By Kamil Kazmierski

ISBN-10: 3110369508

ISBN-13: 9783110369502

English has lengthy been suspected to be a vowel-shifting language. This speculation, usually purely adumbrated in prior paintings, is heavily investigated during this publication. Framed inside a unique framework combining evolutionary linguistics and optimality idea, the account proposed the following argues that the substitute of length by means of caliber because the basic cue to signaling vowel oppositions has led to the 'shiftiness' of many post-medieval English forms.

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Extra resources for Vowel-Shifting in the English Language An Evolutionary Account

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1 The Great Vowel Shift The vowel system of Modern English is markedly different from that of Middle English, and the most salient discrepancies lie in the correspondences between Middle English long vowels and their Modern English reflexes. It was observed first by Luick (1921-1940) and then by Jespersen (1909—49) that the individual changes which have to answer for those discrepancies are not haphazard but form a pattern. This pattern, represented schematically in a version of the well-known diagram in Figure 4 below, is now traditionally referred to as the Great Vowel Shift (GVS).

E. e. be promoted) for rhythmic reasons post-lexically (Ritt 2012: 404), and such adjustments can be seen as evidence for a preference for the trochaic foot. Apparently, not only words, but also phrases spanning several lexical items, were influenced by rhythm in this way. The resulting promotions and demotions contributed to the weakening of the reliability of duration to express phonemic vowel oppositions, as they added to the factors influencing duration. Since rhythm is acquired early on in first language acquisition, the trochaic foot can be thought to have exerted considerable pressure on other linguistic constituents, including vowel phonemes.

A further exaggeration of the qualitative differences would have resulted in the values evident at Stage 2 in Table 3 above. In effect, the development was advantageous for both the vowel phonemes (after the co-optation of the qualitative differences they maintained their identity which was threatened before) and for the trochaic foot, which could now be expressed more robustly, once duration was less tied up in the expression of phonemic contrasts. Looking ahead, however, it has to be noticed that the newly established vowel qualities found themselves in the same sort of durational relations with already existing vowels as they had been before the change.

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Vowel-Shifting in the English Language An Evolutionary Account by Kamil Kazmierski


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