation of t
present and future (and aorist).
27 The -a of the 1st singular has been either preserved or rebuilt by the a
fluence of all the other Latin perfects in -4. For early Latin, the type cantd
phonetic difficulty; and for later Latin, its existence is proven by the testimon
28 There is, consequently, a radical difference on this point between Burg
mine; for Burger considers -plisti to be a Latin creation = 2d sg. -plis + perfec
(!) as in dixti, iduisti (Jtudes 115; cf. also 105), whereas I consider the elemen
ending to be Indo-European, and compare it with the Hittite and Tocharian end
also contain -st-.

29 See the material in Neue-Wagener 3.480. For compleS, we have always -plisti(s) and
-plgssent, never -pljuistis or -plguissent (see TLL s.v. complea). Likewise, I know example
of cristi (cf. cern3), d'testi (cf. deleS), (con-)quijsti, (con-)suisti (con-)suistis, (ad-)suistis,
but none of *crguisti, *djljuisti, *quijuisti, *-sujuisti *-sujuistis (Plautus Cist. 87 can be
read consuisti, cf. Bauer 44, ?36a).
30 One of the Tocharian A preterite paradigms (III) has -w- in the 1st person, but not in
the others; it also has -st- in the 2d singular (no examples of the 2d plural are attested;
SSS 331, 375): thus ydm-, 1st sg. ydmwd, 2d sg. ydmast, 3d pl. ydmdr, etc. In the middle we
have 1st sg. yamwe, 3d sg. ydmte; since e in Toch. A always represents an IE diphthong (ai, ei,
oi), ydmwe exactly corresponds to a Latin perfect like -plfu, sjui, fliui, etc., where -I repre-
sents IE -ai, the ending of the 1st person perfect middle (Indo-Aryan cakr-e, OCS vEde, cf.
OLat. inscr. fecei, petiei, posiuei 132 B.c., Faliscan peparai; see Sommer, Handbuch3 574).
The 'reduplicated' Tocharian preterite (probably an old IE perfect) also has the element
-w (-wd) in the 1st sg., but not in the others, cf. ?a~mdwda() (caus. of stdm-), etc., but 2d sg

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be due to chance. The -u is old,

both in Latin and in Indo-Ary
of languages.32
Here is, evidently, the origin
tension. By the analogy of nou
digm cantdi cantisti cantit bec
the promiscuous use, at least i
and without -4- (cantad and can
other persons, and the result
cantduimus cantdugrunt, nru
without -u-.
But the new forms cantadu cantduisti, etc. never triumphed completely; they
never had even the extension which is usually attributed to them. They were
more literary than popular, for some reason which we do not understand well
for lack of historical documents; but even in our texts, as we have seen, cantdsti
cantastis cant&runt always remained on the whole the 'normal' forms, much
more frequent than cantduisti cantduistis cantaugrunt, which were considered
in Varro's and Cicero's times to be artificial and pedantic. They owed

gagmedst, kaklast (cf. kdl-), garadst (caus. of tsar), SSS 371; this type of preterite with redupli-
cation can be compared even more directly with the Vedic perfects like paprdu, jajfidu. In
Tocharian B, no forms of the 1st person are known; see S. L6vi and A. Meillet, MSL 18.2
In Armenian, inversely, -w is preserved in the 3d sg. but not in the 1st sg. (middle):
cnay 'I am born', cnaw 'he is born'; caneay 'I have known', caneaw 'he has known', etc.
(see REA 10.183 f. [1930]; Esq. arm6n.2 124.).
I do not know at what Hittite facts Meillet is hinting in the last passage cited; probably
at forms like the preterites kwenun, paun, uhun, tahun, spanthun etc. (1st sg.). IE *u is
represented by u in Hittite (Sturtevant, Comp. Hitt. Gramm. 96) and IE w became u after
a consonant at the end of a word; now, in all the Hittite forms except paun, -u is the ending
of consonant stems. The -n of course represents the IE 1st singular ending *-m, and is a
posterior addition. Cf. Benv6niste, Festschrift Hirt 2.230. (Other explanations, which
do not convince me, may be found in Sturtevant, Comp. Hitt. Gramm. 254, with note 75.)
3" Burger (Etudes 121 ff.) also claims to find remainders of the old paradigm noui nosta
(with -y- in the first and third singular only) in Ital. sfppi sapesti s ppe; tenni tenesti tnne;
fbbi avesti Qbbe (on the model of which were formed also dissi dicesti disse and similar 'strong'
perfect paradigms). (To sapisti [= Ital. sapesti] and sapisset [= Ital. sapesse], add also
resipisti [Plautus, Miles 345]; cf. Neue-Wagener 3.245 ff.) If Burger is right, the use of the
perfect stem derived from the forms with -y- in the Ital. 3d pl. tdcquero, 'bbero, sippero,

