-ear, - ore, - orn

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quintopia
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-ear, - ore, - orn

Postby quintopia » Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:12 pm UTC

swear, swore, sworn
tear, tore, torn
wear, wore, worn


But:

shear, sheared, shorn

Was there ever a time when the simple past tense of shear was shore?

As a followup question, are there any other words (aside from simple variations like forswear) that follow the above pattern?

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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby eSOANEM » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:44 pm UTC

I'd expect so. There's been a trend since old english to regularise strong verbs in various ways (the number of strong verb paradigms has decreased a lot with some merging and some becoming weak instead); this looks like it'd be part of that.

Sadly google n-grams only starts at 1800 so isn't very useful for this sort of thing. The phrase "shore the sheep" compared to "sheared the sheep" does seem to show the last bit of a decline in usage with the two crossing around 1650±100.

Tracing it back, it looks like in old english, it was a perfectly respectable class IV strong verb (like the others) and therefore it looks like its preterite form would have become shore.
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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby Lazar » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:46 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:There's been a trend since old english to regularise strong verbs in various ways (the number of strong verb paradigms has decreased a lot with some merging and some becoming weak instead); this looks like it'd be part of that.

But there have also been a few cases of weak verbs becoming strong, especially in AmEng:

hanged → hung
dived → dove
sneaked → snuck
pleaded → pled
dragged → drug
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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby quintopia » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:30 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:But there have also been a few cases of weak verbs becoming strong, especially in AmEng:

Then it is my right as an American to strengthen the participle of pore from pored to porn.

Anyone have any leads on my second question?

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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:02 am UTC

Lazar wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:There's been a trend since old english to regularise strong verbs in various ways (the number of strong verb paradigms has decreased a lot with some merging and some becoming weak instead); this looks like it'd be part of that.

But there have also been a few cases of weak verbs becoming strong, especially in AmEng:

hanged → hung
dived → dove
sneaked → snuck
pleaded → pled
dragged → drug


Actually, this goes the other way round and's another instance of BrE carrying language changes further than AmE. All of those other than plead and hang (which is complicated) come from strong verbs which are retained in AmE but weakened in BrE.

Hang is complicated because the modern english verb comes from a pair of old english verbs, one strong and one weak. The strong verb meant "to suspend" and is used for clothes whilst the weak one meant "to be suspended" and was used for (amongst other things) executed people. This is preserved in the modern British distinction between hanged and hung (I don't know quite how it works in AmE).

Plead is totally an innovation though but these sorts of things often happen with borrowed words (from anglo-norman in this case) and it was probably a common dialect variant within the UK until quite recently.

quintopia wrote:
Lazar wrote:But there have also been a few cases of weak verbs becoming strong, especially in AmEng:

Then it is my right as an American to strengthen the participle of pore from pored to porn.

Anyone have any leads on my second question?


You could do that, but matching it to the nearest surviving strong verb paradigm (that of throw and hold) would give you pore, pere, porn and pere just sounds weird as a pretirite.

As to your second question, the verbs you list are all class IV strong verbs. Wikipedia lists the following as remaining true to the paradigm: bear, break, get, shear, speak, steal, swear, tear, tread, wake, weave.

Get, speak, tread, weave, swear and wake were apparently originally from other strong verb paradigms though.
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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby quintopia » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:55 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The strong verb meant "to suspend" and is used for clothes whilst the weak one meant "to be suspended" and was used for (amongst other things) executed people. This is preserved in the modern British distinction between hanged and hung (I don't know quite how it works in AmE).

This distinction is preserved in AmEng as well.


eSOANEM wrote:You could do that, but matching it to the nearest surviving strong verb paradigm (that of throw and hold) would give you pore, pere, porn and pere just sounds weird as a pretirite.


Okay, well, I'll use pair instead. pair, pore, porn sounds fine to my ear.

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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby Derek » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:09 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:But there have also been a few cases of weak verbs becoming strong, especially in AmEng:

hanged → hung
dived → dove
sneaked → snuck
pleaded → pled
dragged → drug


Actually, this goes the other way round and's another instance of BrE carrying language changes further than AmE. All of those other than plead and hang (which is complicated) come from strong verbs which are retained in AmE but weakened in BrE.

According to Wiktionary, dove and snuck are American creations. Although for dive it shows the etymology as the merger of a weak and a strong verb.

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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:49 am UTC

Ah yes, in my search, I missed some of the others which were mergers of strong and weak verbs. The strong verb which merged into dive was class II though and they've become highly irregular so it'd be difficult to prove whether it's a continuation or an innovation. Dufan (the strong verb)'s preterite form was "deaf" though and I think we do have at least some cases of OE <ea> being continued as "long" o so a continuation as dove is plausible.

Sneak has always been a strong verb though with preterite snāc. If it survived in that form until the great vowel shift you'd expect it to come to be pronounced the same as modern "snake". I can't find any examples, but I seem to remember that ā > ʌ does occur in some cases. That said, the class I verbs (like snican) are generally pretty well preserved so we would expect sneak, snock, snocken as the pattern.

I think I missed sneak in my initial searches and that does look like it probably is an innovation. I stand by the idea that the others aren't (the fact dove is also present in various regional dialects in the UK also suggests that it isn't an innovation).
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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:Sadly google n-grams only starts at 1800 so isn't very useful for this sort of thing.
It goes back to 1500 but those two phrases aren't attested before about 1800 in any case.
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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby Aiwendil » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:43 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I stand by the idea that the others aren't (the fact dove is also present in various regional dialects in the UK also suggests that it isn't an innovation).


I suspect that 'drug' as a preterite of 'drag' is an innovation. Yes, it is ultimately from O.E. dragan, probably via a dialectical form alongside the standard reflex, draw/drew/drawn. But from its first attestations in the 15th century, 'drag' seems to have been treated as a weak verb. In the OED's citations, I find 45 weak past tenses and zero strong past tenses. I would be astonished if the modern 'drug' were really a survival of a strong past tense all the way from O.E.

In the case of 'dive', we do have confusion between an Old English strong verb (dufan) and the related causal weak verb (dyfan). It seems that what happened was that the verbs became synonymous, and the dufan form fell out of use in favour of dyfan. So the strong past seems to have fallen out of use sometime in Middle English, and modern 'dove' would appear to be a 19th century innovation.

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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:17 am UTC

I'm not saying it survived in literary English. I'm saying it survived as a dialectal variation which spread to the US. Nothing you've said is evidence against that.

gmalivuk wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:Sadly google n-grams only starts at 1800 so isn't very useful for this sort of thing.
It goes back to 1500 but those two phrases aren't attested before about 1800 in any case.


Ah, thanks for pointing that out.
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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby Aiwendil » Sat Jun 20, 2015 12:35 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I'm not saying it survived in literary English. I'm saying it survived as a dialectal variation which spread to the US. Nothing you've said is evidence against that.


I don't deny that that's possible; it just seems more likely to me that the American usage is an innovation (and not a surprising one, as analogy to other strong verbs can be a, well, strong motivator for such innovation) than that it derives from a traditional dialectical usage. It looks to me more like an analogical form based on class I strong verbs (e.g. ride/rode/ridden) than a genuine survival of a class II strong verb. But of course I can't say for certain.

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Re: -ear, - ore, - orn

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:35 am UTC

If that's the case though, why is dove attested today as a dialect word (and not seen as an americansim) today but not other analogised forms? The only strong forms used for the verb being the same independently seems a lot less plausible than them all being continuations of an earlier form.

Either that or it was a very early borrowing.
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