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Alliteration and Sound Change in Early English : Cambridge Studies in Linguistics - Donka Minkova

Alliteration and Sound Change in Early English

Cambridge Studies in Linguistics


Published: 31st March 2003
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This study uses evidence from early English poetry to determine when certain sound changes took place in the transition from Old to Middle English. It builds on the premise that alliteration in early English verse reflects faithfully the identity and similarity of stressed syllable onsets; it is based on the acoustic signal and not on the visual identity of letters. Examination of the behaviour of onset clusters leads to new conclusions regarding the causes for the special treatment of sp-, st-, sk-, and the chronology and motivation of cluster reduction.

' ... the book may be seen by some as a tour de force through historical English phonotactics, and in view of the complexity of solutions offered the reaction of many a reader may be occasional frustration - about how difficult it is to answer questions that many of us have long thought to be settled.' Anglia

List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations
Social and linguistic setting of alliterative verse in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval England
Linguistic structures in English alliterative verse
Segmental histories: velar palatalization
Syllable structure
ONSET and cluster alliteration in Old English: the case of sp-, st-, sk-
ONSET and cluster alliteration in Middle English
Verse evidence for cluster simplification in Middle English
Index of names
Subject index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521573177
ISBN-10: 0521573173
Series: Cambridge Studies in Linguistics
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 422
Published: 31st March 2003
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.79