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Book Information


Title: Quantity Adjustment
Subtitle: Vowel Lengthening and Shortening in Early Middle English
Written By: Nikolaus Ritt
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics

This is a unified account of all quantity changes affecting English
stressed vowels during the early Middle English period. Dr Ritt discusses
homorganic lengthening, open syllable lengthening, trisyllabic shortening,
and shortening before consonant clusters. The study is based on a
statistical analysis of Modern English reflexes of the changes. The
complete corpus of analysed data is made available to the reader in the
appendices. All of the changes discussed are shown to derive from basically
the same set of quasi-universal tendencies, while apparent idiosyncrasies
are shown to follow from factors that are independent of the underlying
tendencies themselves. The role of tendencies, i.e. probabilistic laws in
the description of language change, is given thorough theoretical
treatment. In his aim to account for the changes as well as trace their
chronology, Dr Ritt applies principles of natural phonology, and examines
the conflict between phonological and morphological 'necessities'.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): English
English, Middle
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521022916
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: U.S. $ 32.99
U.K. £ 18.99