Past tense of pet

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sun Sep 14 18:27:54 UTC 2003

>What are examples opf "slower accents" (and why are they appropriate
>to the plain preterite or patricipial forms of "net" and "gut"?

dInIs (speaker of a quick accent)

>The rule is just a general rule that says many monosyllabic verbs with a
>short vowel do not inflect for tense. Rather than saying those verbs are
>irregular, you just say it's a type X verb. So, yes there are many verbs
>like vet, fit, gut, etc., that aren't of this type even though they also fit
>the requirements.
>Even if dictionaries don't like this non-inflection, though, it seems that
>this rule can be applied to some verbs, anyway.
>But pet seems to me to go both ways, like knit...So far, two votes against
>and one for, and a whole bunch of Webidence for as well...
>Benjamin Barrett
>Baking the World a Better Place
>FWIW, I wonder if there are people who say things like net and gut. Talking
>in a slower accent, "He net the fish and then gut 'em." I don't think I'd
>say it, but it doesn't sound too bad...
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: American Dialect Society
>>  [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Douglas G. Wilson
>>  Sent: Sunday, 14 September 2003 9:42 AM
>>  Subject: Re: Past tense of pet
>>  >Yet pet follows the standard short vowel, monosyllabic rule like
>>  >put-put-put and set-set-set.
>>  What rule is that?
>>  A few verbs have this paradigm: "put", "set", "let". Some
>>  have it as a 'standard' alternative: "fit", "wet" (also
>>  "shit", "spit" maybe).
>>  But: "I have net several fish, and I have gut them"? "I have
>>  vet his report, and he has dot all his 'i's"?
>>  "I have pet the dog today" cannot be standard, since I don't
>>  approve of it.
>>  (^_^) It does occur repeatedly on the Web, but that's not
>>  called the "Web of grammatical errors" for nothing. (^_^)
>>  -- Doug Wilson

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic,
        Asian and African Languages
Wells Hall A-740
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office: (517) 353-0740
Fax: (517) 432-2736

More information about the Ads-l mailing list