Edit: I am looking for a particular linguistic term for this process (which here uses terminal palatalization to indicate such) of turning passive verbs like drink into active verbs like drench. I know one such term exists, because I have seen John Lawler use it, but I cannot now find his posts where he did so. The OED does not mention this general phenomenon in the related etymologies. For all I know, it may be older than OE, perhaps even going back all the way to PIE.
English has a bunch of verb-pairs where the first one ends in a stop and the second in a palatal, usually with vowel-modification, like these:
- cling, clench
- drink, drench
- hang, hinge
- meng, minge (now dialectal)
- stink, stench
- tint, tinge
- wring, wrench
What is going on there? It seems like some hidden regularity of some sort. What does it mean?
For words that seem to be missing one of the pair, did those once exist? I’m thinking of words like quench: what happened to *quing?
Does this have anything to do with these pairs:
- message, messenger
- passage, passenger
- porridge, porringer
- pottage, pottinger
- wharfage, wharfinger
Or is that something different and unrelated?