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I don't think brang is a word.

It might be, we have a template called {{rfv}} to deal with this sort of thing. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:49, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


Brang is a name, a german last name -Jacob Brang —This comment was unsigned. ""-David Brang

That would be Brang.

brang is not a real word. it is slang. —This comment was unsigned.

Why do you think slang words are not words? DCDuring TALK 17:48, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
It's certainly "real" in terms of existing and being citable. However, the issue brought up by the unsigned might be that the entry as it currently stands makes no mention of this word's generally proscribed status -- using brang in many social situations would be considered quite inappropriate and could result in the speaker being censured. I'm not sure how best to indicate this in the entry, however. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 15:51, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
After looking at how taked is marked, I added "proscribed" to the context tags here at brang. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 15:53, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is correct. Should we be more specific about the dialects in which it is used? I think it would be outrageous to suggest that, say, Appalachian speakers of their dialect are erring when they use this word if it is common. It would not even have to be very common, IMO, because the relentless pressure of the dominant dialect would be gradually and steadily squeezing this word and the entire dialect out of existence. DCDuring TALK 16:33, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps if I labelled a few Latinate words as "proscribed" because they seem pretentious in ordinary speech, that might put the shoe on the other foot and make it easier to feel the problem. It is more useful, IMO, to be as non-evaluative as the facts warrant. DCDuring TALK 16:50, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Yet not mentioning the (very real) proscription of this word in, say, academic English, would fall short of our descriptive goals, and be a disservice to anyone looking up this term and not already aware of this detail. Clicking the "proscribed" word in the context tag displays the text from Appendix:Glossary#proscribed: "proscribed — Some educators or other authorities recommend against the listed usage." This matches my experience regarding the word brang.
If you would prefer to have a usage note explaining this situation in more detail, by all means go right ahead. I'm not really a proponent of either proscribing the use of brang or necessarily using the "proscribed" context tag; that was simply my attempt at adding this information to the entry. So long as this important contextual information is accounted for somewhere in the entry, I'm happy.  :) -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:26, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Why is it that formal English gets to occupy the proscribing high ground? I own Garner's Modern American Usage, which is prescription enough for the English I aspire to write (somewhat formal, not literary) when I wear such aspirations. It is not the style I would choose to use in participating in Wiktionary discussions. I think it is work enough to provide descriptive register information. All of this is my personal normative belief about what wiktionary should be. It seemed to be close to consensus at one time, but there are many dissenters who take a view like yours.
In this case, I thought that the dialect tag pretty much discourages use in mainstream English. To identify the specific dialects might be a challenge as transcripts of speech are not common. I guess the best source would be DARE. The next time I'm at the local library that has it, I'll look up the regional info.
It may be that this is considered an error in all dialects, though I don't think so. It could be because it is built on simply following the conjugation model of ring and many similar strong verbs. Are there any other verbs that follow this particular pattern in mainstream English? If it is unique among common current verbs, that would be an interesting usage note and would explain the persistence of brang, and brung. DCDuring TALK 22:09, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
sing, sang. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:10, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
thought is one example that comes to mind, as is perhaps sought. Apparently bring evolved from a PIE term with a /k/ sound at the end, suggesting a common /k/ -> /xt/ shift for the past tense of all three of these verbs: Appendix:Proto-Germanic/þankijanan, Appendix:Proto-Germanic/sōkijanan, Appendix:Proto-Germanic/bringanan. An example of a similar shift with somewhat different vowel qualities is work -> wrought, as seen in an earlier form at Appendix:Proto-Germanic/wurkijanan, or buy -> bought, as at Appendix:Proto-Germanic/bugjanan. These all seem to have ended in /g/ or /k/ sounds in earlier times. I suspect there may be other examples, these are just the ones that I can think of at the moment. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 22:24, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Apologies, as seen in Mglovesfun's and my replies, there's some possible confusion about which pattern you're talking about -- /iŋ/ > /aŋ/ > /uŋ/, or /iŋ/ > /ɑt/ > /ɑt/. But hey, both bases are covered, so that's good.  :) -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 22:27, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

