Patterns of regularisation in British, American and Indian English

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This paper explores ongoing processes of verb regularisation (see Lieberman et al. 2007) in British, American and Indian English in a selection of thirteen verbs that allow both irregular (<i>t</i>) and regular (<i>ed</i>) forms. We examine the extent to which inter- and intra-varietal differences reflect the status of Indian English as a &#8216;semi-autonomous&#8217; variety (Mukherjee 2007), using synchronic and diachronic data. We seek explanations for internal variation via consideration of the impact of frequency and vowel change on retention. The results reveal unique patterns for Indian English: while there is no clear link between frequency and retention, regularisation does tend to occur more in cases without vowel change. Keywords: verb regularisation; Indian English; corpus linguistics; language variation and change


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