Portuguese Canonical Verb Structure Versus a Refractory, but Regular, Verb Form
Arthur Brakel will present at today's Phondi meeting on his ongoing work on Portuguese morphophonology. The title and abstract of his presentation are given below.
Portuguese Canonical Verb Structure Versus a Refractory, but Regular, Verb Form. Or: Don Quixote and Procrustes Ride Again
I, as well as other linguists, have accepted that Portuguese (and Spanish) verbs have a canonical 4 part structure consisting of: 1) a stem, followed by 2) a theme vowel, which is followed by 3) a morpheme indicating the verb’s tense, mood, and aspect, followed by 4) a morpheme identifying the verb’s subject as 1st (subjunctive, anterior, imperfect) are totally transparent in their surface manifestations. There is, however, one past tense form, the perfective past or ‘preterite’, whose forms appear to differ radically from the structure outlined above. In this presentation I show that despite the preterite’s outward aberrancy, it conforms to the canonical pattern, albeit owing to a rule pertaining to its particular tense/mood/aspect morpheme. To do this I examine the transparent past tense forms, identify the parameters necessary for the analysis of Portuguese verbs, review and critique earlier analyses, and then present my means of locating the preterite within the over-all pattern of verbal inflection.