Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing

By Melissa Mohr

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing "contains original research into the history of swearing, and is scrupulous in analyzing the claims of other scholars."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

A New Manual of French Composition

By R. L. Graeme Ritchie

A New Manual of French Composition "provides a guide to French composition aimed at university students and the higher classes in schools. "


The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported primarily by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2016 Fund Drive.

Academic Paper


Title: Phonemically contrastive fricatives in Old English?
Author: Donka Minkova
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics
Subject Language: English, Old
Abstract: The article addresses two recent hypotheses regarding the history of the English fricatives /f/???/v/, /s/???/z/, /??/???/??/: the hypothesis that phonemicization of the voicing contrast occurred in Old English, and the related claim that the reanalysis of the contrast was due to Celtic substratum influence. A re-examination of the arguments for early phonemicization leads to alternative interpretations of the observed voicing ???irregularities??? in Old English. The empirical core of the article presents the patterns of alliteration in Old and Middle English; this kind of evidence has not been previously considered in evaluating the progress of the change. The analytical core of the article is dedicated to the dynamics of categorization based on edge vs domain-internal contrasts, the relative strength of the voicing environments, and the distinction among fricatives depending on place of articulation. A comprehensive LAEME and MED database of all relevant forms reaffirms the traditional position regarding French influence for the phonemicization of voicing for the labial fricatives. The categorization of the contrast for the interdental fricatives is a language-internal prosodic process, and the history of the sibilants requires reference to both external and internal factors. The shift from a predominantly complementary to a predominantly contrastive distribution of the voiced???voiceless fricative pairs has been occurring at different rates for a whole millennium. The claim that phonemicization is attributable to Celtic influence in Old English is empirically and theoretically unsubstantiated.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 15, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page