Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Linguistic Theory and Typology (MALTT)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory Stump

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Richard Lauersdorf


In certain Germanic languages, there is a group of verbs called preterite-present verbs that are often viewed as irregular, but in fact behave very predictably. They exhibit a morphological phenomenon called deponency, often in conjunction with another morphological phenomenon called heteroclisis. I examine the preterite-present verbs of three different languages: Old Norse, Modern Icelandic, and Modern German. Initially, I approach them from a historical perspective and then seek to reconcile their morphology with the modern perspective. A criteria is established for a canonical preterite-present verb, and then using a lexical programming language called DATR, I create code that generates the appropriate paradigms while also illustrating the morphological relationships between verb tenses and inflection classes, among other things. DATR is a programming language used specifically for language models.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)