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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

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Book Information

   

Title: Quantity Adjustment
Subtitle: Vowel Lengthening and Shortening in Early Middle English
Written By: Nikolaus Ritt
URL: http://us.cambridge.org/titles/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521022910
Series Title: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics
Description:

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
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Phonology
Subject Language(s): English
English, Middle
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521022916
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: U.S. $ 32.99
U.K. £ 18.99