part 3 Q 14

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part 3 Q 14

Post  captn_lee on Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:22 pm

The Great Vowel Shift
- What was the Great Vowel Shift?
All the long vowels gradually came to be pronounced with a greater elevation of tongue and closing of the mouth so that those that could be raised were raised, and those that could not without becoming consonantal (i,u) became diphthong. (A history of the english language albert c. Baugh& Thomas cable p 238)
Very appropriately, this sound change is known as the Great Vowel
Shift: it was a great change; it affected many vowel sounds; and it involved a
shift in the place of articulation of every vowel it touched. (long story p.108)

- When did it start? When did it end?
First, there is arguably at least as much change in early modern English phonology as in any other area of the grammar: in particular, and as the previous chapter has already indicated, the whole long vowel system is radically reshaped between about 1450 and 1750 in what has come to be known as the Great Vowel Shift.*( oxford pdf, p. 150)

Linguists can describe what happened in
terms of changes, but they are not able to say why these changes started to
occur in the first place.
The Great Vowel Shift did, however,
happen quite quickly in terms of sound change, completely changing the
pronunciation of the long vowels of English in less than 100 years
.( long story p.110)
The GVS began in about the 15th century and was largely completed bye the late 16th or early 17th.

- What happened during the Great Vowel Shift?
For instance, Middle English short /e o/ in bed, lot lowered to /e `/ by the end of the seventeenth century, while short /U/ split to give /U/ in put, as opposed to /_/ in cut. Not all these changes operated identically in all dialects: many Northern English varieties share the lowering and centralization of Middle English short /u/ to /U/ (and of Middle English short /i/ to /I/), but do not show the split to /U/ and /_/, so that Yorkshire varieties still have /U/ in both put and cut.

There are also changes in diphthongs: early in our period, some of the Middle English
diphthongs, such as the /Ou/ of grow, sow and the /ai/ of rain were monophthongizing, while a new subtype of diphthong was created shortly after the end of our
period, when the progressive loss of postvocalic /r/ led to the innovation of the
centring diphthongs in here, there, sure (now, in turn, often monophthongized
again). However, the most signiWcant change, or changes, in early modern
English involve the long vowels.
Very shortly after the arrival of the printing press and the setting of
spelling norms, all of the long vowels changed their place of articulation.
The very general tendency was to front and/or raise long vowels. The low
back /_/ sound was first fronted to the /æ / position and then all /æ /sounds
were raised to /_/. This means that words that had an /_/ vowel sound
before the Great Vowel Shift ended up with an /_/ sound after the Shift.
Those that originally had an /_/ sound ended up with an /e/ and those that
had an /e/were left with /i/. When we get to /i/ you can see that there is a bit
of a problem. There is no room left on the vowel diagram to raise the vowel
because we've hit the roof of the mouth. The solution that the English
language found to this problem was to diphthongize the /i/ sound to /a_/.
On the back side of the vowel diagram, the same sort of raising occurred.
The /_/ sound was raised to /o/, and the /o/ sound was raised to /u/. When it
came to an original /u/, English found itself facing the same problem as with
the front vowel /i/ there was no room left to raise the sound. Once again the
solution was to diphthongize /u/, the result being /a_/.(long story p.109)
If we get back to Early Modern English, we can note that the Great Vowel
Shift was not the only sound change that occurred. Some short vowels came
to be articulated differently and a few diphthongs were simplified to
monopthongs, or single sounds. For example, a few words which end in 'w'
today were once diphthongs.

Each non-high vowel rise one height, and the high vowels, which are unable to rise become diphthongs. (Fennel)



In a drag chain one sound moves from its original place, and leaves a gap which an existing sound rushes to fill, whose place is in turn filled by another, and so on. In a push chain, the reverse happens. One sound invades the territory of another, and the original owner moves away before the two sounds merge into one. The evicted sound in turn evicts another, and so on.

Drag and push (oxford 163)
DRAG the shift of the high vowels would have left a gap into
which the next highest vowels would have been ‘dragged’, to preserve the shape of
the overall system. This would have had a knock-on eVect on the next highest
vowels; and as the new diphthongs lowered, they would in turn put pressure on
pre-existing /ai au/ (as in Middle English day and law), which would have risen in
early modern English into the vacant low or low-mid monophthong slots, hence
avoiding merger (see below).
PUSH the vowels that begin the overall process are assumed to be the high-mid
ones, /e:/ and /o:/ (as in green and boot), which start to shift upwards towards the
high monophthongs /i:/ and /u:/. If the raising vowels had simply collapsed with the vowels one step higher, we should Wnd mergers, for example, rather than a chain shift; hence feel would have become identical in pronunciation with Wle, and boot with bout.
- What were the consequences on the English language?

