A phonotactic link between strong verbs and function words in English
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In ‘Vowel + consonant and consonant + vowel sequences in the strong verbs of German and English’ (Cahiers Ferdinand de Saussure 1995–1996/49:139–63) I showed that the vowel + consonant sequences (VCs) and the consonant + vowel sequences (CVs) of the English strong verbs tend to occur only on the strong verbs, not on weak verbs, and hence serve as phonotactic markers of strong conjugation. In this paper I adduce data which show that the English strong verb VCs (though not the CVs) have an unexpectedly high rate of occurrence—72%—in monosyllabic function words such as prepositions and pronouns. Thus a formal, phonotactic link has been established between strong verbs and function words in English. The same tendency has been demonstrated for the strong verbs of German and the non-productive verbs of Russian. The pattern revealed points towards the possibility of finding rules for the formation of strong verbs and a separate meaning—perhaps aspectual—for them, different to that of the weak verbs.
Beedham , C 2014 , ' A phonotactic link between strong verbs and function words in English ' , Word , vol. 2006/57 , no. 2-3 , pp. 181-93 . https://doi.org/10.1080/00437956.2006.11432562
Copyright © 2014, Taylor & Francis. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00437956.2006.11432562
DescriptionDate of acceptance is 15.6.2006, for a December 2006 issue. Due to a hiatus in the editorship of the journal the issue was not published until 2014; with a 2006 imprint; the version published in 2014 is unchanged from the version accepted in 2006.
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