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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Historical Development of the it-cleft Add Dissertation
Author: Catherine Ball Update Dissertation
Institution: University of Pennsylvania, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1991
Linguistic Subfield(s):
Subject Language(s): English, Middle
English, Old
Director(s): Ellen Prince

Abstract: While many studies have addressed the syntax, semantics and pragmatics of the 20th century (20cE) it-cleft, very little is known about the historical development of this construction. The most comprehensive diachronic treatment is two pages in Visser 1963 (s.v. The type 'It is father who did it.'). The present study attempts to fill this void by providing synchronic and diachronic analyses of the cleft at each major linguistic stage, with a focus on Old English (OE), Early Middle English (EME), and Late Middle English (LME). Relevant constructions and grammatical phenomena taken into consideration include pseudo-clefts, existentials, happen-class impersonal constructions, copular sentences, relative clauses, negation, dislocation, preposing, extraposition, base word order, the verb-second phenomenon, and pronoun cliticization. The study is based on the analysis of corpora from each stage of English, including Early Modern English (EMnE) and Late Modern English (LMnE). Frequency analysis is used to elucidate the progress of the cleft from LME through LMnE in selected genres. Pragmatic analysis is applied to reveal functional change. The study shows that the form of the 20cE it-cleft was established by the end of the LME period, primarily as a result of broader linguistic changes. Three cleft and cleft-like constructions in OE are brought together by syntactic change in ME: copular sentences with hit/~ft and a final relative clause (used to identify an entity or to predicate a property of it), NP-focus clefts without a dummy subject (used for specification, often contrast), and a happen-class impersonal construction with adverbial adjuncts. A major functional change is the development of informative-presupposition it-clefts in LME, attributed in part to a blend between the NP-focus it-cleft and the impersonal. Although the OE cleft constructions with NPs are rare, the use of the NP-focus it-cleft is seen at modern levels in LME narrative its relative frequency in other genres has risen significantly over time. The AdvP/PP-focus it-cleft (established in LME) begins its rise in EMnE, probably fed by changes in preposing and in correlative constructions.