Andrea Bocchi

Pascoli and the first person of the past imperfect tense

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Informations and abstract

Keywords: Giovanni Pascoli; Italian historical morphology; past imperfect tense

For a long time the first person of the Italian past imperfect tense had an analogical ending -o beside the etymological -a. In the late nineteenth century, both forms were accepted in poetry. The paper proposes a criterion for the choice of -o or -a in the poems of Giovanni Pascoli. On the basis of his definitive texts as well of manuscript variants, the author assumes that Pascoli uses the ending -a only with the expressed pronoun "io" and considers -o (usually without expressed pronoun) as a less literary option. The corrections were usually made before the first print and stimulated the poet to experiment with echoing effects (for instance in the poem "Il bolide").

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