Volume 30, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This study is concerned with the occasional lack of verbal past tense marking in Singapore English, which has been described both as evidence for morphological change and as a phonological consequence of final plosive deletion. Based on a corpus of spoken educated Singapore English, it is investigated whether the lack of past tense marking in verbs in a past tense context is due primarily to morphological or phonological factors and whether word frequency influences the rate of past tense marking. The results are interpreted as evidence for a phonological basis of most unmarked verb forms in Singapore English and suggest a shift in the function of the present tense. They further imply that past tense marking in Singapore English varies with sociolinguistic factors.


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