Irregular verbs: regularization and ongoing variability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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 forms, whether these are long-established variants as for ring/shrink/spring, or latter-day revivals 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 use 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.

LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English
Subtitle of host publicationgrammar and beyond
EditorsPam Peters, Peter Collins, Adam Smith
Place of PublicationAmsterdam; Philadelphia
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
Pages13-30
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789027289407
ISBN (Print)9789027248992
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameVarieties of English Around the World
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
VolumeG39
ISSN (Print)0172-7362

Cite this

Peters, P. (2009). Irregular verbs: regularization and ongoing variability. In P. Peters, P. Collins, & A. Smith (Eds.), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English: grammar and beyond (pp. 13-30). (Varieties of English Around the World; Vol. G39). Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g39.02pet
Peters, Pam. / Irregular verbs : regularization and ongoing variability. Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English: grammar and beyond. editor / Pam Peters ; Peter Collins ; Adam Smith. Amsterdam; Philadelphia : John Benjamins Publishing, 2009. pp. 13-30 (Varieties of English Around the World).
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Peters, P 2009, Irregular verbs: regularization and ongoing variability. in P Peters, P Collins & A Smith (eds), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English: grammar and beyond. Varieties of English Around the World, vol. G39, John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam; Philadelphia, pp. 13-30. https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g39.02pet

Irregular verbs : regularization and ongoing variability. / Peters, Pam.

Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English: grammar and beyond. ed. / Pam Peters; Peter Collins; Adam Smith. Amsterdam; Philadelphia : John Benjamins Publishing, 2009. p. 13-30 (Varieties of English Around the World; Vol. G39).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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AB - 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 forms, whether these are long-established variants as for ring/shrink/spring, or latter-day revivals 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 use 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.

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Peters P. Irregular verbs: regularization and ongoing variability. In Peters P, Collins P, Smith A, editors, Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English: grammar and beyond. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. 2009. p. 13-30. (Varieties of English Around the World). https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g39.02pet