Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Dziubalska-Kolaczyk, Katarzyna

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.250
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.259

CiteScore 2017: 0.36

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.151
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.485

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 46, Issue 2


Present-Day English Irregular Verbs Revisited

Antonio Bertacca
Published Online: 2010-07-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10010-010-0007-5

Present-Day English Irregular Verbs Revisited

All the classifications of present-day English irregular verbs to be found in the most famous grammars basically do not differ considerably and, especially, consider them to be mere aggregates of irregularities.

This paper, on the other hand, aims to suggest a different classification by applying the basic tenets of Natural Morphology. This allows the author to divide irregular verbs into microclasses according to two main parameters: (i) the number of bases and (ii) rhymes. The latter is especially important, since empirical evidence demonstrates that the basic relationship existing among paradigms and families of paradigms is the one based on morphotactic similarity, whereas semantic similarities are absolutely peripheral. The two parameters are eventually exploited to provide a further scale, i.e. that of morphotactic transparency and of base uniformity, which is fundamental to organise a hierarchy of suppletion.

Keywords: Natural Morphology; irregular verbs; English

  • Baayen, R. H. and R. Schreuder. 1999. "War and peace: Morphemes and full forms in a non-interactive activation parallel route model". Brain and Language 68. 27-32.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Baayen, R. H. and R. Schreuder. 2003. Morphological structure in language processing. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Beretta A., C. Campbell, T. H. Carr, J. Huang, L. M. Schmitt, K. Christianso and Y. Cao. 2003. "An ER-fMRI investigation of morphological inflection in German reveals that the brain makes a distinction between regular and irregular forms". Brain and Language 85(1). 67-92.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bertacca, A. 2009. Natural Morphology and the loss of nominal inflections in English. Pisa: Plus.Google Scholar

  • Bertinetto, P. M. 1994. "Phonological representation of morphological complexity: Alternative models (neuro- and psycholinguistic evidence)". Cognitive Linguistics 5. 77-109.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bertinetto, P. M. 1995. "Compositionality and non-compositionality in morphology". In: Dressier, W. U. and C. Burani (eds.), Cross-disciplinary approaches to morphology. Wien: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. 9-36.Google Scholar

  • Bittner, D., W. U. Dressler and M. Kilani-Schoch (eds.). 2003. Development of verb inflection in first language acquisition. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Bybee, J. and D. Slobin. 1982. "Rules and Schemas in the development and use of the English past tense". Language 58. 265-289.Google Scholar

  • Bybee, J. 1991. "Natural morphology: the organization of paradigms and language acquisition". In: Huebner, T. and C. A. Ferguson (eds.), Crosscurrents in second language acquisition and linguistic theories. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 67-91.Google Scholar

  • Bybee, J. 2008. "Usage-based grammar and second language acquisition". In: Robinson, P. and N. C. Ellis (eds.), Handbook of cognitive linguistics and second language acquisition. London: Routledge. 216-236.Google Scholar

  • Carstairs, A. 1987. Allomorphy in inflection. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar

  • Carstairs-McCarthy, A. 1998. "Pardigmatic structure: Inflectional paradigms and morphological classes". In: Spencer, A. and A. M. Zwicky (eds.), The handbook of morphology. Oxford: Blackwell. 322-334.Google Scholar

  • Carstairs-McCarthy, A. 2000. "Lexeme, word-form, paradigm". In: Booij, G.,C. Lehmann and J. Mugdan (eds.), Morphologie/Morphology (vol. 1). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 595-607.Google Scholar

  • Corbett, G. and N. Fraser. 1993. "Network morphology: A DATR account of Russian inflectional morphology". Journal of Linguistics 29. 113-142.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dressler, W. U. 2003. "Latin static morphology and paradigm families". In: Bauer, B. L. M. and G.-J. Pinault (eds.), Language in time and space. A festschrift for Werner Winter. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 87-99.Google Scholar

  • Dressler, W. U., M. Kilani-Schoch, N. Gagarina, L. Pestal and M. Pöchtrager. 2006. "On the typology of inflection class systems" Folia Linguistica 40(1-2). 51-74.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Dziubalska-Koļaczyk, K. 2001. Constraints and preferences. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Frauenfelder, U. H. and R. Schreuder. 1992. "Constraining psycholinguistic models of morphological processing and representation: The role of productivity". Yearbook of Morphology 1991. 165-183.Google Scholar

  • Hall, C. J. 1992. Morphology and the mind: A unified approach to explanation. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Huddleston, R. and G. K. Pullum. 2002. The Cambridge grammar of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Jespersen, O. 1942 [1961]. A Modern English grammar on historical principles. (Part VI.) Morphology. London and Copenhagen: G. Allen and Unwin/Ejnar Munksgaard.Google Scholar

  • Kilani-Schoch, M. and W. U. Dressier. 2005. Morphologie naturelle et flexion du verb frančais. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.Google Scholar

  • Krygier, M. 1994. The disintegration of the English strong verb system. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

  • Marcus, G. 2000. "Children's overregularization and its implication for cognition". In: Breeder, P. and J. Murre (eds)., Models of language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 154-176.Google Scholar

  • Matthews, Peter. 1991. Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Newman, A. J., M. T. Ullman, R. Pancheva, D. L. Waligura and H. J. Neville. 2007. "An ERP study of regular and irregular English past tense inflection". NeuroImage 34(1). 435-445.CrossrefWeb of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Palmer, F. 1974. The English verb. London: Longman.Google Scholar

  • Pinker, S. 1999. Words and rules. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson.Google Scholar

  • Plank, F. 1991. Paradigms: The economy of inflection. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Plunkett, K. and J. Patrick. 1999. "A connectionist model of English past tense and plural morphology". Cognitive Science 23. 463-490.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Quirk, R., S. Greenbaum, G. Leech and J. Svartvik. 1972. A grammar of contemporary English. London: Longman.Google Scholar

  • Simonsen, H. G. 2001. "Past tense acquisition in Norwegian: Experimental evidence". In: Simonsen, H. G. and R. T. Endresen (eds), A Cognitive approach to the verb: Morphological and constructional perspectives. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 129-152.Google Scholar

  • Stump, G. 1991. "A paradigm-based theory of morphosemantic mismatches". Language 67. 675-725.Google Scholar

  • Stump, G. 2001. Inflectional morphology: A theory of paradigm structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Waismann, F. 1936. Einführung in das mathematische Denken. Wien: Springer. [English translation: 1951. Introduction to Mathematical Thinking. New York. Frederick Ungar.]Google Scholar

  • Wittgenstein, L. 1953. Philosophische Untersuchungen. [Wittgenstein, L. 1984. Werkausgabe (vol. 1). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag. 225-578.]Google Scholar

  • Wurzel, W. U. 1984. Flexionsmorphologie und Natürlichkeit. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2010-07-29

Published in Print: 2010-06-01

Citation Information: Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 2, Pages 127–154, ISSN (Online) 1897-7499, ISSN (Print) 0137-2459, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10010-010-0007-5.

Export Citation

This content is open access.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in