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.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.