Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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This article proposes a measure of the competitive strength of two rival patterns in the domain of a subgroup of irregular verbs in English. There is competition between simple pasts built on the vowels /æ/ and /ʌ/, and the same competition is found in the domain of past participles. As a result of such competition, the past tense (from ) was replaced with . The /ʌ/ forms are more competitive than the /æ/ forms ( Bybee & Slobin 2007 , Bybee & Moder 2007 ). To understand this, we counted the number of types for /æ/ (such as ) and /ʌ/ (such as ) in the irregular simple past and did the same in the irregular participle (such as and ). We calculated a measure of competitiveness for these two patterns incorporating type frequency and token frequency. This measure was used to explain why /ʌ/ forms are more competitive than /æ/ forms.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): competition; English irregular verbs; log scaling; token frequency; type frequency
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