Personally, I pronounce the previous tense of "beat" (to win at a game) as /biːt/, to sound the same to the infinitive. However, I have actually heard a few people under the age of 30 and also from either the west or outer south of Melbourne pronounce it as /bet/. Does this phenomenon occur in other places? In Melbourne it appears to be socio-financial as the west and outer south are the currently arising regions. Is there any recorded indevelopment about this? Has it happened newly paralleling "to read" /ɹiːd/ "have read" /ɹed/ or is it a long-standing alternate pronunciation?




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edited Nov 25 "15 at 10:28
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herischild
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The pronunciation /bet/ for the past-tense form of beat seems to be reasonably old—it goes earlier at least 2 centuries. It appears it was associated via Irish jiyuushikan.org at one allude.

Walker"s Critical Pronouncing Dictionary (1791) claims the complying with in the enattempt for the verb "to beat":

The previous tense of this verb is by the jiyuushikan.org uniformly pronounced choose the present. Nay, except in solemn language, the existing preterit and participle are precisely the same; while the Irish, even more agreeably to analogy, as well as utility, pronounce the preterit as the noun bet, a wager: and also this pronunciation, though contrary to jiyuushikan.org consumption, is quite conformable to that basic tendency observable in the preterits of ircontinual verbs, which is to shorten the vowel that is lengthy in the present, as eat, ate (often pronounced et); hear, heard; deal, dealt; mean, meant; dream, dreamt; &c.

An write-up "Some Notes on Pronunciation" in The Irish Monthly, Vol. 23, No. 261 (Mar., 1895), pp. 145-156, which consists of excerpts from a lecture on pronunciation by the jiyuushikan.org professor George R. Kingdon, contains a criticism of the prevalence of this pronunciation:

The verb to beat has its perfect tense pronounced precisely as the present; it is absolutely wrong to say, "We bet them by three wickets:" you should say, "We beat them."