The diachrony and synchrony of vowel quantity in English and Dutch

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Abstract

This investigation of Open Syllable Lengthening in Middle English and Middle Dutch treats the changes as the result of listener-based reinterpretations of coarticulatory effects on vowel duration. OSL in English is a result of compensatory lengthening, which is analyzed as a hypocorrection. OSL in Middle Dutch involves a hypercorrection in which the duration of etymologically long vowels is reinterpreted as a purely phonetic correlate of stress in open syllables. The different phonological bases for OSL provide a diachronic explanation for the retention of contrastive vowel quantity in Modern English and its absence in Modern Dutch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-104
Number of pages44
JournalDiachronica
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 24 2006

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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