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Re: English: no rule for making "ing" verbs?

On 2017-12-08 13:40, The Real Bev wrote:
Many of the rules depend on which language a word was stolen from.  I think 'right' came from the German 'richtig' which is pronounced "ree<strangle sound>..."

"Right" is Anglo-Saxon. Anglo-Saxon is a Germanic language: it shares a common ancestor with German. "Right" spelled that way because the Norman-French scribes who came over with William the Bastard in 1066 didn't know the Anglo-Saxon letters, so they spelled that sound before the /t/ as <gh>. The <i> spelled a short /i/ as in "bit", not the long /i/ as in "beet".

FWIW, my English teacher told us that Chaucer's middle English was pronounced according to German pronunciation rules.  Good to know if you're ever called upon to recite.

Actually, it's the Latin vowel values. Mostly. Double vowels usually stand for diphthongs, as one would expect. Mostly. Most so-called "long vowels" in most English dialects are actually diphthongs.

However, your own example with "know" versus "knowing" shows
that this rule is not absolute.

<w> is called "double u" for a reason. It started out as <uu>, so the <w> on Know and now etc spells the second half of a diphthong.

I am a native speaker of English, born in California to parents who were
born in Chicago (all in the U.S.).  I have spoken English, written it,
and read it for over 70 years.  Yet I must often refer to a dictionary
or spell-checker to determine if I have written a word correctly.

I never used to have to use a dictionary, but more and more I see words that, even though correct, just "don't look right" and I have to check.  My command of grammar is still good, but I see more and more argument possibilities with certain constructions.

There's grammar, and there's usage. Grammar describes how to make words (morphology) and how to arrange them into meaningful phrases and sentences (syntax). Usage is about which words you may or may not use, and which sentence patterns are suitable for which purposes. The selection of usage rules you apply for a given purpose is termed "register". Usage rules are very much a matter of social class, which is why they are so fiercely defended and attacked.

English uses "supra-segmental phonemes", aka "intonation" to structure sentences. Punctuation is an attempt to signal intonation, but it doesn't work very well. Hence in writing we use both fewer sand more complete sentence structures. Hence also the concept of the "sentence fragment". Hardly ever an issue in speech. But strictly forbidden in written English. Or so the schoolmarms tell us. But don't be too quick to diss the schoolmarms: their aim was to help you learn the best ways to communicate.

Just another nasty consequence of growing up :-(

Nah, like most of the people here, you've lived through language changes, which is somewhat disconcerting.

Wolf K
"The next conference for the time travel design team will be held two weeks ago."
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