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Consonant Change in English Worldwide
 
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Consonant Change in English Worldwide
Synchrony Meets Diachrony
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
01 Nov 2005
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£82.00
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9781403998248
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Applying insights from variationist linguistics to historical change mechanisms in the English consonant system, Daniel Schreier reports findings from an historical corpus-based study on the reduction of various consonant clusters and compares them with similar processes in synchronic varieties. He therefore defines consonantal change as a strictly interdisciplinary phenomenon that involves fields as distinct as psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, phonological theory and contact linguistics. Moreover, he pinpoints the impact of external effects through the examination of data from fifteen varieties with different time depths and social contact histories, ranging from language shift, bilingualism and koinéisation to pidginisation and creolisation Findings from all these varieties are analysed with the aim of investigating how contact histories foster variation and change; how consonantal change is governed by internal constraints; and also how universal coarticulation patterns are intensified through linguistic contact and transfer of CV/CVC syllable structures.


Description

Applying insights from variationist linguistics to historical change mechanisms in the English consonant system, Daniel Schreier reports findings from an historical corpus-based study on the reduction of various consonant clusters and compares them with similar processes in synchronic varieties. He therefore defines consonantal change as a strictly interdisciplinary phenomenon that involves fields as distinct as psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, phonological theory and contact linguistics. Moreover, he pinpoints the impact of external effects through the examination of data from fifteen varieties with different time depths and social contact histories, ranging from language shift, bilingualism and koinéisation to pidginisation and creolisation Findings from all these varieties are analysed with the aim of investigating how contact histories foster variation and change; how consonantal change is governed by internal constraints; and also how universal coarticulation patterns are intensified through linguistic contact and transfer of CV/CVC syllable structures.


Reviews

'This book is a remarkable descriptive and theoretical tour de force which not only describes, but also succeeds in finding, explanations for the phenomenon of consonant-cluster reduction in terms of a spectacular range of disciplines. The work is extremely impressive in its coverage of a broad but - we can now see - integrated field. Daniel Schreier has based the research reported on here on a very wide and impressive range of data. The theoretical conclusions arrived at, and the principles adumbrated, will be regarded as of vital importance by scholars working in historical linguistics, linguistic variation and change, and phonology.' - Professor Peter Trudgill, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

'...the book provides interesting insights into the complex area of phonotactics in various varierties of English around the world and should inspire further research in the field.' - The Year's Work in English Studies

'...this volume represents an extremely well crafted synthesis of existing and innovative work, some of it carried out in some of the world's most remote and isolated and fascinating Anglophone communities by the author himself, and it will serve as a benchmark for future studies of this ubiquitous variable of English.' - David Britain, English World-Wide


Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
List of Tables and Figures
Introduction
Consonant Clusters: General Observations
Initial Cluster Reduction in English
Final Cluster Reduction in English
Theoretical Implications
Summary and Conclusion
References
Index


Authors

DANIEL SCHREIER has taught in Switzerland, the USA and in New Zealand and is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Berne, Switzerland. He is author of Isolation and Language Change and co-author (with Karen Lavarello-Schreier) of Tristan da Cunha: History People Language.