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NATLANG: French past participles

From:Trebor Jung <treborjung@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 6, 2004, 2:38
In French, you form the passé composé with the formula Pronominal
Prefix+avoir/être+past participle (I think Christophe is right in his
classification of French as polysynthetic--I didn't learn it in school that
way, that'd be pretty cool--but I'll start describing French like that).
Usually, the infix is <avoir>, but the past participles of 16 special verbs
(the "Dr Mrs Vandertramp" verbs) take <être>. Even more interesting (and
odd), these past participles act like adjectives (but *only* these):
Il est allé. He has gone.
Elle est allée. She has gone.
Ils sont allés. They-masc. have gone.
Elles sont allées. They-fem. have gone.

Is there a reason for this?

"If you pulled the wings off a fly, would it then be called a walk?"


Joe <joe@...>
Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>