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Academic Paper

Title: Strong-Verb Paradigm Leveling in Four Germanic Languages: A Category Frequency Approach
Author: Antje Dammel
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Author: Jessica Nowak
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Author: Mirjam Schmuck
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: Dutch
Abstract: We investigated strong-verb paradigm leveling in German, Dutch, English, and Swedish, and found significant differences in ablaut leveling and class change towards the weak conjugation. Swedish favors ablaut patterns retaining a difference between the preterite and the past participle, while German, Dutch, and English favor a common vowel for both forms. In change from the strong to the weak conjugation in Swedish, the preterite is more resistant than the past participle, while in the other languages it is the reverse. We provide a unified explanation for these facts based on differences in category frequency due to the prominence or lack of an aspectual distinction between preterite and perfect.


This article appears IN Journal of Germanic Linguistics Vol. 22, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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