Read e-book online Long-Vowel Shifts in English, c. 1050-1700: Evidence from PDF

By Gjertrud Flermoen Stenbrenden

ISBN-10: 110705575X

ISBN-13: 9781107055759

The English language has passed through many sound alterations in its lengthy heritage. a few of these adjustments had a profound impact at the pronunciation of the language. a couple of those major cases of language evolution are often grouped jointly and termed the 'Great Vowel Shift'. those adjustments are more often than not thought of to be unrelated to different, related long-vowel alterations occurring a bit past. This e-book assesses an intensive diversity of abnormal heart English spellings for some of these adjustments, to be able to determining the true process occasions: the dates, the chronology, and the dialects that stand out as being cutting edge. utilizing empirical facts to supply a clean point of view and drawing new, convincing conclusions, Stenbrenden bargains an interpretation of the heritage of the English language that could swap our view of sound switch thoroughly.

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

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Put briefly, the 26 Introduction questions posed are the following. To what extent is spelling phonetically based? And how can spellings be used as evidence for the pronunciation of a language at any given point in time? These are important questions, since ‘it is written material of the late Middle English period itself which provides us with the bulk of what we believe we know about the spoken language of that time’ (McIntosh 1956: 27; emphasis mine). This rests on the belief that there is a correlation ‘between a given variety of the spoken language and the “equivalent” or “corresponding” variety of the written language’ (1956: 27).

Benskin’s LPs of the two texts follow LALME conventions; he concludes (2001: 207) that the language belongs to W Norfolk/Ely, and he dates the hand to 1320–30. 5 The corpus approach Linguistics is an empirical science, and traditionally, there are three ways of collecting the data submitted to analysis: by introspection, by eliciting anwers from informants, and by studying texts (Johannessen et al. 2003, McEnery and Wilson 2001). In historical linguistics, the informants are long since dead; the surviving texts themselves are therefore our witnesses.

Three compendia from the fourteenth century contain over 1500 medical receipts; these collections are known as the Rawlinson Compendium, the First Corpus Compendium, and the Second Corpus Compendium, and they are written in Latin, Anglo-Norman, and English. Hunt and Benskin (2001) offer a printed version of these (see pp. 86–8 for editorial principles). Only the two Corpus compilations have any amount of text in English; Benskin’s account (2001: 193–230) of the language of the receptaria thus covers these two, and relevant forms in my lists have also only been abstracted from these.

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Long-Vowel Shifts in English, c. 1050-1700: Evidence from Spelling by Gjertrud Flermoen Stenbrenden


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