Long-Vowel Shifts in English, c. 1050-1700: Evidence from Spelling

Long-Vowel Shifts in English, c. 1050-1700: Evidence from Spelling

English | ISBN: 110705575X | 2016 | 362 Pages | PDF | 13 MB


The English language has undergone many sound changes in its long history. Some of these changes had a profound effect on the pronunciation of the language. A number of these significant instances of language evolution are generally grouped together and termed the 'Great Vowel Shift'. These changes are generally considered to be unrelated to other, similar long-vowel changes taking place a little earlier. This book assesses an extensive range of irregular Middle English spellings for all these changes, with a view to identifying the real course of events: the dates, the chronology, and the dialects that stand out as being innovative. Using empirical evidence to offer a fresh perspective and drawing new, convincing conclusions, Stenbrenden offers an interpretation of the history of the English language which may change our view of sound change completely.

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