- What are the theories on how it started?
- What are the theories on how it occurred?
- What are the consequences of the Great Vowel Shift?
5 problems(oxford p 161-2)
1. Inception
2. Merger
3. Order
4. Dialect
5. Structural coherence
- What are the conflicts concerning the Great Vowel Shift?

The only vowels in the Middle English system which seem to have disappeared altogether, merging with the reXexes of /e:/, are /e:/ and /a:/ as in Middle English beat and face (although a long low unrounded vowel, usually now back /A:/, has subsequently re-emerged in words such as father, bra, calm, part in many varieties).

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Re: part 3 Q 14

Post  natacha on Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:38 pm

The Great Vowel Shift
14) The Great Vowel Shift
- What was the Great Vowel Shift?
- When did it start? When did it end?
- What happened during the Great Vowel Shift?
- What were the consequences on the English language?
- What are the theories on how it started?
- What are the theories on how it occurred?
- What are the consequences of the Great Vowel Shift?
- What are the conflicts concerning the Great Vowel Shift?

It’s a long story. p. 106

• End of the middle English period is considered to be 1500
• This date does not correspond to a precise political or social change
• Marks the evolution of the English language  Early Modern English

• The development of the printing press
 William Caxton, 1476
 Begging of mass production books
 Books became available and inexpensive not only to the elite
 More written material = more people able to read

P.107

 Written word = important mean of communication
 PP was a solution to many problems, but also brought some.
 Before 1500, spelling was a mess, people were trying to spell words as the pronounced them. English was at that time a collection of many dialects, so spelling was not consistent.
 The people using the printing press had to decide how the world would be spelled  English became less regional and more national
 Guidelines were produced so that everyone printer spell the words the same way, but obviously not everyone used them.

p.108

• The great vowel shift:
 It affected many vowels sounds
 Shift in the place of articulation

p.109

• Cardinal vowel system
 Represent the human mouth
 Place of articulation of vowels
 Created by a British phonologist named Daniel Jones
 “The front of the mouth is to the left. Here you can find the front vowels arrayed from high to low. You can see schwa in the middle and the back vowels from top to bottom to the right.”

• Very short after the arrival of the printing press and the spelling norms reform, all of the long vowels changed their place of articulation.

http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.1066andallthat.com/images/whatcolor2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.1066andallthat.com/english_middle/vowel_shift_01.asp&usg=__Lxjrdxky0Al60UdyOEkGAWnS96w=&h=171&w=597&sz=39&hl=fr&start=19&zoom=0&tbnid=EphvAEHir7uSwM:&tbnh=39&tbnw=135&ei=dsuYTZuJDtH1gAf7gqC0CA&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgreat%2Bvowel%2Bshift%2Bsteps%26um%3D1%26hl%3Dfr%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1R2GGLL_fr%26biw%3D1259%26bih%3D578%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=125&oei=A8uYTaBThbi2B52trY4M&page=2&ndsp=21&ved=1t:429,r:9,s:19&tx=95&ty=13

diagram found on internet google image

p.110

• Took less than 100 years to happen
• Sound of English are always changing  people unaware of the changes
 Changes are often very slight, so hard to notice
 Take a long time to occur, evolve in a lifetime
 Change from one generation to another
• “The Great Vowel Shift was not the only sound change that occurred. Some short vowels came to be articulated differently and a few diphthongs were simplified to monopthongs, or single sounds.”
 Some words that end in “w” today were once diphthongs.
• Some changes also occurred, apart from the GVS, in the consonant system.

