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It's called the northern city shift. PBS's "Story of English" series never explained it satisfactorily. I find the following the most compelling, in order of importance (IMHO). This is known as the Great Vowel Shift (GVS). The Great Vowel Shift The great vowel shift was a water shed event , so much so that it is the reason that why most modern day English speakers would struggle to speak with people from the late 14th & 15th Century. This is why it is not pronounced like the O in clog or fog. A sound change that began c.1400 and ended c.1600, changing late MIDDLE ENGLISH long, stressed MONOPHTHONGS from something like the sounds of mainland European languages to those that they now have: for example, Middle English fine had an i like Italian fino. Source for information on GREAT VOWEL SHIFT: Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language … However, the Great Vowel Shift was kicking in, so "mouse", originally pronounced "moose" or even "moos-uh", changed its vowel sound. A drag chain or pull chain is a chain shift in which the phoneme at … The Great Vowel Shift was first studied and described by a Danish linguist and Anglicist Otto Jespersen (1860-1943). (It seems reasonable to add to this list the development of the ME diphthong [au] which was narrowed and contracted to [ɔ:] during the same period, though it is not usually included in the Shift.) The Great Vowel Shift. The Great Vowel Shift was first studied by Otto Jespersen ( 1860– 1943), a Danish linguist and Anglicist, who coined the term." The Great Vowel Shift is the name given to a series of changes of long vowels between the 14th and the 18th c. Any standard history of the English language textbook (see our sources) will have a discussion of the GVS. And it’s an apt term as this was a major upheaval in the pronunciation of English vowels, especially of the long vowels. After all, bear no longer rhymes with fear, which did shift upwards. Of course, the O in "no" is caught in the vowel shift, itself, and you can see little stragglers in variants like "nah." Other articles where Great Vowel Shift is discussed: English language: Transition from Middle English to Early Modern English: …remarkable event, known as the Great Vowel Shift, changed the whole vowel system of London English. section offers examples of how linguistics helps us understand literature and vice versa. The Great Vowel Shift involved six vowels: all were long, stressed monophthongs ... so let’s look at some specific examples. The ‘vowel shift’ relates to the sound of long vowels. One major change in the pronunciation of English took place roughly between 1400 and 1700; these affected the ‘long’ vowels, and can be illustrated in the diagram below. The Great Vowel Shift was first described by the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen as a change the Great Vowel Shift. However, nobody now pronounces "you" as "yow" - Brummies apart, of course. GREAT VOWEL SHIFT. Or perhaps I'm just reading too much into the spelling. The Great Vowel Shift is given amazing prominence in histories of the English language. Table 5. The Great Vowel Shift did not involve a front and back vowel change. Melinda Menzer of Furman University states "The Great Vowel Shift was a massive sound change affecting the long vowels of English during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries" The Great Vowel Shift . Great Vowel Shift definition: a phonetic change that took place during the transition from Middle to Modern English ,... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples As British spelling began to become standardised in the 15th and 16th decades with prescriptivism gripping the dialect, the pronunciation of English transformed whilst spelling did not, and thus the Great Vowel Shift was responsible for many peculiar spellings within the British language. Golden Ratio 4. Contre-Jour 5. The Great Vowel Shift gave rise to many of the oddities of English pronunciation, and now obscures the relationships between many English words and their foreign counterparts. It's called the great vowel shift. One major change in the pronunciation of English took place roughly between 1400 and 1700; these affected the long vowels, and can be illustrated in the diagram below. The W, acting as a vowel, lengthens the O. The Shakespeare page focuses on puns, one in particular unsuitable for a family audience, that only make sense if you understand the Great Vowel Shift. Peninsula 2. The presence of [r] in swear and bear caused the vowel quality to be retained, but not in all cases. Generally, the long vowels became closer, and the original close vowels were diphthongised. The spellings of some words changed to reflect the change in pronunciation (e.g. This paper argues that Optimality Theory gives a new insight into some aspects of the Great Vowel Shifts circa 1500. The point is that in ‘only’ the stress (the vowel that we pronounce most strongly) falls on the O. If we visualize this shift in terms of the phonetics chart for vowels, we could say that the English vowels shifted up the chart. All these processes of vowel change in Renaissance English resulted in some interesting alternations in today’s English. The vowel “i” as in “mice” is a high front vowel. But long about 1950, the short vowels in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Rochester, began to move. For example, if you try to read the original works of Chaucer or Shakespeare, you will surely notice that something has changed in comparison to how we talk and write, nowadays. The Great Vowel Shift. It affects long vowels through the loss of vowel … The Great Vowel Shift Early NE witnessed the greatest event in the history of English vowels – the Great Vowel Shift, – which involved the change of all ME long monophthongs, and probably some of the diphthongs. What was the "Great Vowel Shift" and why did it happen? As the pronunciation of long vowels is most interesting for the analysis of the Great Vowel Shift, the system is depicted below (2) by Smith (2005:95) as well as (3) by Wolfe (1972: 2) who adopts Baugh's (1952) supposed pronunciation of Chaucer. In Middle English these were three long vowels with values similar to their Latin or continental counterparts [i:], [e:], and [a:] (roughly the vowel sounds of thief , fete , and palm ); the spelling was therefore ‘phonetic’. The high vowels boost the chart and became diphthongs. I can't find anything on why "you" never got "vowel-shifted". Benson stated that “in 1569 John Hart (in his Orthographie ) went as far as to devise a new phonetic alphabet to remedy what he considered a fatal flaw in our system of language” (“The Great Vowel Shift”). The Chaucer page focuses on the first ten lines of the Canterbury Tales, explain­ L.D. The example I keep wanting to see here is "Snow". 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