Is historical linguistics different in principle from other linguistic research? This book addresses problems encountered in gathering and analysing data from early English, including the incomplete nature of the evidence and the dangers of misinterpretation or over-interpretation. Even so, gaps in the data can sometimes be filled. The volume brings together a team of leading English historical linguists who have encountered such issues first-hand, to discuss and suggest solutions to a range of problems in the phonology, syntax, dialectology and onomastics of older English. The topics extend widely over the history of English, chronologically and linguistically, and include Anglo-Saxon naming practices, the phonology of the alliterative line, computational measurement of dialect similarity, dialect levelling and enregisterment in late Modern English, stress-timing in English phonology and the syntax of Old and early Modern English. The book will be of particular interest to researchers and students in English historical linguistics.
David Denison is Smith Professor of English Language and Medieval Literature in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the University of Manchester. Ricardo Bermudez-Otero is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and English Language in the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures at the University of Manchester. Chris McCully is Managing Director of the Graduate School for the Humanities at the Rijksuniversiteit, Groningen. Emma Moore is a Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield.
General introduction David Denison, Ricardo Bermudez-Otero, Chris McCully and Emma Moore, with Donka Minkova; Part I. Metrics and Onomastics in Older English: 1. Introduction Chris McCully and David Denison; 2. What explanatory metrics has to say about the history of English function words Geoffrey Russom; 3. To p're fulan flode of p're fulan flode: on becoming a name in Easton and Winchester, Hampshire Richard Coates; 4. Notes on some interfaces between place-name material and linguistic theory Peter Kitson; Part II. Writing Practices in Older English: 5. Introduction Chris McCully; 6. Anglian features in late West Saxon prose R. D. Fulk; 7. 'ea' in early Middle English: from diphthong to digraph Roger Lass and Margaret Laing; Part III. Dialects in Older English: 8. Introduction: on the impossibility of historical sociolinguistics Emma Moore; 9. Levelling and enregisterment in northern dialects of late modern English Joan Beal; 10. Quantitative historical dialectology April McMahon and Warren Maguire; 11. Reconstructing syntactic continuity and change in early modern English regional dialects: the case of who Terttu Nevalainen; Part IV. Sound Change in Older English: 12. Introduction: when a knowledge of history is a dangerous thing Ricardo Bermudez-Otero; 13. Syllable weight and the weak-verb paradigms in Old English Donka Minkova; 14. How to weaken one's consonants, strengthen one's vowels, and remain English at the same time Nikolaus Ritt; 15. Degemination in English, with special reference to the Middle English period Derek Britton; Part V. Syntax in Older English: 16. Introduction David Denison; 17. The status of the postposed 'and-adjective' construction in Old English: attributive or predicative? Olga Fischer; 18. DO with weak verbs in early modern English Anthony Warner.
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