The modern Lombard verbal system is more simplified than in the past, and also compared to Italian. The most striking difference compared to Italian is the absence of the distant past, which however has been preserved in some isolated variants until the mid-nineteenth century. Nowadays it is replaced by the past (constructed similarly to present perfect in English). The lack of a standard has prevented a precise and unambiguous codification of the verbal system: however, there are similarities between one local variant and an other. These are the main features of the Lombard verbal system:
- The Lombard has four conjugations (as in Latin), which in the eastern and Tortonese variants descend to 3 (since the II fades into the III and IV).
- There are the moods indicative, subjunctive, conditional, imperative, infinite and participle; gerund (recently introduced due to the influence of Italian) and the present participle are absent and are replaced periphrasis.
- The auxiliary verbs are vesser e havé.
- Simple tenses are the present indicative, the imperfect indicative, the future indicative, the present subjunctive, the imperfect subjunctive, the present conditional.
- Some verbal persons (essentially the second and third singular, but in many cases also the third plural) are preceded by verbal personal pronouns (called “weak subjects” ).This feature is also common in all other Galloitalic languages and Venetian language.
- In some more conservative dialects there is an interrogative formo f the verb.
Persons of the verb Edit
As in other Romance languages (and in general in Indo-European languages), there are six verbal persons in Lombardy: first, second and third persons singular, first, second and third persons plural. In many dialects (especially Eastern, Valtellina and Ticino), the third person singular and the plural have the same ending.
Auxiliary verbs Edit
In most cases, the Lombard compound tenses are combined with the similar auxiliaries as Italian (and, above all, other Galloitalic and Venetian languages). There are few differences: one of the main ones is found in verbs indicating atmospheric conditions (for example to snow, to rain, to hail).
- it rained = l'ha piovud.
- it snowed = l'ha fiocad.
- it hailed = l'ha tempestad.
This also affected the local Italian spoken in Lombardy.
The Novarese area deserves special mention, where the auxiliaries are often reversed:
- l'ha fait → l'è fait.
- l'è stait → l'ha stait.