Linguistic Evolution: With Special Reference to English
Professor Samuels presents a comprehensive explanation of the reasons for linguistic change, applying his theory in particular to the history of English. He assesses and mediates between the conflicting dogmas of different schools of linguistics, and offers an alternative theory of linguistic change which is basically simple but has the scope to cover any type of change.
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An assessment of the problem
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allophones ambiguity arise chapter circular shift colloquial combination common complementary distribution conditioned consonants contexts Danelaw dialect dialect continuum differentiation diphthongs distribution drag-chain evidence example existing extension Firstly French fricative functional further Germanic Germanic languages gradual grammar and lexis grammatical gender homonymy hypercorrection idiolect inflections influence initial intrasystemic isogloss isolative change later less lexical linguistic change loanwords loss marked forms meaning merger Middle English Midlands minor system neogrammarian normal noun occur origin parallel partly pattern period phonaesthetic phoneme phonemicisation phonetic change phonology polysemy possible preference pressures prestige dialects preterite probably pronouns pronunciation push-chain reasons reflex regarded relevant replacement result selection semantic shift sixteenth century social sound-change speakers spoken chain spread stages stress subsystems suggests suprasegmental survival syllables systemic regulation take place texts tion unstressed variants verbs Vowel Shift vowels whereas words written language