Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

I haven’t drank in weeks: the use of past tense forms as past participles in English corpora

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

We investigate a relatively understudied phenomenon, the use of the (standard) past tense verb form as a (non-standard) past participle in English, as in I haven’t drank in weeks and refer to this phenomenon as “past tense spreading”. We explore this phenomenon in some familiar, large corpora of English, as well as utilizing the World Wide Web as a corpus through the Google search engine. The corpus-based approach allows us to examine details in the behaviors of many verbs across genres and to identify degrees of spreading among verbs. The web searches reveal differential behaviors for high-frequency and low-frequency verbs with respect to past tense spreading, an example, we claim, of Bybee’s (2006) Conserving Effect. Past tense spreading also occurs more than expected with modal auxiliaries, a pattern which would not be predicted based solely on the non-standard character of the phenomenon.



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Corpus-based Studies in Language Use, Language Learning, and Language Documentation — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation