Temere vs. Vendere: Two Types of Second Conjugation Verbs

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pster
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Temere vs. Vendere: Two Types of Second Conjugation Verbs

Post by pster » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:06 pm

Langenscheidt's Italian Dictionary divides Italian verbs into four types for their conjugation patterns: -are, two types of -ere, and -ire. Within each type there are many subtypes. The dictionary entries point you at a particular subtype (model) for each verb entry. What I am having trouble with is understanding the difference between the lead verb types for the two -ere patterns: temere and vendere. These are presumably the most regular -ere verb types and all -ere subtypes are variations from these. But I don't see any difference between temere and vendere.

It is a system for a dictionary and so all Italian verbs--including--irregular verbs get categorized somewhere in this system. Often you see four types for Italian, with the -ire verbs getting split in two, but that is not how they work it here. I found one clue online at about.com where they write:

"Much more numerous, however, are the irregular verbs of the second conjugation (verbs ending in –ere). These verbs are usually divided into two groups:

—verbs in –ére, (cadere, dovere, valere). The majority of irregular changes occur in the root, generally in the present indicative and subjunctive (valg–o, valg–a).

—verbs in –’ere (accendere, accludere) in which the accent falls on the stem. Usually these irregular verbs have changes in the past remote and the past participle (acce–si, acce–so). "

But this doesn't seem to shed any light on the difference between temere and vendere or even really the subtypes below them. I thought it might be a stress issue, but I couldn't find anything in that regard.


Here are the first subtypes for each verb type:

temere, avere, cadere, calere, dolere,dovere,lucere...

vendere, chiudere, prendere, fingere, addurre,assistere...


Anybody have any idea what they are up to?

Thanks in advance.

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Davide
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Post by Davide » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:42 pm

You know what - I'm not being flippant, but I just wouldn't worry about it - why make things more complicated than necessary? This just sounds to me like an exercise in pedantry.

(I'm going to get a reputation as a grammar-hater - I'm not, but I believe in keeping things as simple as possible and I can't see any reason why they should try to subdivide -ere verbs)
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-Luca-
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Post by -Luca- » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:47 pm

Davide wrote:You know what - I'm not being flippant, but I just wouldn't worry about it - why make things more complicated than necessary? This just sounds to me like an exercise in pedantry.

(I'm going to get a reputation as a grammar-hater - I'm not, but I believe in keeping things as simple as possible and I can't see any reason why they should try to subdivide -ere verbs)
Absolutely true Davide, I agree with you :)
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pster
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Post by pster » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:19 pm

Ah, come on guys. You know that sometimes grammar can be like wine. You only want one glass. But then it tastes so good that pretty soon you find yourself ordering another. And another. And another. I'm too deep in to just not worry about it. I gots to know!!

Geoff
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Post by Geoff » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:35 am

It looks to me that the distinction is based on where the stress is placed. This is hardly a grammatical distinction.

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Davide
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Post by Davide » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:50 am

Ok here is the difference according to Maiden and Robustelli (A Reference Grammar of Modern Italian)

In most -ere verbs, the stress falls not on the e of the final syllable but on the root of the verb, for example vendere, perdere.

In about 20 -ere verbs, the stress falls on the 'e' of the final syllable (known as the thematic vowel) for example 'temere, 'volere, 'sapere.

This is the only difference, and as Geoff rightly pointed out, it is simply a matter of where the stress falls - it makes no grammatical difference to how these verbs are conjugated.

What your dictionary appears to be doing is to set up a pattern of the irregularities that occur in certain tenses, depending on where the stress falls in the infinitive.
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pster
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Post by pster » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:31 am

Thanks so much for the help. I'm working on a comparison with Latin and should have it up pretty soon. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

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coffeecup
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Post by coffeecup » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:17 am

I have never, ever heard of being able to group [-ere] verbs like that. Have I been living under a rock? :|

As far as I thought I knew, [-ire] verbs were separated into those following the pattern of sentire and those following the pattern of finire, but that was all.
без тебя я не я. нас никогда не догонят! я тебя люблю.

pster
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Post by pster » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:58 pm

OK, I've been reading up on the two kinds of -ere verbs. The group A tenere type with accent on the penultimate syllable (=theme vowel) and the group B vendere type with accent on the last syllable of the root. Most of what follows I have extracted from a few papers of Donna Jo Napoli and co-authors.