[After edit conflict:] I mean what others follow the pattern of bring, (brings, bringing,) brought, brought? We have think, (thinks, thinking,) thought, thought, seek, (seeks, seeking,) sought, sought, and buy, (buys, buying,) bought, bought, fight, (fights, fighting,) fought, fought but the other strong verbs with base form ending in "ing" follow the sing, (sings, singing,) sang, sung pattern. DCDuring TALK 22:32, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
This I have no argument with. So far as I can think at the moment, bring is the only weak verb in common modern English that ends in -ing. Other modern English verbs ending in -ing (and most ending in -ink) are strong verbs. -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 23:04, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I see that bringan was a weak verb in O.E. But wouldn't one call bring a "strong" verb in Modern English as it does not follow the (sole?) weak verb pattern, to wit, adding -ed for past and past participle? How many other O.E. verbs have gone from "weak" in O.E. to "strong" (in my sense) in Modern English? DCDuring TALK 14:50, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Not entirely sure I follow, so I'd like to ask for clarification.
  • My understanding of weak verbs is that 1-w) they take some version of -ed on the end in the past and participle forms, including where that -ed has metamorphosed into some version of -t, and 2-w) they only have two tense forms, the present and past, with the participle and past being identical. Meanwhile, I'd learned that strong verbs 1-s) do not take -ed but instead undergo vowel shifts, and 2-s) they have three tense forms, where the simple past and past participle are distinct, and where the past participle sometimes takes -n or -en on the end (c.f. taken, but also stunk).
  • Above, you seem to be using different definitions, where weak verbs 1.1-w) only take -ed, but where strong verbs 1.1-s) do not have -ed in the past but may take metamorphosed versions of this, and 2.1-s) may or may not have three tense forms.
Do I understand your post correctly? If so, seek > sought and think > thought match your definition of shifting from weak to strong as in pattern 1.1-s above, as well as work > wrought (though it is archaic and not a well-known conjugation anymore).
The obsolescence of the work > wrought pair might be worth attention as a shift away from the older PIE-based weak verb pattern of 1-w above, in this case with a mutated final /k/ and the -ed turning into -t, and towards the more bog-standard modern English weak verb pattern of just using -ed with no mutation, as in 1.1-w above. So rather than work > wrought, we really only have work > worked anymore in modern English.
Meanwhile, the older PIE-based weak verb pattern of 1-w above in bring > brought is going the other way: as you correctly note, under pressure from other -ing strong verbs of pattern 1-s above like sing > sang > sung, to change to bring > brang > brung. If it weren't for the conservative effects of widespread literacy, this change would probably have been accepted into mainstream use by now.
For the terminology of strong or weak, what I recall being taught is that the presence of separate simple past and past participle forms is the main criterion for categorizing a verb as strong, as in 2-s above. I guess that's partly how I'd always interpreted the words strong and weak in this context -- weak verbs are weak enough that they don't change from simple past to past participle, whereas strong verbs are stubborn enough that they do change.
Regarding whether a weak verb takes just -ed or something else, I dimply recall that the nomenclature was regular for those weak verbs that just take -ed, and irregular for the others like thought. But it has been a while.
-- Cheers, Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 16:14, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
There is a tendency in English to reduce verbs with three stems to two, by analogy with weak verbs. This is already standard in some strong verbs such as hang (the past participle was hang(en) historically), bite (past tense 'bote'), shine (past participle 'shinen'), shoot (past participle 'shotten'), bind, wind, (past tense 'band', 'wand'), spin, win (past tense 'span', 'wan'), sit (past participle 'sitten'), stand (past participle 'standen'). But it's even more prominent in informal speech. The real criterium for strong and weak is the dental suffix in the past tense, -d or -t. The verbs taking -ed descend from Old English weak class two (where it was -od-) and those with just -d or -t are the class 1 weak verbs. Weak class 2 has evolved to become the only regular and productive class in English (like in the Scandinavian languages), but in Old and Middle English I believe class 1 was still somewhat productive as well. bring really belongs to neither of those classes, it was already irregular in Proto-Germanic because it was a strong verb in the present tense, and ought to have had a strong past but didn't (I don't know why); only a handful of such verbs existed in Germanic and 'bring' is the only one to survive in English. Languages other than English also made the verb strong in some cases (I believe 'brang' is attested as far back as Old English) but that never seemed to have caught on. —CodeCat 16:42, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
To clarify:
  • bite still has three forms -- presumably you mean that the vowel shift has simplified?
  • By saying, "The real criterium [sic] for strong and weak is the dental suffix in the past tense", you mean that the presence of this dental suffix indicates a weak verb?
