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      Studies in the Evolution of the English Language 

      Selected spontaneous phonological processes in the prehistory and history of English: an element-based approach

      Peter Lang
      element theory, lenition, headedness, cognates, reconstruction

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          Abstract:

          In this article an attempt will be made at presenting subjectively selected but well-known sound changes which took place in the prehistory and history of the English language from the perspective of Element Theory (e.g. Harris 1990, 1994; Backley 2011), which stems from Government Phonology (Kaye, Lowenstamm and Vergnaud 1990; Charette 1991, etc.). Now Element Theory is considered by many linguists as an independent model which can be used in any phonological analyses. The phonological processes described below, which outline the basic changes occurring before and in English, range from the first important consonantal shift happening in ancient times, known as Grimm’s Law, to the relatively recent Great Vowel Shift, whose final result can be observed since the beginning of the eighteenth century.

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          Language an Introduction to the Study of Speech

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            English Sound Structure

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              Conditions on Phonological Government

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                10.3726/9783631862865.003.0002
                f2381745-7a23-4876-a3c9-77ad87842dc3
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