1) Not including compounds there are only 23 A type verbs:
avere
cadere
calere
dolere
dovere
giacere
godere
licere
manere
parere
piacere
potere
sapere
sedere
solere
suadere
tacere
temere
tenere
valere
vedere
volere
That's it. Those are the only Italian -ere verbs with accent on the penultimate syllable. And five of these are obsolete, limited in usage, or have been replaced by compounds (e.g. suadere>persuadere)

2) Most of the A type verbs derive from second conjugation Latin verbs with infinititive ending -ēre. Cadere and sapere are two exceptions. Many B type verbs derive from third conjugation Latin verbs with infinitive ending -ere. Here there are more than two exceptions. But both sets of exceptions can be explained with various linguistic principles.

3) All of the A type roots consist of a vowel or diphthong with one or two consonants. There are some B type roots also that fit this description, however.

4) All but a handful of the A type verbs have regular past participles. However, the vast majority of B type verbs have irregular past participles.

Hopefully the two norms in bold redeem the whole enquiry for you. They certainly have for me.

maelström

Post by maelström » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:20 pm

pster wrote:Those are the only Italian -ere verbs with accent on the penultimate syllable.
Not the only ones. Other exist, such as "contenere", "mantenere", "rimanere", but they are conjugated just as "tenere" and "manere".

pster
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Post by pster » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:50 pm

I wrote, "Not including compounds there are only 23 A type verbs". I did not think that there was a pragmatic need to repeat the qualification later. Sorry for any confusion! Davide's count of 20 similarly excludes compounds.

maelström

Post by maelström » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:25 pm

pster wrote:Not including compounds there are only 23 A type verbs
Sorry, I overlooked it.

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Peter
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Post by Peter » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:54 am

coffeecup wrote:I have never, ever heard of being able to group [-ere] verbs like that. Have I been living under a rock? :|

As far as I thought I knew, [-ire] verbs were separated into those following the pattern of sentire and those following the pattern of finire, but that was all.
I'm in the same boat, coffeecup! In all the years I've been studying the language no-one has ever separated the -ere verbs, like this or in any other way. I am still unsure if knowing this actually helps, as both Davide and Geoff have intimated. It is certainly, in my humble opinion, more important to recognise/understand the finire/capire conjugations, as well as the more common irregular conjugations you get in all three verb groups. :)

maelström

Post by maelström » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:32 am

Peter wrote:In all the years I've been studying the language no-one has ever separated the -ere verbs, like this or in any other way. I am still unsure if knowing this actually helps
It helps as long as you want to pronounce them correctly. In my opinion, a foreign learner should know that "piacere" and "piangere" have different accents: "piacère" / "piàngere". Since verbs ending in -ere do belong to two separate groups, I guess underlining this difference is important.

pster
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Post by pster » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:42 pm

Peter wrote:
coffeecup wrote:I am still unsure if knowing this actually helps, as both Davide and Geoff have intimated
Whether something helps or not depends on what one is trying to accomplish. If one is trying to learn Italian with a strong background in Latin, then this does help. If one wants an easy way to know whether the past participle is regular or not, then this does help. There is an awful lot of structure that is not taught to living language learners because they have all kinds of ways of picking up the language. If however, you study an ancient language, like say Ancient Greek, then the standard references have whole chapters on how verbs, nouns, adjectives, and adverbs are assembled out of roots, prefixes, theme vowels, suffixes, etc. And it helps a great deal when you are trying to understand the language, especially if it has changed. If your focus is on contemporary Italian only, as opposed to an Italian that has changed since Dante, through the Renaissance, to today, then these kinds of regularities may not be that helpful.

Frankly, if I had known that there would be so many immature, negative, anti-intellectual, sniping comments directed at the question, I never would have raised it in this forum. If someone were to start a thread about meter in Dante, would they get the same treatment? Or is it something about linguistic questions that induces it? Really, if a question doesn't interest you, then skip it. Nobody said you had to be interested in it. I'm not interested in lots of stuff. I don't go around telling people who are interested that their questions aren't helpful because I don't need to know the answers and am not particularly curious about them. Why? Because I respect curiosity in general. People have written many academic papers on the two kinds of -ere verbs. What separates the two kinds is not a stupid question. Those who find it stupid are either stupid themselves or so insecure that they have to put negative comments on an internet thread where they have contributed nothing except a permanent record of their own stupidity and insecurity. How's that for intimating? I won't be logging on to impariamo again.

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