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Title: Phonological and lexical change in the dialects of east Devon and west Somerset, 1948-1995
Author: Jones, J. M.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis is a survey of phonological and lexical changes that have occurred in the dialects of east Devon and west Somerset (eD/wSo) during the second half of the twentieth century. The survey uses data recorded by the present author from three separate generations of informants between 1993 and 1995 to construct a detailed account of the phonological systems and non-standard lexicon of the eD/wSo dialects as they exist today, and compares these data with those recorded from the eD/wSo area by the Survey of English Dialects between 1948 and 1961. We present both diachronic and synchronic descriptions of the phonology of the eD/wSo dialects. First we give an outline account of the historical progression of the vowels, diphthongs, triphthongs and consonants from their Middle English forms to those of the present day, placing particular emphasis upon the changes that have occurred over the last half-century. We then offer a phonemic analysis of the modern eD/wSo sound system using minimal-pairs contrasts, providing an overview of the range of phonetic and phonemic forms that are present in the eD/wSo dialects of today. We then examine the maintenance of the traditional non-standard lexicon of the eD/wSo dialects during the last three generations, assessing the extent to which both knowledge and use of previously attested dialectal terms have been eroded. Finally, we present the non-standard lexical items recorded by the present survey as being in current use, giving full etymological details (where available), together with an indication of the regional distribution of previous recordings of each term (if any) in other dialect surveys. We conclude with a summary of the phonological and lexical changes that are discussed in the thesis, noting general patterns that are apparent and offering some possible explanations for the changes that have occurred over the last five decades.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available