Abstract

Abstract:

Old English underwent diachronic change in its vowel inventory between its predecessor West Germanic and Middle English. We provide an analysis of the addition and loss of vowels in Old English from the perspective of modified contrastive specification (Dresher et al. 1994). Three main themes emerge from our analysis: (i) the phonological representation of contrast in the vowels in English has remained remarkably stable for over a thousand years, (ii) the proposed analysis improves upon and supersedes similar analyses proposed in Dresher 2015 and Purnell & Raimy 2015, and (iii) the adoption of privative features provides an improved representationally based understanding of phonological activity, feature geometry, and how phonology reflects general cognitive features of memory.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. e447-e473
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-17
Open Access
No
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