Talk:Germanic weak verb

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Hebrew letters[edit]

Is it useful to use Hebrew letters for Yiddish words, when >95% won't be able to read it? Anyway ...shouldn't Hebrew script be written from right to left? I only recognise "aleph", but it seems to appear at the "wrong" side of the words. Rolf /Darmstadt --84.167.130.108 12:43, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The Yiddish words are spelled correctly. But you're right that transliterations should be included. AJD 13:44, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There may not be many of us who want the Hebrew characters, but pander to our whim and let there be both! --Doric Loon 17:09, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm not against Hebrew script, it's perfekt like this. But the German example seems somehow wrong: "wirken" normally means "to act"/"to be effective" (i.e. "Wirkung"), but "werken" means "to work (manually with material)" ("arbeiten" is more general "to work") (compare "Werkbank", "Werkkunde", "Goethes gesammelten Werke") Rolf, --84.167.169.36 23:56, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OK forget about it, I can't really tell the past participle of "werken", "ich habe gewerkt" ??? It's to unusual, germans would automatically switch to "ich habe gearbeitet".

Afrikaans[edit]

I have added the Afrikaans forms of the verbs to the table though the strong verb has been lost from Afrikaans, all verbs follow the weak pattern. However the past participle of Afrikaans verbs have lost the /t/ or /d/ sound. For example the past participle of werk is gewerk rather than the ancestral Dutch gewerkt.

Therefore should the initial sentence still read the following? In Germanic languages, weak verbs are those verbs that form their preterites and past participles by means of a dental suffix, an inflection that contains a /t/ or /d/ sound. Booshank 12:16, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for this. I think in principle that sentence remains a fair opening, but in the case of Afrikaans the dental has been lost. One might of course ask, since both the dental and the ablaut system have disappeared entirely, whether weak and strong are meaningful concepts in Afrikaans at all. But that would be a discussion for the Afrikaans page, I suppose. --Doric Loon 12:40, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
I have never come across the terms 'strong' and 'weak' applied to Afrikaans verbs, I don't think one would use them if one was just looking at the Afrikaans language as the distinction between the two has been lost, but it seems useful when comparing Afrikaans with other Germanic languages. Booshank 12:47, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Strong and Weak?[edit]

Under General Description, shouldn't this sentence: In English the preterite and participle are always identical actualy read as follows: In English the preterite and participle of the weak verb are always identical. ?

Obviously the preterite and the past participle of to sing, for example, are not identical, but I don't want to change it because maybe I misunderstand.

Also, under "Strong and Weak", would show - showed - shown count as a (rare) example from English? Sukkoth 16:43, 4 April 2008 (UTC)


On the first question, you are absolutely right, the sentence was understood to refer only to weak verbs. I thought that was clear in the context but go ahead and improve it if you want. The second question is really interesting. Yes, this is a "semi-strong" verb, isn't it? But it is slightly different, because as far as I can see from the books I have handy, it goes back to a Germanic weak verb, but has developed a strong participle by analogy with verbs like sow, sown (strong, class 7). Is that too complicated to write up in this article? --Doric Loon (talk) 09:18, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Thou forms[edit]

I see that Doric Loon undid my edit in which I removed the thou forms from the English part of the Modern Paradigms section. I did this because I think that Early Modern English forms should be included either entirely or not at all: if "he worketh" is excluded, then I see no reason to include "thou workest" (and it would be "workest", not "workst"). There's a case for including them both - they make the similarities to the other Germanic languages clearer - but I thought they would make the chart too cluttered. Anyway, I'll err on the side of inclusion put them both in. --Lazar Taxon (talk) 01:21, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I have no problem with the -eth forms being in here, but this together with the inclusion of more and more languages is making the table very cluttered. Maybe we should separate out the North Germanic languages into a separate table underneath? It is not good if automatic linebreaks are stopping the six person/number rows from being lined up and easy to read.
There is a difference between the thou forms and the -eth forms, in that -eth died out in early modern times, but some people still use thou, even if it is rare. We discussed this before on some other page - can't remember where - and agreed that there is no point in having "you" twice; "thou" is cognate with the pronouns in the other languages, so it is useful to see it, and since this is an English-language Wiki, no-body is going to be misled by that about actual modern usage. So including "thou" is sensible.
Whether including other old and variant forms has the same logic, I don't know. All I will say is be careful of clutter, and of the notion that we have to include everything. --Doric Loon (talk) 08:21, 24 May 2008 (UTC)


Norwegian exception etc.[edit]

This article seems to almost forget the North Germanic languages, although it's call "Germanic weak verb" and not "West Germanic weak verb". Also, Norwegian and Danish should be added to the table under "Modern paradigms".

The Norwegian nynorsk conjugation is verka/verke - verkar - verka - verka, which shows that it is simply not true that "In Germanic languages, weak verbs are those verbs that form their preterites and past participles by means of a dental suffix, an inflection that contains a /t/ or /d/ sound or similar." The biggest class of weak verbs (called a-verbs) in norwegian can't have dental suffixes in nynorsk orthography, and may not have in bokmål orthography (where the ending -et is the more used alternative). There are however other classes of weak verbs that do have dental suffixes.

This verbs that do have a dental suffix now did have one in Old Norse, but it has been lost in all Norwegian dialects except the one in Bergen (and in the Riksmål sociolects), and the same is the case in many Swedish dialects. Since Faroese has lost the ð, this may be the case here to, but I don't know.

Also, that "Only Frisian has retained two productive classes of weak verbs" isn't the case either. I suppose most (maybe all) North Germanic languages have at least two productive classes. 195.0.220.117 (talk) 07:54, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

The article is correct to say that weak verbs are those with dental suffixes; the concept is historical, and all weak verbs once had dental suffixes. The article goes on to say that this suffix has disappeared in Afrikaans. If it has disappeared elsewhere, do add that information.
Our articles are focussed by the competence of the authors and so far no-one with extensive competence in Nordic has chosen to contribute much. This is a fairly good article but it is still quite young and it will improve when someone with that competence gets round to writing. If you are a linguist (as opposed to a casual speaker of some Scandinavian language) I would encourage you to add your knowledge. --Doric Loon (talk) 20:22, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Older English Form[edit]

This article overlooks what used to be accepted into the English language. The past form of to work is, or at least used to be, "wrought." Languages are all on a trend on which they are simplifying. German, for example, now accepts both "gesandt"(strong past participle) and "gesendet"(weak past participle) for the verb infinitive "senden," which originally was classified as a strong verb. Jaundiced Zippo (talk) 20:38, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Gesandt is also a weak form (since it ends in -t, not -en), as is wrought (< OE worhte), but you're right that irregular weak forms tend to get replaced by regular weak forms. —Angr 08:02, 22 January 2009 (UTC)