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    The missing passive in all tenses but the present

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    The missing passive in all tenses but the present Empty The missing passive in all tenses but the present

    Beitrag  Admin am Mi Mai 25, 2011 12:50 pm

    Hello,
    for continuing the discussion from facebook:
    Why is there no passive in the past tense or future tense? Wasn't it existant or is a passive of those tenses that unusual, that it just didn't come up in the compositions?
    This might be, by the way, a topic for the neogothic, because this missing part has to be filled, which is then our task.

    Liufos goleineis,
    Kevin
    benjamin.paul.johnson
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    The missing passive in all tenses but the present Empty Re: The missing passive in all tenses but the present

    Beitrag  benjamin.paul.johnson am Sa Jun 04, 2011 4:35 am

    The passive we have in Germanic is pretty limited. It only exists in Gothic as a pure tense; other languages like Old English had a few relics of passive verbs that gradually got assimilated as active (cf OE ic hātte, vs OI ek heita – the former is a passive construction, the later is active). So what we’re able to determine as a passive paradigm in Proto-Germanic is the present indicative and present subjunctive (or optative, but that’s another story). Note: Endings are the same for both strong and weak verbs. There is no record of any dual forms.

    Indicative:
    1s eka berade > ik baírada
    2s þu nasjaze > þu nasjaza
    3s his hauzijade > is hausjada
    pl jus sehwande > jus saíƕanda

    Subjunctive:
    1s eka berēdau > ik baíraídau
    2s þu nasjēzau > þu nasjaízau
    3s hita berēdau > ita baíraídau
    pl wīs sehwēndau > weis saíƕaíndau

    If you look at the passive in IndoEuropean, you can see that Germanic has already lost quite a lot of this paradigm. IE had a few different types of passive: central, peripheral, and secondary. More specifically, these are areal terms - Germanic, Greek, Iranian, Slavic, and others took the central endings, while Latin, Celtic, Hittite, and Tocharian took the peripheral "r" endings. Here’s the passive central paradigm from IE for baíran < berana < bʰéronom:
    1s bʰéroHei
    2s bʰéretHei
    3s bʰéretoi
    1d bʰérowosdʰH
    2d ?
    1p bʰéromosdʰH
    2p bʰéredʰHwe
    3p bʰérontoi

    The subjunctive/optative is exactly the same, but the second vowel is long (cf ablaut). The reason the subjunctive is so different in Germanic is because the particle –u was added to the end of the subjunctive (and various other things, as late as the Gothic era) to indicate that it was in question. (Hence, the –u particle in gothic to form an interrogative.)

    Forgive the length of this – I’m not so much composing a post here as thinking this out on paper for myself.

    So moving on, all of the above is what we already know about Gothic. What we want to know is what the past passive forms might have been if they even existed at all. Personally, I believe that they probably did not exist by Gothic times, and that past passive was either not used in the way we think of it today, or a compound tense was used as in the modern Germanic languages. But let’s speculate for a moment on what a past passive might have been.

    If you look at the aorist mediopassive for bʰér-, it doesn’t differ from the present enough that they would have been distinct in Germanic. But Germanic had already come up with a nice solution for that – the “dental past.” I think that probably any past passive that might have been used would have taken a dental past for weak verbs, and just the past ablaut form with passive endings for strong verbs. So you might end up with something like this:

    Weak:
    1s eka hauzidade > ik hausidada
    2s þu hauzidaze > þu hausidaza
    3s hita hauzidade > ita hausidada
    pl hīs hauzidande > eis hausidēdanda

    Strong:
    1s eka barade > ik barada
    2s þu baraze > þu baraza
    3s his barade > is barada
    pl hīs bērande > eis bēranda

    I’m totally making this up, so feel free to offer other suggestions. I think it would be plausible, though, and as I said, I don’t think they actually used a past passive in Gothic.

    Oh, and let’s not forget the subjunctive:

    Weak:
    1s eka hauzidēdau > ik hausidaidau
    2s þu hauzidēzau > þu hausidaizau
    3s hita hauzidēdau > ita hausidaidau
    pl hīs hauzidēndau > eis hausidēdaindau

    Strong:
    1s eka barēdau > ik baraidau
    2s þu barēzau > þu baraizau
    3s his barēdau > is baraidau
    pl hīs bērēndau > eis bēraindau

    And since I’m totally making things up at this point, I’m also going to say that, since we have no record of the dual forms in the passive, they probably assimilated the plural forms, which seems like a natural progression. (They eventually did so in all other Germanic languages.)

    Ƕas þagkjiþ jus?
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    The missing passive in all tenses but the present Empty Re: The missing passive in all tenses but the present

    Beitrag  Admin am Sa Jun 04, 2011 5:57 am

    Þagka faúr þeinana andawaúrdja.

    Well, I think if we make up a new rule out of this, the dualforms should have been assimilated. You ideas are quite good. I guess we really need a past and optative passive, otherwise there would be a lack of expression I think.
    I will shift this discussion into the area where to talk about the new grammar because this got into a discussion about possible new forms.
    Since there is hardly noone else active in this forum, it's just about us to confirm that forms. I guess if you are not having any corrections to make, I will upload them to the blog as a result, if it is okay for you.

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