Alliteration And Sound Change In Early English

Author: Donka Minkova
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139433174
Size: 72.94 MB
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This 2003 study uses evidence from early English verse to reconstruct the course of some central phonological changes in the history of the language. It builds on the premise that alliteration reflects faithfully the acoustic identity and similarity of stressed syllable onsets. Individual chapters cover the history of the velars, the structure and history of vowel-initial syllable onsets, the behaviour of onset clusters, and the chronology and motivation of cluster reduction (gn-, kn-, hr-, hl-, hn-, hw-, wr-, wl-). Examination of the patterns of group alliteration in Old and Middle English reveals a hierarchy of cluster-internal cohesiveness which leads to new conclusions regarding the causes for the special treatment of sp-, st-, sk- in alliteration. The analysis draws on phonetically based Optimality-Theoretic models. The book presents valuable information about the medieval poetic canon and elucidates the relationship between orality and literacy in the evolution of English verse.

How The Anglo Saxons Read Their Poems

Author: Daniel Donoghue
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812294882
Size: 22.54 MB
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The scribes of early medieval England wrote out their vernacular poems using a format that looks primitive to our eyes because it lacks the familiar visual cues of verse lineation, marks of punctuation, and capital letters. The paradox is that scribes had those tools at their disposal, which they deployed in other kinds of writing, but when it came to their vernacular poems they turned to a sparser presentation. How could they afford to be so indifferent? The answer lies in the expertise that Anglo-Saxon readers brought to the task. From a lifelong immersion in a tradition of oral poetics they acquired a sophisticated yet intuitive understanding of verse conventions, such that when their eyes scanned the lines written out margin-to-margin, they could pinpoint with ease such features as alliteration, metrical units, and clause boundaries, because those features are interwoven in the poetic text itself. Such holistic reading practices find a surprising source of support in present-day eye-movement studies, which track the complex choreography between eye and brain and show, for example, how the minimal punctuation in manuscripts snaps into focus when viewed as part of a comprehensive system. How the Anglo-Saxons Read Their Poems uncovers a sophisticated collaboration between scribes and the earliest readers of poems like Beowulf, The Wanderer, and The Dream of the Rood. In addressing a basic question that no previous study has adequately answered, it pursues an ambitious synthesis of a number of fields usually kept separate: oral theory, paleography, syntax, and prosody. To these philological topics Daniel Donoghue adds insights from the growing field of cognitive psychology. According to Donoghue, the earliest readers of Old English poems deployed a unique set of skills that enabled them to navigate a daunting task with apparent ease. For them reading was both a matter of technical proficiency and a social practice.

Traditions And Continuities

Author: Ragnar Ingi Adalsteinsson
Publisher: University of Iceland Press
ISBN: 9935230368
Size: 67.57 MB
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Traditions and Continuities - Alliteration in Old and Modern Icelandic Verse, is a lucid and authorative treatment of Old Icelandic alliterative metre, and of the subtle changes it underwent as the language evolved into later and modern Icelandic. It falls into four sections, beginning with an exhaustive account of the mechanics of alliteration and their development up until the present; a review of the development of research into the subject; the author's own research into the nature of alliterative verse, with special attention to complex phenomena such as vowel alliteration, s-clusters an hv-alliteration; and final section summarizing the main conclusions. Written by a scholar and poet, this is an essential handbook for the English-speaking research student in the subject.

Research Methods In Language Variation And Change

Author: Manfred Krug
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107469848
Size: 61.66 MB
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Methodological know-how has become one of the key qualifications in contemporary linguistics, which has a strong empirical focus. Containing 23 chapters, each devoted to a different research method, this volume brings together the expertise and insight of a range of established practitioners. The chapters are arranged in three parts, devoted to three different stages of empirical research: data collection, analysis and evaluation. In addition to detailed step-by-step introductions and illustrative case studies focusing on variation and change in English, each chapter addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology and concludes with suggestions for further reading. This systematic, state-of-the-art survey is ideal for both novice researchers and professionals interested in extending their methodological repertoires. The book also has a companion website which provides readers with further information, links, resources, demonstrations, exercises and case studies related to each chapter.

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Size: 25.45 MB
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The Syntax Of Chichewa

Author: Sam Mchombo
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521573788
Size: 65.24 MB
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This book provides a description of the major syntactic structures of Chichewa. The main topics covered include descriptions of phonetic and phonological aspects of the language, aspects of clause structure, and interactions between tone and syntactic structure. Sam Mchombo's description is supplemented by observations about how the study of African languages, specifically Bantu languages, has contributed to progress in grammatical theory. This includes the debates about the interaction between syntax and the lexicon, and the contributions of African linguistic structure to the evaluation of competing grammatical theories.