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STRONG VERBS CLASS IV
The strong verbs of the 4th class have the stem vowel /e/ (which is not i-umlauted). In the preterite tense it changes into /a/ in the singular and /á/ in the plural. In the perfect it's /u/ or /o/.
These verbs originate from PIE roots that had a single nasal or liquid after the vowel. The /e/ in the present tense stem remained unchanged, the /o/ in the singular of the PIE perfect tense turned into /a/ and the mysterious /e:/ of the plural into /a:/. The perfect participle had the zero-grade, which made the nasal or liquid in the root syllabic. This syllabic /r/, /l/, /m/ or /n/ then had an epenthetic /u/ (/r, l, m, n/ > /ur, ul, um, un/). (<).
For the origin of the inflexional endings, see the "strong endings" page.
© Peter Pettersson