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Re: "There can be"

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <melroch@...>
Date:Monday, April 14, 2008, 16:30
You won't get pairs of short and long /a/ from ablaut, since
Germanic had only a short /a/.  All long /a:/s have developed
later, partly from compensatory lengthening but mostly from
open syllable lengthening -- and in Scandinavian from the quantity
shift where short syllables got their vowel lengthened.


2008/4/14, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>:
> Hi! > > > Andreas Johansson writes: > > Quoting Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>: > > >>... > > >> True. Though apparently more accurate wording is "...whereas strong > >> verbs in the preterite no longer do"; at least, if I understand this > >> bit from the WP article correctly: "In the older stages of the > >> Germanic languages (Old English, Middle High German) the past tense of > >> strong verbs also showed different ablaut grades in singular and > >> plural." > > > > Written Swedish had this well into the 20th century, eg. _jag > > sprang, vi sprungo_ "I ran, we ran" (today simply _jag sprang, vi > > sprang_). In speech they were mostly gone generations earlier. > > > Modern Dutch has this for a few strong verbs, while German, with very > similar forms, has dropped it. Probably it is the same phenomenon: > > I saw we saw > ich sah /a:/ wir sahen /a:/ > ik zag /a/ wij zagen /a:/ > ^-short > > IIRC, there is no such length pair (except maybe totally irregular > verbs) in the present tense. > > I wonder whether a verb form in my native dialect of German has > related reasons, or is different. The problem is that it is in the > present tense, not the past tense: > > he says we say > er sagt wir sagen > standard: /a:/ /a:/ > my dialect: /a/ /a:/ > ^-short > > This is not a general rule, but it is part of the verb paradigm, e.g., > there is no difference in the following verb: > > he asks we ask > er fragt wir fragen > standard: /a:/ /a:/ > my dialect: /a:/ /a:/ > > Any ideas? > > > **Henrik >
-- / BP