Article published in:Comparative Studies in Australian and New Zealand English: Grammar and beyond
Edited by Pam Peters, Peter Collins and Adam Smith
[Varieties of English Around the World G39] 2009
► pp. 13–30
Regularization and ongoing variability
Both language history and mathematical modeling suggest that the English irregular verbs will generally evolve to become more regular. Yet closer investigation of individual verbs and verb groups shows that evolutionary expectations can be overstated. Data from the ICE-corpora for Australian, New Zealand and British English show differing endorsements of nonstandard past tense forms, whether these are long-established ones as for ring/shrink/spring, or latter-day variants such as -t for burn, learn, spell. The data put Australian and New Zealand English closer to each other than either is to British. Australian population surveys show that younger citizens are more inclined to nonstandard/nonstandardized forms. Sociolinguistic and regional preferences may thus run counter to the broad evolutionary trend for English verbs, at least in the short term.
Published online: 29 July 2009
Cited by 4 other publications
De Clerck, Bernard & Klaar Vanopstal
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