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Yoïn van Spijk's diagram substantiates that French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish merged at least two of Latin's esse, sedere, stare.

  1. Are there any Romance languages which still feature direct descendants of esse, sedere, stare as three separate, non-merged verbs (not counting derived verbs like adesse)?

  2. This diagram doesn't indicate a Proto-Romance equivalent to sedere. Was there one, or was this verb perhaps lost as a full verb of its own already by Proto-Romance times?

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    I'm not sure I understand your question. Most languages do, such as English: "sit", "be", "stand".
    – Draconis
    Aug 20 at 4:24
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    @Draconis Presumably which Romance languages. Aug 20 at 8:17
  • Romanian only uses the equivalent(s) of sum-esse-fui in the sense of to be.
    – Lucian
    Aug 21 at 10:55
  • @Draconis: Yes, but not in the sense of to be.
    – Lucian
    Aug 21 at 10:57
  • Raeto-Romance declension of to be.
    – Lucian
    Aug 21 at 11:29
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  1. Are there any Romance languages which still feature direct descendants of esse, sedere, stare as three separate, non-merged verbs (not counting derived verbs like adesse)?

Yes, many of them. Spanish, for example, has ser, sentar, and estar, while Catalan has ésser, seure, and estar, and Italian has essere, sedere, and stare.

Some of these verbs have borrowed forms from each other (e.g. Latin esse had no supine so descendants took the supine of either sedēre or stāre) but they're still generally considered separate paradigms, even if certain forms overlap. (Compare English "wend", as in "wend your way", which is still considered a separate verb from "go" even though "go" stole its preterite.)

  1. This diagram doesn't indicate a Proto-Romance equivalent to sedere. Was there one, or was this verb perhaps lost as a full verb of its own already by Proto-Romance times?

There were two, *sedēre and *sedentāre. The former is the one whose forms were often co-opted to fill in other paradigms; the latter comes from the Classical participle sedent- "sitting" and sometimes survived when sound changes made *sedēre unusable. Both show various descendants meaning "sit": Catalan seure < *sedēre, Spanish sentar < *sedentāre.

(I'm not sure if you count *sedentāre as a "derived verb"; I would group it in with forms like *essere rather than forms like adesse, since it's the result of analogy in Vulgar Latin rather than a standard derivational process in Classical Latin.)

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  • Ser is specifically one of the merged verbs – it mixes forms of sedēre and esse: the present indicative, imperfect and preterite from esse, the present subjunctive, infinitive (and hence future and conditional) and participles from sedēre. I would count sentāre as a derived verb, since it’s formed as a regular frequentative, a highly productive formation type in late Latin. The only morphologically ‘unadulterated’, directly inherited verb I can think of in this group is estar in Spanish and Portuguese (though this doesn’t mean ‘stand’ anymore). Aug 26 at 7:17
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Wouldn't the Classical frequentative be *sessāre (cf dictāre etc)?
    – Draconis
    Aug 26 at 15:46
  • Oh yes, of course it would! The present participle somehow became the passive participle in my mind for a second there. I’d still consider *se(de)ntāre derived, but you’re right that it’s not a regular frequentative, just a (one-off?) new verb formed with the old present participle as its basis. Aug 26 at 15:53

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