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Northern dialect evidence for the chronology of the Great Vowel Shift

  • Hilary Prichard (a1)
Abstract

This paper demonstrates how the tools of dialect geography may fruitfully lend a new perspective to historical data in order to address the lingering questions left by previous analyses. A geographic examination of Survey of English Dialects data provides evidence in favor of a push-chain analysis of the Great Vowel Shift, in which the Middle English high-mid long vowels raised before the high long vowels were diphthongized. It is also demonstrated that the so-called “irregular” dialect outcomes, which have previously been cited as evidence for a lack of unity of the Great Vowel Shift, are no longer problematic when viewed in the light of a theory of dialect contact, and can in fact refine our understanding of the chronology and geographic extent of the shift itself.

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Corresponding author
*Address for Correspondence: Hilary Prichard, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305 (Email: hilaryp@ling.upenn.edu)
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Derek Britton . 2002. Northern fronting and the north Lincolnshire merger of the reflexes of ME /u:/ and ME /o:/. Language Sciences 24. 221229.

Richard Carter . 1975. Some theoretical implications of the Great Vowel Shift. In Didier L. Goyvaerts & Geoffrey K. Pullum (eds.), Essays on the sound pattern of English, 369376. Ghent: Story Scientia.

Paul A. Johnston 1992. English vowel shifting: One Great Vowel Shift or two small vowel shifts? Diachronica, 9(2). 189226.

Paul Kerswill . 2003. Dialect levelling and geographical diffusion in British English. In David Britain & Jenny Cheshire (eds.), Social dialectology: In honour of Peter Trudgill, 223243. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

William Labov . 2007. Transmission and diffusion. Language 83. 344387.

Jeremy Smith . 1996. An historical study of English: Function, form and change. London: Routledge.

Jeremy Smith . 2007. Sound change and the history of English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Journal of Linguistic Geography
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2049-7547
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-linguistic-geography
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