lecture 2 OE phonology


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Lecture 2 I. Mechanisms of linguistic change II. OE Vocalism III. OE consonant system II. OE Vocalism 1) Qualitative changes: PG correspondences; Anglo-Frisian Brightening and Restoration of a; OE Breaking; Palatalisation; I-umlaut; U-umlaut, velar umlaut 2) Quantitative changes: Contraction Lengthening III. OE consonant system 1) West Germanic germination of consonants 2) Palatalisation and assibilation 3) Voicing and devoicing of fricatives 4) Metathesis 5) Loss of consonants in some positions All living languages undergo changes. What causes such changes? geographic or climatic biological or racial fashion minimization of effort the influence of other languages human inventions changes in social culture and moral values Qualitative // quantitative; Dependent // independent PG correspondencesGth. ai – OE a: e.g. Gth. stains – OE stān (stone)Gth. ei – OE i: e.g. Gth. meins – OE mīn (mine)Gth. au– OE ea:Gth. eu – OE eo:Gth. iu – OE io: for greater understanding go to the chart on p. 12 [Иванова И.П., Чахоян Л.П., Беляева Т.М. Практикум по истории английского языка. – Cпб., 2005] The Anglo-Frisian languages underwent a sound change in their development from Proto-Germanic by which the vowel ā was fronted to ǣ, unless followed by a nasal consonant (n, m).Cf. OE mann and OE dжġ Later in Old English, short /ж/ (and in some dialects long /жː/ as well), was backed to /ɑ/ when there was a back vowel (a, o, u) in the following syllable. Cf. Dжġ and dagas Nominative dжġ dagasAccusative dжġ dжġGenitive dжġes dagaDative dжġe dagumFor further references see pg. 76 // Rastorguyeva T. A. A History of English. - M.: Vysšaja Škola, 2003. - 347 p.) it is diphthongization of short vowels before certain consonant clusters (before r, l, h + consonant and before h final). It is vowels a and e that underwent fracture. Gth. kalds – WS ceald For further references see pg. 78-80 // Rastorguyeva T. A. A History of English. - M.: Vysšaja Škola, 2003. - 347 p. It is mostly carried out in the West Saxon and Kentish dialects and the Anglian dialects have unbroken vowels Cf. WS and Kentish ceald “cold” and the Anglian dialects caldBreaking produced a new set of vowels in OE = the short [ea] and [eo]. OE vowels also change under the influence of the initial palatal consonants ʒ [j], c [k’] and cluster sc [sc’]. As a result of palatalization the vowel [e] and [ж] are diphthongized. E.g.:OE scЖmu > OE sceamu ‘shame’For further references see pg. 78-80 // Rastorguyeva T. A. A History of English. - M.: Vysšaja Škola, 2003. - 347 p.) It was a series of changes to vowels which took place when there was an i, ī or j in the following syllable.Subsequently, the i, ī or j disappeared, or changed to e. Front mutation made considerable changes in the pronunciation of English. Examples of i-umlaut in Mod English: food and feed, goose and geese, tooth and teeth, blood and bleed, man and men. i-umlaut led to the appearance of new vowels:[y] and [y:] arose from palatal mutation;Diphthongs [ie] and [ie:]For further references see pg. 80-82 // Rastorguyeva T. A. A History of English. - M.: Vysšaja Škola, 2003. - 347 p.) It was the diphthongization caused by an unstressed back vowel (u, o, a) in the following syllable, when only a single consonant intervened. i > io hira > hiora (their)e > eo hefon > heofona > ea saru > searu (armour)For further references see pg. 82 // Rastorguyeva T. A. A History of English. - M.: Vysšaja Škola, 2003. - 347 p. Contraction Lengthening Vowels were lengthened before the clusters nd, ld, mbCf. bindan > bīndanCild > cīld but cildru = because the cluster is followed by another consonant In classical Old English there were seven long vowels and seven corresponding short vowels. Perhaps the most obvious difference between Old English and present-day English is the existence in the former of geminate consonants. 1) West Germanic germination of consonants In all WG languages at an early stage of their independent history, most consonants were lengthened after a short vowel before [j]. This process is known as WG germination or doubling of consonants, the resulting long consonants are indicated by means of double letters: e.g. fuljan > OE fyllan. The change didn’t affect the sonorant [r], e.g. OE werian; nor did it operate if the consonant was preceded by a long vowel e.g. OE dēmjan – OE dēman The process by which the velar consonant is fronted is called palatalisation The velar consonants [k, g, x, γ] were palatalized before a front vowel (e, I, y).e.g. OE cild [k] was softened to [k’] as it stood before the front vowel [i]. In a similar way, the cluster sc, as in scip (ship), became palatalized;By the 9th century, however, the new palatal stops had developed into the palato-alveolar affricates. The affricate development is usually called assibilation.e.g. OE cild [k] was softened to [k’] at it stood before the front vowel [i]. in Late OE it may have reached the stage of [t∫] In the meantime the PG set of voiceless fricatives [f,θ, x, s] was subjected to a new process of voicing and devoicing. In early OE they became or remained voiced intervocally (between vowels), sonorants and voiced consonants; they became or remained voiceless in other environments, namely, initially, finally and next to other voiceless consonants: e.g. OE cweрan [р] between vowels and OE cwжр [θ] at the end of the word; OE Nom, Acc case – wīf, Gen – wīfes OE spelling does not distinguish between voiced and voiceless fricatives. Nasal consonants were lost before fricative consonants (h, f, s, p): in the process the preceding vowel was probably nasalized and lengthened.e.g. Gt. fimf, OE fīf Palatal 3 is occasionally dropped before d and n, the preceding vowel is lengthened:e.g. fri3nan > frīnan (ask) For further references see pg. 85-90 // Rastorguyeva T. A. A History of English. - M.: Vysšaja Škola, 2003. - 347 p.

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