  • I'm not sure what you mean by "bring ... was already irregular in Proto-Germanic because it was a strong verb in the present tense" -- Appendix:Proto-Germanic/bringanan doesn't show me anything that tells me "strong verb in the present tense". What should I be looking for? Or is the conjugation table on that page incorrect?
-- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:19, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have explained. Yes, the presence of the dental suffix is what makes a verb weak. Going back to Indo-European, there were three different 'aspects' to a verb (present, aorist and perfect/stative), and these were originally separate verbs in their own right until they merged into a single paradigm (which was still incomplete in Ancient Greek). They formed their aspects with ablaut (vowel change) along with various optional tense suffixes (such as the aorist suffix -s- that many Latin verbs have in the perfect) and/or reduplication. But the catch was that only 'primary' underived verbs could form those three aspects; all verbs that were derived from other existing words in some way ('secondary' verbs) were always present tense verbs. So they had no aorist and no perfect form, and the perfect form is what later became the Germanic past tense. Somewhere in the history of Germanic, this grammatical gap was filled up by periphrasis by using 'did' along with some form of the verb, to create a new past tense for those verbs that was semantically equivalent to the existing strong/ablauting past. This periphrastic past eventually fused into a single form which became the dental past characteristic of weak verbs.
Because weak verbs were generally always derived verbs, they always had a derivational suffix of some kind. Several of those suffixes survived in Proto-Germanic, corresponding to the five classes of weak verb: class 1 -ja-, 2 -ô-, 3a -ja/ai-, 3b -ā/ai-, 4 -nô/na- (only the first two remained in any significant number in Old English). Strong verbs, meanwhile, generally had no such derivational suffix, they were plain underived 'thematic' verbs. There were a few exceptions on both sides though. Indo-European had some primary verbs with suffixes in the present (but not in the perfect) and some with the suffix -j- survived in Germanic, so that some strong verbs had a suffix equal to the derivational suffix of weak class 1; these were the 'j-present' verbs: Category:Proto-Germanic class 5 strong j-present verbs, Category:Proto-Germanic class 6 strong j-present verbs, Category:Proto-Germanic class 7 strong j-present verbs. Several of those j-present verbs had acquired weak past tenses in Germanic, but they had no derivational suffix in the past so the dental suffix was attached directly to the stem, creating the series of anomalous verbs listed in Category:Proto-Germanic class 1 weak j-present verbs (which are underived verbs and so historically strong). Finally, a few verbs had no derivational suffix of any kind and so appeared strong in the present, but had a weak past tense regardless for unknown reasons. 'bring' belongs to that last group. Those verbs, like the j-present verbs that were made weak, had no derivational suffix in the past either. —CodeCat 17:46, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, CodeCat. Most informative.  :) -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:08, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh and just to complete the picture... Some verbs in Indo-European were primarily stative (perfect, so they appeared as Germanic strong past tenses) but had a present meaning. In Germanic, these verbs also got a weak past tense with no derivational suffix, but in the present tense they kept their stative/strong past tense inflection. So in Germanic they were verbs that inflected in the present like the past of strong verbs, and in the past like the past of weak verbs; they are in Category:Proto-Germanic preterite-present verbs, some of which still keep their anomalous present-tense inflection in English (for example 'can' and 'may' with no -s in the 3rd person). Finally, a few 'athematic' verbs survive (already an old class in late Indo-European, they were underived verbs that lacked even the thematic vowel in their endings): be, do, will. 'stand' and 'go' were also irregular but in a unique way. —CodeCat 18:17, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
@Eirikr: What have I done?! I was only responding to your statement "So far as I can think at the moment, bring is the only weak verb in common modern English that ends in -ing." Your definitions of strong and weak are as I understand them as they apply to English, which is the only language in which I would attempt to apply them. When I said bringan#Old English was weak, I was simply referring to the entry. I don't think I understood more than 20% of the sentences in CodeCat's discussion. DCDuring TALK 01:32, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Heh.  :) I guess I'm just a language geek at heart. I don't follow CodeCat's posts above too closely what with not having any real background in PIE, or even much formal training in linguistics, but I like learning and I've gotten some of the concepts sideways, as it were, from studying other languages like Navajo, Chinese, and Māori, and even from looking into English etymologies (like how went got folded into the go paradigm from dialectical use of the word wend). Apologies for the firehose of information.  :D -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:59, 18 May 2012 (UTC)