Early New English vowel shift
The Great Vowel Shift (also Tudor Vowel Shift ) summarizes the vowel changes in the English language that occurred between about 1400/1450 and 1700/1750 and thus include the phase of early New English . The names refer exclusively to the changes in the middle English long vowels . This is a lifting or closing of the long vowels. In contrast to the long vowels, the short vowels shown in the following diagram experience a lowering or wider opening. However, the short vowels change independently of the Great Vowel Shift . The New English spelling usually reflects the original sound level, e.g. B. / eː / to / iː / (English feel, “to feel”), / iː / to / aɪ / (English to find, “to find”), / uː / to / aʊ / (English mouse, “mouse "), / Oː / to / uː / (English moon, " moon ").
There are several theories about the cause and the exact course of the Great Vowel Shift . The two classic theories are called push chain and pull chain:
- Shear chain ( formulated by Karl Luick ): the middle vowels / eː / and / oː / gradually become more closed and displace / iː / and / uː /, which become the diphthongs / aɪ / and / aʊ /.
- Pull chain ( formulated by Otto Jespersen ): the two most closed vowels, / iː / and / uː /, diphthong to / aɪ / and / aʊ / and pull the two middle vowels / eː / and / oː / alternatively into the more extreme closed positions
Newer theories view the two perspectives as simplistic and assume several smaller independent sound change chains.
- Fausto Cercignani : Shakespeare's Works and Elizabethan Pronunciation . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1981.
- EJ Dobson: English Pronunciation 1500-1700. 2nd edition, 2 volumes, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1968.
- Manfred Görlach: Introduction to the history of the English language. Munich u. a., 1994.