Mugglestone, Lynda (ed.). (2006) The Oxford History of English. Oxford University Press.
Textbook view of the Great Vowel Shift

p.155

• Change involving the long vowels
Ex:
Middle English Modern English
Time /ti:m/ /taIm/
Green /gre:n/ /gri:n/
Break /bre:k/ /breIk/
Name /na:m@/ /neIm/
Day /dai/ /deI/
Loud /lu:d/ /laud/
Boot /bo:t/ /bu:t/
Boat /bO:t/ /boUt/
Law /lau/ /lO:/

p.158

• the GVS had a strong impact on the English orthography

 Each vowel graph comes to be equipped with at least two distinct values.
 Whereas in Chaucer’s time an “a” spelling could only be pronounced as long or short /a/ (as in name or cat), and an “i” only long or short /i/ (as in time or bit)
 Today’s novice spellers have to face a choice in every case, so that “a”, for example, can be /æ/ in apple, /eI/ in name, or /A:/ in father, and “i” can be /I/ in ill, bit or /aI/ in time, fine. Long and short values for the same vowel graph, in other words, no longer match in terms of vowel quality.

• The GVS also contributed to the development of complex morphological patterns in modern English

Ex:
Various _ variety
Divine _ divinity
Comedy _ comedian
Serene _ serenity
Study _ studious
Sane _ sanity
Harmony _ harmonious
(Fool _ folly)
(Profound _ profundity)


What, if anything, was the Great Vowel Shift?
p. 161 -162

Stockwell and Minkova raise the following Wve unresolved questions or problems, tracing these back to the work of the philologist Karl Luick (1865–1935):

1 The inception problem: what, if anything, started the whole change oV?

2 The merger problem: is it feasible to think of a chain shift of this kind at all, where a shift of one vowel causes another to move too, to prevent merger and loss of distinctiveness?

3 The order problem: did the shift happen in stages, and if so, what was the chronology for each stage?

4 The dialect problem: how can we account for the fact that the supposedly coherent vowel shift seems to have happened diVerently in diVerent dialects?

5 The structural coherence problem: did the GVS really happen as a unitary change, or do linguists want to believe in it because we are attracted to neat patterns?


PS: Je nai pas encore trouver toutes les informations, je nai pas encore consulter le Fennell et une parti du Oxford. J'irais lundi a la bibliotheque pour avoir les informations manquantes.

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natacha Fennell part

Post  natacha on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:08 am

Fennell, Barbara A. (2001) A History of English: A Sociolinguistic Approach. Blackwell, p.158 - 161

• Altered middle English long vowels system
• Began in about the 15th century and largely completed by the late 16th or early 17th century.

• /i /and /u/ moved to /əi/ and /əu/
• /e/ and /o/ moved to /i/ and /u/
• /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ moved to /e/ and /o/
• /a/ moved to / ɛ/
• /ai/ moved to /a/, after to /ɛ /and finally to /e/
• /e/ moved to /i/

*Fennell only points out 6 steps but I the diagram found on internet show 8 and is more detailed.

• GVS is known as a chain shift:

 Each non-high vowel rises one height, and the high vowels become diphthongs.
 Push chain and drag chain :

o All began with the rising of mid vowels /e/ and /o/, which had two effects:
o It pushed up the high vowels / i /and /u/ and left a space, which dragged up the lower vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ to fill the empty /e/ and /o/ positions.
o When /ɛ/ rose to /e/, this left the spot open for /a/ to move into.
o Everything was completed by the end of the mid 16th century except for the raising of /a/.

• The two last steps (/ai/ – /e/ and /e/ – /i/) started in the late 16th century and finished in the 18th century.

• Two important issues:

 Actuation problem: how does it started?
 Implantation problem: how does it spread?

• Was caused by the increased in social differentiation typical of the swelling urban population in and around the capital at the time. (hypothesis)
• Not all the chain shift was caused by social factors.
• According to some phonologists, the GVS produced a very unbalanced system of three front vowels, two back vowels and no low vowel. Over the years the system readjusted over the years to compensate.

 Evidence in the London dialects in the early 16th century that the vowel in the word mate and meet merged, they became homophones.
 In the 17th century, instead of the merger of mate and meet, the vowels in meat and meet merged and the word mate was distinct.
 Evidence from sources such as Shakespeare’s plays suggests that in the dialects around London (kent and East Anglia) there was a tendency in the lower classes to substitute higher, long mid-close vowels in words where long mid-open vowels would be expected in London Middle English. i.e. /e/ and /o/ instead of / ɛ/ and / ɔ/.
 Lower classes were merging meat and meet.
 The higher classes decided to distance themselves from the lower classes by their speech.
 They maintained the distinction between ME /e/ and / ɛ/ words.
 This seems to have caused the social climbers to adopt even higher vowel in ME /e/ words in order to maintain their social difference with the lower classes.
 A redistribution of words with long vowels would take place and the shift would have begun.

