Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Variable use of the canonical participle for the canonical preterite is attested cross-dialectally in English. However, most variationist studies of this phenomenon focus on variability for one or a few verbs rather than the full set of verbs with canonically distinct preterites and participles. This study examines participle-for-preterite variation across this full set of verbs in Tyneside English. We find that variability is lexically and morphophonologically restricted, and overall subject to change from above toward use of the canonical preterite. At the same time, there may be a countervailing trend in which low-frequency verbs that form the participle by changing the stressed vowel to /ʌ/ are changing toward usage of the participle for the preterite. We suggest that the pattern of variation indicates that, although the canonical forms of two categories are varying, the categories themselves remain distinct in speakers’ grammars.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): morphosyntax; participle; preterite; Tyneside English; variationist sociolinguistics
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