Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #1

    The American Past Participle - update

    I reported the threat of extinction of the Brit. Eng. past participle in USA, with its rightful place being usurped by the hardier, more robust past tense form of the verb.
    Further observation shows that I had underestimated the tenacity of nature, and human nature; and from my hide in the Scottish countryside today, overlooking TV land, I heard a prominent American scientist report in a rebuttal to An Inconvenient Truth, "Gore has solden his misguided environmental package..."
    and on the same day...
    an apparently educated WASP say:
    "I had caughten them throwing stones."
    Neither of them was a Southerner!

    My interest is piqued as to whether this mutation is virilent, sufficiently so that we are about to witness a clash for domination. On the one hand, Americans love the Past Perfect tense, (so much so that they eschew the contracted form "I'd", and insist on the emphatic "I had...") : they may well take to the novelty of adding '-en' to other past tense forms, like 'wenten' and 'senten', bringing a neverbefore uniformity to past particple construction, in line with 'gotten' and 'stolen'. If this is a nation that will buy pet rocks, why not? On the other hand, one does not gain the impression that what actually happens to their language matters enough for them to really care - as long as 'you guys' think it sounds cool. Too close to call which way it might go.

    Am I privileged, or just plain lucky, to have observed this phenomenon in its nascent stage!


    Last edited by David L.; 22-Apr-2009 at 15:05.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #2

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    I do sometimes, in speech, end up putting the "-en" endings by accident on irregular verbs, when speaking in a hurry: "I've just boughten them..." without fail, I stop and say "boughten?... uh... bought" and continue, more slowly.

    Of your example, it's easier to imagine saying "caughten" as with my "boughten" -- maybe because it rhymes withour our American "gotten"? I can't iminage slipping on the "sold" one though. And it's impossible to think of it showing up in writing this way! Unless the author enjoyed pointing out the speaker's grammatical, unintentional faux pas.

    I know you think that Americans just don't use the present perfect, but really and truly, we do. (Sometimes, as these examples indicated, we even overly apply that regular participle ending.)

    I imagine the BrE speakers don't make this taughten/caughten/boughten slip because your particple of "got" isn't "gotten."


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 5
    #3

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    This is fascinating. I have not heard these new "regular" past participles, though I am well aware of the American tendency to use the past perfect when the simple past will do.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #4

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    Carrington, are you 100% sure you have NEVER, even once, mis-spoken in haste and accidentally thrown an "en" on there?

    Actually, you'll see that David thinks we use the simple past when the present perfect is more appropriate.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    Barb_D Unless the author enjoyed pointing out the speaker's grammatical, unintentional faux pas.

    Thanks for buying into my petty tirade. You do note that if something unintentially slips-out - as it does with all of others - YOU ARE CONSCIOUS OF IT.

    What worries me more and more, there seems to be no servomechanism in operation when people open their mouths: mostly it seems to be parroting what is on TV, and for the rest...a few 'ya knows' and 'and stuff' serve to bridge some novel attempts at framing thoughts into original wording...and coming out with some pretty illogical statements in the process.
    Last edited by David L.; 22-Apr-2009 at 17:50.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #6

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    If only we had a magic wand. I know that language evolved. I know it does. And I'm oh-so-tolerant and accpeting when it's a change I embrace, and oh-so-cynical when it's a change I don't like. High on my don't-like list are "u" for "you" and "try and."

    When I hear broadcasters using "try and" it's like nails on the chalkboard for me. Thankfully, I can't hear if "u" was on the telepromter thing.

    I'm tolerant of the things that come out of mouths, and less tolerant of the things that come out of our keyboards (or pens, if anyone still uses those). So I would nod with empathy for the "caughten" situation caught on tape, but still recoil in horror if I saw it in print.


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 394
    #7

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    ...are you 100% sure you have NEVER, even once, mis-spoken in haste and accidentally thrown an "en" on there?
    This wasn't directed at me, but I'll take it anyway. No. Never. Not even once and if I did, I'd beg for someone to shoot me between the eyes and put me out of my linguistically-challenged misery—or force me to listen to California UpSpeak until I succumbed, which would be far less merciful.

    Greg

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #8

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    Well, good for you, then.

    I've done it more than once, but each time, I'm highly concscious of just having done so and literally stop in mid-sentence to correct it. I put it in the same category of saying "meese" after previously referring to "geese." An irregular verb is no different than an irregular noun when it comes to making mistakes in haste.

    It must be marvelous to never makes slips of the tongue.


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 394
    #9

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    It must be marvelous to never makes slips of the tongue.
    It tends not to slip when it is firmly planted in my cheek, which is where it was located while typing my last post.

    I had hoped you had caughten that.

    Oops...

    Greg


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #10

    Re: The American Past Participle - update

    And I'm oh-so-tolerant and accepting when it's a change I embrace, and oh-so-cynical when it's a change I don't like.

    That's the crux of it - and it undermines our credability!

    Maybe we should retry the idea of a Jonestown here in rural Scotland?!
    and I mean
    Last edited by David L.; 22-Apr-2009 at 18:20.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Past Simple and Past Participle
    By Malicka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2008, 18:57
  2. Past and past participle
    By thomasRavenelli in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Mar-2008, 03:21
  3. past and past participle
    By thomasRavenelli in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Jul-2007, 06:41
  4. Can have + past participle, Please HELP HELP HELP Guys
    By Preslang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 25-Dec-2006, 16:23
  5. passed vs. past
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 15-Apr-2005, 13:31

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •