Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Apr 12 17:59:21 UTC 2010

While we've been discussing "boughten" and "quieten" together, I'd
think these reflect different phenomena.  The former is the -en
participle (or participial adjective) as with the other cases we've
mentioned--"shitten", "spitten", "shaven", "mown", "broughten",
etc.--while the latter is the inchoative/causative of "loosen",
"tighten", "redden", "whiten".  They may both reflect some of the
same historical tendencies but they're quite different suffixes, with
nothing more in common than phonology (and the fact that they attach
to verbs).


At 11:44 AM -0500 4/12/10, Darla Wells wrote:
>They used to tell us kids to quieten down and I heard boughten a few times
>too usually with was. This was in the Ark-La-Tex area in the 60's and early
>70's. My stepmother's family used it; they were very country people, not
>sure where they were from originally. They were kind of Appalachian sounding
>to my inexperienced ears.
>2010/4/11 Grant Barrett <gbarrett at>
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Grant Barrett <gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG>
>>  Subject:      Re: Boughten
>>  Also see MWDEU on "quieten":
>>  Also, we had a caller to the radio show (which we didn't answer on the
>>  air) recently who asked about "broughten" which googles passably well:
>>  Grant Barrett
>>  grantbarrett at
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society -
>If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible
>warning. -Catherine Aird
>The American Dialect Society -

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