This work expounds a new approach to fundamental problems of phonology, based on applying principals of general systemics to linguistic exploration. The proposed approach is then applied to the historical evolution of Germanic phonological systems since the separation of Proto-Germanic from Proto-Indo-European, concluding with modern German, English, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic. It is demonstrated that these divergent evolutionary lines have been continuous cause-and-effect chains, and that the root causes of phonological evolution lie in the restructurings on the systemic tier of the ultimate phonological quanta.
Vulf Plotkin earned his Ph.D. and D.Sc. (Philology) from St. Petersburg University. He has explored phonological and grammatical systems in English and other Germanic languages, viewing them in their historical and typographical evolution.
List of Tables; Foreword by Hermann Bluhme; Preface; Part I: Phonological Systems; 1. Introduction; 2. Kinemes: The ultimate phonological units; 3. Phonemes and syllables; 4. The typology of kinemic subsystems; Part II: The evolution of Germanic phonological systems; 5. On the nature of sound changes in languages; 6. The dynamic of the Proto-Germanic phonological system; 7. The Gothic phonological system; 8. The West Germanic evolutionary lines; 9. The Scandinavian evolutionary lines; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.