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Title: Vocalisations evidence from Germanic
Author: Taylor-Raebel, Gary
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 1284
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2017
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A vocalisation may be described as a historical linguistic change where a sound which is formerly consonantal within a language becomes pronounced as a vowel. Although vocalisations have occurred sporadically in many languages they are particularly prevalent in the history of Germanic languages and have affected sounds from all places of articulation. This study will address two main questions. The first is why vocalisations happen so regularly in Germanic languages in comparison with other language families. The second is what exactly happens in the vocalisation process. For the first question there will be a discussion of the concept of ‘drift’ where related languages undergo similar changes independently and this will therefore describe the features of the earliest Germanic languages which have been the basis for later changes. The second question will include a comprehensive presentation of vocalisations which have occurred in Germanic languages with a description of underlying features in each of the sounds which have vocalised. When considering phonological changes a degree of phonetic information must necessarily be included which may be irrelevant synchronically, but forms the basis of the change diachronically. A phonological representation of vocalisations must therefore address how best to display the phonological information whilst allowing for the inclusion of relevant diachronic phonetic information. Vocalisations involve a small articulatory change, but using a model which describes vowels and consonants with separate terminology would conceal the subtleness of change in a vocalisation. The model presented here has therefore been designed to unite the descriptions of consonants and vowels to better demonstrate this change whilst allowing for relevant phonetic information to be included.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics ; PD Germanic languages