3

Here is an excerpt from some text I was reading:

Por un error garrafal la llamamos piña. Su verdadero nombre lo olvidamos hace más de cinco siglos en la salvaje confusión que fue las conquista de América. Se llamaba ananás, que en el lenguaje guarani y en su sitio de origen significa "fruta exquisita". Para los pueblos precolombinos esta fragante fruta era parte de la vida diaria y del paisaje; la cultivaban cuidadosamente en hileras en sus jardines y heredades, conocían sus poderes medicinales, preparaban vino y chica con ella y acompañaban a los muertos en sus largos viajes a la eternidad.

My interest is in the last sentence after the semicolon. The subject of the verbs is the Pre-Columbian people: they cultivated pineapple, knew its powers and prepared drinks with it. So what about the final verb acompañaban?

I gather that the people put pineapple into the tombs of the dead for the afterlife. Has the subject changed and is no longer in parallel with the rest of the construction? Pineapple is singular in the "la" and "ella" references yet the verb ending indicates a plural subject.

So do I read this as something like this?:

The people supply the dead [with pineapple].

If so the reference back to pineapple is now implicit and I do not see any senses of the verb acompañar in my dictionary that fit.

4

To me this is a pretty clear mistake (or at least a stylistic snafu).

It's possible to say that maybe they mentally switched to thinking of "las piñas/ananases", but it would be best as singular, acompañaba, but even that stylistically that's not that great as it's a parallel structure that changes from los pueblos to la(s) fruta(s).

Since the other verbs were all in plural, it's easy to see how such a typo could come up.

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