A contribution to the history of the unaccented vowels in by William Pierce Shephard

By William Pierce Shephard

In all languages owning a good constructed expiratory accessory there's came across a bent to weaken the syllables which stand at the reduce phases of accentuation. The power dedicated to the construction of the syllable on which the primary accessory rests makes useful a discount within the strength of the expiration of the opposite syllables of the observe. The vowels of those syllables then exhibit a lack of sonority; and are prone to be lowered to that caliber which calls for the smallest amount of expiratory strength for his or her articulation. in basic terms that half is left that is completely worthwhile for the life of the syllable. Or, in different circumstances, the relief may fit nonetheless farther. Then the weaker syllables disappear completely; the power as soon as expended on their construction is going to swell the strain given to the extra hugely accented syllables, and so they lose their autonomous lifestyles. to watch the impression of those trends, we've got merely to match a language with a chromatic—or musical—accent with one owning a robust expiratory tension. within the former, the entire vowels are articulated highly and usually preserved via lengthy classes of improvement; within the latter, they're first lowered in strength, their articulation is slurred or hasty, and so they usually disappear solely. for instance, in historic Greek, which had surely a tone-accent, there are nearly no examples of the syncope of unaccented vowels. the one circumstances of loss are end result of the next contraction of 2 vowels status in hiatus after the outfall of an intervocal j or w. yet within the Teutonic department, however, the vowels of the unaccented syllables are continually weakened; from the earliest interval this tendency could be saw, and its operation is unchecked at present day. In smooth English those vowels are continuously slurred in pronunciation, and are often weakened to the so-called '' irrational'' vowel (the sound of u in but), that's typically a trifling voice-glide, with out determined articulation.

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286 Dumville's theory is an attractive one. However, the facts can be interpreted in more than one way. a. 287 However, the information concerning IEthelberht is found also in MS A, in the form of an insertion by scribe 8,'88 who had access to a copy of the 'Northern recension' and w:ho likewise added the 'Northern recension' information about St Alban. The only problem - that in MS A the Alban material is inserted against annal-number 283 not 286 - is not an insuperable one. 6-7)'. '" Whereas A and E both open with the specific Her, the Anryais of St Neots has the deliberately non-specific 'Hoc tempore', following the statement 'Diocletianus et Maxinnianus [imperantl'.

Wintra J his lic lip ret Wintanceastre. The skeletal regnal framework used by the compiler had allowed only twenty-nine years for Cynewulfs reign. 2" Working backwards from his own time, and adding eighteen and a half years (tEthelwulf) to thirty seven years seven months (Ecgberht) to sixteen years (Beorhtric), a compiler would have realised that according to the information provided in the Cynewulf/Cyneheard annal, 755 not 757 ought to have been the date for the accession of Cynewulf, and the date 754 should have been allocated to the one-year reign of King Sigeberht that immediately preceded it.

Admittedly, lEthelweard's clauses agree not only in their endings but also in their beginnings; however, these beginnings both refer to 'some' of the Vikings, while the single sentence in the Old English versions refers to the entire force. If we accept the theory of loss through homoeoteleuton, then we have also to suppose that this was accompanied by a rewriting of the surrounding material by a scribe of a defective copy of the Chronicle, even though that material still made perfectly good sense.

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