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> Date:         Sun, 10 Jun 2001 09:34:39 -0400
> From: Sally Caves <[log in to unmask]>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: claudio <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2001 8:21 AM

> > weak verbs keep the stem-vowel in all the three forms:
> > Infinitiv,Prńteritum,Partizip Perfekt.
> >
> > strong verbs dont keep the stem-vowel in all the three forms:
> > Infinitiv,Prńteritum,Partizip Perfekt.
> >
> > "bringen - brachte"
> > and
> > "denken - dachte"
> >
> > are both strong verbs for me.
>
> But they have a dental ending.  These very verbs are
> put in Class I weak verbs in Old English, and their umlaut
> is explained by their dropping of the middle front vowel in
> the preterite and past participle.  So they appear to have
> features of both strong and weak verbs; but their basic
> status as "weak verb" is indicated by the dental ending.

To expound a bit: Germanic Class I weak verbs are denominatives and
causatives in -i-. In Gothic, for instance, they ended in -jan, like
do:mjan, do:mida, do:mi■s = deem, deemed, deemed from do:ms = doom.

In verbs like ■ankjan, ■a:hta, ■a:hts = think, thought, thought, the
-i- was lost very early in the preterite and pret.part., as Sally
says, and thus the umlaut is only found in the (present and)
infinitive. (The -n- is not the present infix found in stand, stood,
but belongs to the root: /-ankt-/ > /-anxt-/ > /-a~:xt-/ > /-a:xt-/).

"But how can i-umlaut explain bringen," I hear you all shout. Well, it
can't --- the verb is suppletive, and thus truly irregular. The
present (bringan in Gothic) is part of a Class III strong verb; it
would have been bring, brang, brung in English. The expected weak
present would have been brangjan in Gothic, brengen in German, or
brŠnge in Danish. (But in English it would still have been bring).

(Someone else mentioned drag, drug, druggen --- I suspect some analogy
at work here. Gothic had dragan, dro:g, dragans (Class VI), and Danish
has drage /dRa:u/, drog /dRo:?/, draget /dRa:2D/ (earlier dragen)).

As to terminology: Danish calls any verb irregular that doesn't
strictly follow the two basic weak patterns, male - malede - malet or
tŠnke - tŠnkte - tŠnkt. There are so few left that I don't think
anyone bothers to teach the difference between strong and weak verbs
in school.

Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <[log in to unmask]> (Humour NOT marked)