t.nnero, etc., about which he says nothing, is due to its accent, cf. f.cero = ftcerunt, because
of the
Vbbi, opposition
fbbero ftci, f~cimus,
: avesti, aveste; ftcerunt
Italian also has veddimo,: ftcisti,
sgppimo, ftcistis (Ital.which
%bbimo, etc., f.ci,may
faceste; : facesti,
be old,

as dissimo, lssimo,
32 For other ff.cero).
phenomena common to Latin and Indo-Aryan (and most of them to Iran-
ian too), cf. Bonfante, I dialetti indo-europei 164 f. (Naples, 1931).
33 The analogy of the paradigm naui nasti nauit can perhaps explain why the 1st and 3d
sg. forms cantauI cantauit are much more frequent than the other forms with -y- (cantduisti
cantduimus cantauistis cantdaurunt); they dominate almost without competition in our
Latin texts, and cantauit has perhaps even partly passed into Romance (cantdut, in Italian,
Spanish, and Portuguese). (I owe this remark and a slight change in the text in part to
a suggestion of Professor Sturtevant during the discussion of this paper at the meeting
of the Linguistic Society in December, 1940.)

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their existence chiefly to the influence of the schools and of

to their love for 'regularity', as a paradigm cantdau cantastis
cantdstis cantdrunt seemed anomalous and shocking. The lo
remained faithful to the older and shorter type cantdJ cantdst;
cantdstis cantdrunt, and this type triumphed, with just one
in the Romance languages.
It may be recalled in this connection that in the inscript
times the longer forms are prevalent (Sommer 563); in the f
CIL, Burger tells us (etudes 116), we find 71 'long' forms a
ones; in the Monumentum Ancyranum the 'long' forms
4.30, etc.).34 This shows us only how artificial and far from
the language of the inscriptions.35
true for the other tenses derived from the perfect stem: the pl
the future perfect cantara, the perfect subjunctive cantarim
subjunctive cantassem, the perfect infinitive cantdsse. In a
the 'short' forms are very frequent, sometimes even more
long ones; this is true for the pluperfect subjunctive cantassem
cantasse. Here also, the hypothesis that the 'short' forms a
'long' ones seems evident; for here also, forms like canta
cantduissem cantauer6 cantauisse, with their -u-, cannot be
no possible connection in any other Indo-European language,
cantdr5 cantdrim cantds-se can be perfectly well compared
the sigmatic aorist, which contributed largely to the form
perfect (dixt, rexi, issi, misi, di-uis! etc.). In particular
cantdrit, etc.37 are exactly comparable to the Greek futur
caps6 and Greek betw); and cantarim cantaris cantarit, etc. a
S4 In the Carmina latina epigraphica, the short forms of the 3d p
(Muller, Mnemosyne 56.370 [1928]); there are 6 cases of -drunt, 1 of -gru
35 Cf. Burger, Etudes 116: 'Cette pr6dilection de la langue, forte
pedante, de la chancellerie pour les formes longues ne prouve null
archaiques, mais seulement quelles passaient pour telles aux yeux des r
tions. Bien entendu, pour un Cic6ron, n6sse 6tait une forme abr
n6uisse (Orat. 47.157), comme meum factum 6tait contract6 (poeta
de mearum fact6rum (ibid. 46.155)'.
This is also confirmed by the great scarcity (6 occurrences) of -grun
in the Carmina epigraphica; see the material in Muller, Mnemosyne 5
to interpret the facts otherwise, see 373, lines 2 ff.; but it is perhaps
see also Bauer 70 ff., ??77 ff., whose view on this point I entirely shar
36 Ancient Latin still distinguished the paradigm of the future per
cantdrit cantartmus cantorltis) from the perfect subjunctive with 7 (can
mus cantdritis); see Sommer 583; Leumann 340.
V Cantass3, leudss3, negdssim, prohibissit, licissit, ambissint, merca
impetrdssere, etc. (see the material in Sommer, Handbuch3 585 ff.) ar
'contracted' forms than are cantdr3, cantdrim etc., however they m
cantas-s6 (aorist subjunctive; Brugmann, Gdr.2 2.3.390 f.), or through
sem or of caps6, faxz (cf. Sturtevant, CP 6.221 [1911], followed by Leu
344 and by Bauer 44, fn. 11), or by 'gemination expressive' (Benv6nist
Burger, E tudes 130).

