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


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology

Edited by Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut, and Gjert Kristoffersen

Offers the first detailed examination of corpus phonology and serves as a practical guide for researchers interested in compiling or using phonological corpora


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History

By Bernard Spolsky

A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.


New from Brill!

ad

Indo-European Linguistics

New Open Access journal on Indo-European Linguistics is now available!


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 .



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