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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

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Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Academic Paper


Title: A history of hyper-rhoticity in English
Author: Derek Britton
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Phonology
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article investigates the history of what Wells (1982), in his account of present-day accents of English, calls ‘hyper-rhoticity’. That is, the appearance, in rhotic accents, of epenthetic, unetymological rhyme-/r/, usually taking the form of /r/-colouring in modern accents. It is attested most commonly in final unstressed syllables, but may also occur in syllable rhymes after a long, stressed vowel. The article traces the history of this phenomenon and attempts to show that Early Modern English data which have hitherto been interpreted as evidence for loss of /r/ in such contexts are better attributed to hyper-rhoticity. It is also argued here, in an addendum, that not to accept claims for early /r/-loss in unstressed syllables has wider implications for the history of English phonology. That is, to reject theories of loss of /r/ in final unstressed syllables demands rejection of the notion of early articulatory weakening of /r/ in this context, which has been seen as a prelude to the spread of weakening to other contexts, leading ultimately to loss of rhoticity.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Language and Linguistics Vol. 11, Issue 3.

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