Elevation (linguistics)

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In linguistics, raising or lowering denotes, on the one hand, a vowel sound change and , on the other, the emphasis, emphasis or non-emphasis of a syllable , word or part of a sentence.

Raising and lowering as a change in sound

In diachronic linguistics, raising and lowering means a vowel sound change that is caused by the change in the articulation of a vowel by a higher or lower position of the tongue. Elevations are thus sound developments such as / a /> / e /, / e /> / i / or / o / to / u /; Lowerings are sound developments like / i /> / e /, / u /> / o / or / e /> / æ / or / a /.

An elevation is, for example, the i-umlaut from / a / to / e /, cf. Old High German gast, plural gesti, the latter emerged from pre- old high German * gastiz (cf. new high German guest, guests ). A much more recent elevation, only visible on a dialectal level, is, for example, Saxon-Meißnisch Duchter (daughter), which - as part of a general elevation from Old High German / e: /, / e / and / o / - emerged from Old High German daughter . In English, the Great Vowel Shift consists of elevations in the area of ​​long vowels, for example in / e: /> / i: / as in feet or / o: /> / u: / as in moon .

Lowerings are, for example, the a-umlaut from / u / to / o / that occurred in early High German , cf. Old High German giflogan (flown), which goes back to Old High German * gifluganaz . At the dialectal level, subsidence is particularly widespread in West Central German, where, for example, Old High German kind (child) has become dialectic Kend . In English, the Great Vowel Shift shows depressions in the area of ​​the short vowels, so with / o /> / ɒ / as in fox (fox) or / u /> / ʌ / as in cut .

Elevation as a sentence accent

Raising the voice in intonation has different meanings in communication:

In German , the accentuation falls on syllables that are also stressed in unbound speech or in prose - for example in the famous Goethe quote

" Man is wrong as long as he strives ."

Uplifts in bound speech appear in accent-oriented metrics through the meter caused even when not stressed in natural speech syllables, the reverse (that a natural elevation is pressed by the meter) is generally undesirable.

Elevations at the end of a sentence mark a question .

In addition, uplifts set a sentence accent with a meaningful function. As an example:

Today like this, and tomorrow like that” - always the same
“Today like this , and tomorrow like that ” - always different

In Chinese , uplifts mark the second (rising) and third (falling-rising) tone, and lowering marks the third and fourth (falling) tone. They do not change the content of the sentence, but the interpretation of a sound .

Individual evidence

  1. Hadumod Bußmann : Lexicon of Linguistics, article "Elevation vs. Lowering ".