ring, rang, rung

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Wed May 10 00:31:54 UTC 2006

"When Billy was younger, he used to like to make people jump by
giving them a goose from time to time. In fact, when he went to
parties, he was notorious for giving several *geese in an evening."

Rule ain't all that bad, just leaks (like all good ones).


>At 4:20 PM -0400 5/9/06, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>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.
>I wonder if there really was a time when "The batter flew out" was
>impossible.  Since I read Pinker's account of why it is, I've been
>noticing it quite regularly.
>>He used it in support of the claim that, when "irregular"
>>verbs acquire a derived meaning, they become regular.
>I thought it was that given the way lexical phonology works, by the
>time "fly" (v.) is formed from "fly" (n.), it's too late for it to
>get the irregular past tense.  It's not the meaning as much the
>>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?)
>Not to be confused with the writer A Alvarez, presumably.
>>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
>>>>in a 1950s Hawaiian movie."
>>>>It never would occur to me to use "rung" to mean  encircled, but  is
>>>>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?
>>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

It should be the chief aim of a university professor to exhibit
himself in his own true character - that is, as an ignorant man [sic]
thinking, actively utilizing his small share of knowledge. Alfred
North Whitehead

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15-C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1036
Phone: (517) 353-4736
Fax: (517) 353-3755
preston at msu.edu

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list