I've just heard Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, at 10:13 here (about a quarter of the way through Prime Minister's Questions, UK Parliament, Thurs 27 Oct) saying...
Amnesty International SAYS, and I quote, [blah blah, wot they sed]
Apologies to anyone who can't access the video (it's a BBC link, which I suppose gets tricky if you're not a license payer), but obviously the point is he clearly says SAYS (/seɪz/), not SEZ (/sɛz/).
As it happens, while saying those words Corbyn is constantly looking down on what are presumably pre-written notes/quotes, so I'm inclined to suppose it's actually just a one-off enunciation error (because sometimes reading and talking is like walking and chewing gum! :)
But seriously, does anyone talk like that today if they're not distracted by orthography?
I don't want to get bogged down in how non-native speakers affect things. I'm only really asking if there might perhaps be a surviving "dialectal pocket" of some kind (assuming the orthography represents an original pronunciation). Or could it be an "emergent usage", reflecting the general tendency to "regularise" irregular verbs?