ring, rang, rung

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 9 20:20:40 UTC 2006

FWIW, it was Paul Kiparsky in a lecture at the 'Tute back in the '70's who,
AFAIK, first pointed out the "The batter flied out" vs. *"The batter flew
out" dichotomy. He used it in support of the claim that, when "irregular"
verbs acquire a derived meaning, they become regular.

I'm with A in hoping that the use of "ring" cited is an artifact of the use
of a spellchecker.

(BTW, does anyone else recall the C-list actor, A[sic] Martinez?)


On 5/9/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: ring, rang, rung
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 2:59 PM -0400 5/9/06, sagehen wrote:
> >  >From Reynolds Price: /The good Priest's Son/ p. 64 --"Or so he felt,
> as the
> >promising waves spread out and rung his head and shoulders like orchid
> leis
> >in a 1950s Hawaiian movie."
> >It never would occur to me to use "rung" to mean  encircled, but  is
> there
> >a dialect in which that is permissible? This might, of course just be one
> >of those absurd spell-checker artifacts.
> >A. Murie
> >
> I've actually used this as a class exercise:  why is the past tense
> of the verb "to ring" meaning 'surround' RINGED rather than RANG?
> [or, I would assume, RUNG]  The point is analogous to the observation
> that the past tense of the denominal verb "grandstand" must be
> "grandstanded" rather than "grandstood", as Pinker discusses.  But
> now it turns out the "ring" fact may be wrong--like Pinker's point
> about how we have to say a batter "FLIED out" to left and not "FLEW
> out", when in fact many speakers, including sports announcers, do
> indeed say that the batter flew out to left.  So it's not too
> surprising if some (although I'm not among them) can talk about waves
> that rung (or rang) someone's head like leis.
> Do I hear SOTA?
> larry
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