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formations from the aorist ste

normal in Latin, of the -i- of the
sint for siesi siet sit :simus sitis
Vedic sydm syds sydt syQi).
sigmatic aorist, as 1st sg. digya
man-), mukciya, rastya, sakgcya
(Macdonell 381); see Sommer, H
true for cantdsse = cantds-se, c
and so on.
All of these tenses, as far as they still exist in Romance, are of course re
resented exclusively by the shorter forms. The future perfect is preserved i
Iberia (Spanish and Portuguese) and the Balkans (Dalmatian [Bourciez, Elmm.
220] and Rumanian). The pluperfect indicative is preserved in Portugues
Spanish, Provengal, Old French, Old Sicilian, and Southern Italian, but not i
Tuscan (except OItal. fora). The pluperfect subjunctive (cantassem) is pr
served everywhere (Ital. cantassi, Span. cantase, Fr. chantasse, etc.). The per
fect subjunctive has completely disappeared.
Italian has no remainder whatsoever of these tenses, except cantdssem (an
cantaram in certain southern regions); this explains why the long forms lik
cantauer3, cantdueram, cantauerim have crept into our texts more often tha
cantduisti, cantauistis, cantduissem. As pointed out by Burger (Etudes 118 f
the types amdram, amadr, amarim, which have not survived in the greater pa
of the Romance languages, were for that reason more easily replaced by th
'long' forms by scribes under the influence of the literary language and scho
tradition; and the scribes who copied the manuscripts of Caesar and of the
authors of the imperial age were, in ancient times, mostly Italians or living
Italy, or were in any case under the influence of the Italian schools.
6. CONCLUSION. We have attempted to show that the 'short' paradigm
(cantdi cant4sti, etc.) is the 'original' form for the 'weak' perfect, which was norm
in Vulgar Latin and was therefore continued directly in the Romance language
and that the 'long' paradigm was of later, analogical origin, and was always
more or less confined to the literary language. The case of the 'weak' perfe
also constitutes a good example of the importance of Romance linguistics fo
the study of Latin, and of the great difference existing between Vulgar Lati
and the 'official' or 'classical' Latin transmitted to us by inscriptions an


For the fundamental sources concerning the weak perfect in the various
Romance languages, and its paradigms, cf. fn. 2 above. On Rhaeto-Romance,
cf. also Th. Gartner, Handbuch der Riitoromanischen Spr. 251; Meyer-Liibke
Rom. Gramm. 2.?268; ZRPh. 9.234.
The double -mm- of Ital. cantammo, udimmo is an Italian innovation whic

18 In the redaction of this article I owe a great debt of gratitude to my friend Dr. Rober
A. Hall Jr. of Brown University. It is a pleasure for me to thank him here most heartily.

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has perhaps spread to France: see Meyer-Liibke, Rom. Gr

Lokale Verschied. 61; Meyer-Lfibke and Bartoli, Gramm.
But Sienese has -amo -imo (accennamo, andamo, sentimo
34.101) and Sicilian has -amu -imu (Meyer-Lfibke, ZRPh.
2.?269), both probably old.
The old texts of some NIt. dialects (Venetian, Veronese
also have the type cantdt: see Meyer-Ltibke, ZRPh. 9.233
2.?269. Likewise, the Abruzzese ending -atta (purtatta 'po
etc.) could be, perhaps, this same -4t, 'un cospicuo esempio
sostenuto dall' e epitetica (cf. Arch. 2.434-5)' (d'Ovidio
GFR 2.64 [18791).
Fr. chanta(t) < Lat. cantdt is quite normal, although th
maintained; cf. Id < illdc (It. Id, Sp. alli); ja, ddjd < iam
The Sard. 3d sg. -ait and 1st pl. -aimus are formed on th
sg. cantai; but such forms, for the 3d sg. at least, ar
for they are found in two Latin inscriptions, one from
southern Italy: dedicait, CIL 8.5667; laborait, 10.216. T
additional proof of the existence of the type cantdi (1st sg
The ending -dyt, which has triumphed in Italian an
comparatively old; in Italy, it is found chiefly at Pompei:
p. 211; exmuccaut 1391; pedicaud 2048; aberaut NSA 1
CIL 6.24481; militaut 13.2096; pugnaut 33983; edukaut, 11
2096; curaut 3.12700. There are two examples outside o
nine. See especially Vaiininen, Le lat. vulg. des inscr. pom
Sp. oy6, Port. ouviu are perhaps analogical formations on
tively (Aragonese has also tit facids, 6l facid, Men6ndez
they are not 'phonetic' according to Meyer-Lilbke and Ca
294 fF., ?190. See also Puacariu, DR 1.423 (1920/21) w
Meyer-Liibke, Rom. Gramm. 1.?350.
In Sardinian, the old endings -asti, -astis; -isti, -istis ar
imperfect: kantasti, kantastis, etc.; cf. Wagner, ID 15.
Sardinian dialects the distinction between perfect and imp
and has almost disappeared (cf. Wagner, ID 15.14).
The -il of Rum. cintai~ has been added by the influe
in old texts the form still ends in -ai (cf., for example,
mentarbuch 107).
It is surprising that Burger, who so sharply analyzed
should not have noticed what an argument in his favor th
offer: quite curiously, he writes (ttudes 96): 'La flexion d
langues romanes, s'est constitu6e a la suite d'une s6rie
dont le ddtail diverge d'une langue a l'autre'-which is not

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