A forum for discussing linguistics or just languages in general.
AFAIK, wrought originally was the past tense and past participle of work, but it has pretty much been ousted by the regular worked, and now some people (including me, a non-native speaker) use it as the past tense and past participle of wreak. I don't know about an etymological connection between work and wreak, though.
... brought to you by the Weeping Elf
I think wrought is becoming a new / alternative past tense / participle of wreak. Usually we find wreak / wrought in conjunction with havoc.
Both wrought and wreaked can be found with havoc; wreak can often be found with havoc as well. What we don't often come across is to work havoc. It's certainly to be found in the wild, lurking in old American news paper articles and Indian parliamentary journals.
Work goes back to IE werg- and is therefore a sister of Greek ergôn.
Wreak and wrack are English cousins, both going bag to IE wreg-. And they've got a nother cousin, wrake. Do note: one should never wrack nor wrake one's brains. One racks one's brains. Though after a good solid brain racking, one might very well be truly wraking indeed!
Wrought is the proper past tense & ppl of work, though it either survived the -Vr- metathesis seen in other OE words or else got restored somewhere along the way. Wreaked is the proper past tense of wreak. Wracked & wraked for wrack & wrake. I think wrought is now pretty much reserved for that particular register of English we tend to associate with scriptures and high fantasy.
Wright is not the present tense of wrought, though it might ight to be. It's the bastard cousin of work/wrought and of course means one who works or makes.
Yet another distant cousin is wark, aches and pains, of which my racked brain is now wraking.
Very specific, but is there any reason why the Irish -ach suffix has a voiced fricative in some declined forms (-aigh) instead of the expected voiceless one? Is it just some weird irregularity or is there any reason behind it?
I don't know. However, Old Irish had had a sound change, apparently, in which voiceless fricatives between two unstressed syllables were voiced. Combined with the loss of some final verbs later on, that would seem to produce this alternation. And i guess it's irregular because other than with the suffix -ach it just didn't come up very often in practice? [it seems to be visible in Old Irish verbs - wiktionary for example seems to say give alternations like 1st singular present deuterotonic "dothluchim" vs 3rd plural perfct prototonic "rotodlaigestar" - but I think analogy and the massive simplification of the system have simply eroded this in verbs?]
But as I say, i don't know, don't take this as gospel.