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Title: Representations of breaking in early Old English : an orthographic and phonological study
Author: van der Schee, Sanne Jacoba Fennechiena
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 8475
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2017
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The current thesis presents a detailed study of the earliest evidence of Old English to investigate the early Old English sound change known as breaking. The aims of the study are twofold: firstly, it investigates the early development of the Old English orthographic tradition and the external influences which might have affected it and, secondly, it interprets the orthographic evidence to explore the phonological characteristics of this sound change. The corpus used to achieve these aims includes the Old English material from Latin charters, five glossaries of the Leiden family, six manuscripts of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, two copies of Cædmon’s Hymn, a copy of Bede’s Death Song, a copy of the Leiden Riddle and Anglo-Saxon coin epigraphy. An understanding of the early development of the orthographic system of Old English enriches our understanding of this language, its scribes, the scribal centres in which it was used and the intellectual climate of Anglo-Saxon England in the early Middle Ages. This thesis argues that a change took place in the orthographic representations of the vowels affected by breaking throughout Anglo-Saxon England in the eighth century. This change may have been part of a wider development towards an independent Old English spelling tradition, while the earlier Old English textual materials show a stronger influence from external spelling traditions. The orthographic evidence provides no support for interpretations of breaking as an allophonic change, as argued by Daunt (1939, 1952) and Stockwell and Barritt (1951, 1955, 1961). It might be consistent with a monophthongal interpretation of the vowels affected by this process, as argued by Hockett (1959), but this thesis concludes that the traditional view of breaking as diphthongisation is the more convincing interpretation of the extant evidence.
Supervisor: Shaw, Philip ; Coleman, Julie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available