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12. Morphological Structure of Verbal Forms


Subject Theoretical Linguistics » Morphology

Key-Topics grammar

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405198820.2012.00014.x


Verbal inflexion or conjugation is the set of forms that a verb takes in order to express grammatical notions such as person, number, tense, etc. Verbal inflection is rather complex in Spanish if we compare it with the inflection of nouns and adjectives. The inflectional paradigm of a noun in Spanish includes only two forms, one for the singular and one for the plural (e.g., casa and casas ). Adjectives have four forms, since, in addition to singular and plural, they may have different forms in the masculine and feminine gender (e.g., alto, alta, altos, altas ). In comparison, a verb has 62 different forms in Spanish if we count only simple forms ( canto, cantas, canta , …), and up to 118 forms if we add compound forms with haber as an auxiliary ( he cantado, has cantado, ha cantado , …). Regarding simple forms, there are 8 verb tenses (one of which, the imperfect subjunctive, has double forms) with six personal forms, one mood, the imperative, which has only second person forms (singular and plural), and three nonpersonal forms, one of which, the participle, is inflected for gender and number. For each simple form there is a compound form, except for the imperative and the participle. In this chapter, I first consider the grammatical categories existing in the Spanish verb (Section 1.1) and how the inflected forms are organized (Section 1.2). The remaining sections focus ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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