If context is needed, please consult this previous question.
So, there's a bunch of verbs related to "持っ" but how can any of them evolve to 持った?
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The past tense ～た attaches to the 連用形 "continuative form" of verbs, which for consonant stem verbs is formed by adding
-i- to the stem, and for vowel stem verbs is formed by adding nothing.
For vowel stem verbs, this is fairly simple:
寝る ne-ru → 寝た ne-ta 見る mi-ru → 見た mi-ta
For consonant stem verbs, it's more complicated. Depending on which consonant the stem ends with, we find an additional set of sound changes:
書く kak-u → *書きた kak-i-ta → 書いた ka-i-ta 脱ぐ nug-u → *脱ぎた nug-i-ta → 脱いだ nu-i-da 話す hanas-u → 話した hanas-i-ta 持つ mot-u → *持ちた mot-i-ta → 持った mot-ta 死ぬ sin-u → *死にた sin-i-ta → 死んだ sin-da 運ぶ hakob-u → *運びた hakob-i-ta → 運んだ hakon-da 噛む kam-u → *噛みた kam-i-ta → 噛んだ kan-da やる yar-u → *やりた yar-i-ta → やった yat-ta 言う iw-u → *言いた iw-i-ta → 言った it-ta
Note that /w/ disappears before all vowels except /a/, so
iw-u is 言う,
iw-anai is 言わない, etc.
Three otherwise regular consonant stem verbs are irregular here:
行く ik-u → *行きた ik-i-ta → 行った it-ta 問う tow-u → *問いた tow-i-ta → 問うた too-ta 請う kow-u → *請いた kow-i-ta → 請うた koo-ta
These last two reflect western sound changes, while the regular verbs reflect eastern sound changes.
And our irregular verbs are irregular as usual:
する suru → した si-ta 来る kuru → 来た ki-ta
The same changes apply when adding て, たり, たら, or たって rather than た.
In this answer, the
* symbol indicates that a form is considered incorrect in Modern Japanese, and is included only to show you how the forms "evolved" (as you asked).