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Summary of all the info I found - natacha

Post  natacha on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:40 am

Sorry about all the posts, it's a bit messy so I made a summary for you.

14) The Great Vowel Shift

- What was the Great Vowel Shift?


The GVS was a shift on the place of articulation and affected the long vowels only.

- When did it start? When did it end?

According to Fennell, it began in about the 15th century and largely completed by the late 16th or early 17th century

Also according to Fennell, the last stages occurred after and finished in the 18th century.

- What happened during the Great Vowel Shift?

The place of articulation of the long vowels moved.

• /i /and /u/ moved to /əi/ and /əu/
• /e/ and /o/ moved to /i/ and /u/
• /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ moved to /e/ and /o/
• /a/ moved to / ɛ/
• /ai/ moved to /a/, after to /ɛ /and finally to /e/
• /e/ moved to /i/
• GVS is known as a chain shift
 Each non-high vowel rises one height, and the high vowels become diphthongs.
 Push chain and drag chain
o All began with the rising of mid vowels /e/ and /o/, which had two effects:
o It pushed up the high vowels / i /and /u/ and left a space, which dragged up the lower vowels /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ to fill the empty /e/ and /o/ positions.
o When /ɛ/ rose to /e/, this left the spot open for /a/ to move into.
o Everything was completed by the end of the mid 16th century except for the raising of /a/.

• The two last steps (/ai/ – /e/ and /e/ – /i/) started in the late 16th century and finished in the 18th century.


- What were the consequences on the English language?

• The GVS had a strong impact on the English orthography

 Each vowel graph comes to be equipped with at least two distinct values.
 Whereas in Chaucer’s time an “a” spelling could only be pronounced as long or short /a/ (as in name or cat), and an “i” only long or short /i/ (as in time or bit)
 Today’s novice spellers have to face a choice in every case, so that “a”, for example, can be /æ/ in apple, /eI/ in name, or /A:/ in father, and “i” can be /I/ in ill, bit or /aI/ in time, fine. Long and short values for the same vowel graph, in other words, no longer match in terms of vowel quality.

• The GVS also contributed to the development of complex morphological patterns in modern English:

Ex:
Various _ variety
Divine _ divinity
Comedy _ comedian
Serene _ serenity
Study _ studious
Sane _ sanity
Harmony _ harmonious
(Fool _ folly)
(Profound _ profundity)

- What are the theories on how it started?

The hypothesis is that it was caused by the increased in social differentiation typical of the swelling urban population in and around the capital at the time. (social conflicts)

- What are the theories on how it occurred?

 Evidence in the London dialects in the early 16th century that the vowel in the word mate and meet merged, they became homophones.
 In the 17th century, instead of the merger of mate and meet, the vowels in meat and meet merged and the word mate was distinct.
 Evidence from sources such as Shakespeare’s plays suggests that in the dialects around London (kent and East Anglia) there was a tendency in the lower classes to substitute higher, long mid-close vowels in words where long mid-open vowels would be expected in London Middle English. i.e. /e/ and /o/ instead of / ɛ/ and / ɔ/.
 Lower classes were merging meat and meet.
 The higher classes decided to distance themselves from the lower classes by their speech.
 They maintained the distinction between ME /e/ and / ɛ/ words.
 This seems to have caused the social climbers to adopt even higher vowel in ME /e/ words in order to maintain their social difference with the lower classes.
 A redistribution of words with long vowels would take place and the shift would have begun.

- What are the consequences of the Great Vowel Shift?

• According to some phonologists, the GVS produced a very unbalanced system of three front vowels, two back vowels and no low vowel. Over the years the system readjusted over the years to compensate.

- What are the conflicts concerning the Great Vowel Shift?

1 and 2 = most important according to Fennell.

Stockwell and Minkova raise the following unresolved questions or problems, tracing these back to the work of the philologist Karl Luick (1865–1935):

1 The inception problem: what, if anything, started the whole change, or how does it started?

2 The merger problem: is it feasible to think of a chain shift of this kind at all, where a shift of one vowel causes another to move too, to prevent merger and loss of distinctiveness?

3 The order problem: did the shift happen in stages, and if so, what was the chronology for each stage?

4 The dialect problem: how can we account for the fact that the supposedly coherent vowel shift seems to have happened differently in different dialects?

5 The structural coherence problem: did the GVS really happen as a unitary change, or do linguists want to believe in it because we are attracted to neat patterns?

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