Talk:Weak inflection

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Merge proposal[edit]

I have moved Beland's tag here from the article itself, in case anyone wants to procede with a complete merger, but I think a compromise is best, and I have attempted this. There is still a place for a separate article on "strong", but I have shortened it, since the full discussion only has to be conducted once. That is as good as a merge. --Doric Loon 13:21, 28 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Strong / weak circular definition[edit]

The Strong verb article states:

Note that there is nothing objectively "strong" about a strong form; the term is only meaningful in opposition to "weak" as a means of distinguishing paradigms within a single language. Nor is there any distinguishing feature common to all strong forms, except that they are always counterpoints to "weak" ones.

while this article says:

In grammar, the term weak (originally coined in German: schwach) is used in opposition to the term strong (stark) to designate a conjugation or declension when a language has two parallel systems. The only constant feature in all the grammatical usages of the word "weak" is that it forms a polarity with "strong"; there is not necessarily any objective "weakness" about the forms so designated.

Erm... is there really no definite definition for this? Strong is not-weak and weak is not-strong. --Swift (talk) 16:33, 20 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

That's right, it is a circular definition. Sorry, but until you peg it down to individual cases, that's the way it is. Once you talk about strong and weak in English verbs, then you have something definite to define and describe. We have articles which do that. But this is kind of an overview article showing all the places where this terminology is used, and since they are very diverse, the definition in the head is going to be extremely vague. But I think there are enough examples further down to show how it is useful. --Doric Loon (talk) 17:51, 30 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]
PS: can you define "female" without making it an opposition to "male"? Some concepts only make sense as a dynamic tension with their opposite. --Doric Loon (talk) 17:53, 30 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Please expand the article with definitions and examples relating to other languages. For example, are there strong and weak inflections in English? (talk) 15:55, 30 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]

English is already in there, since it is a Germanic language, but perhaps that needed to be spelled out, so I have added another sentence to do so. I don't know examples from other languages, beyond what is mentioned here, but if you look around you may well find them. --Doric Loon (talk) 17:51, 30 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]