The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume 5: English in Britain and Overseas: Origins and Development

By Robert Burchfield

Quantity five of The Cambridge background of the English Language seems on the dialects of britain due to the fact 1776, the historic improvement of English within the former Celtic-speaking nations of Scotland, Wales and eire, and at types of English in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia. This special quantity could be welcomed by means of all these drawn to the unfold of English worldwide.

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The advance of /ul/ to /u:/ was once much less usual (/pu:/ and /pAl/, /fu:/ and /fAl/, are either present in smooth Scots as cognates of pull and full); yet its results are equally observable in unetymological back-spellings comparable to (ulk) ouk (i. e. 'week') and (puldir) 'powder'. this modification, by the way, is the reason for the no longer rare visual appeal at the Scottish toponymic map of names within which an orthographic (1) corresponds to not anything within the pronunciation - Kirkcaldy, Culross, Tillicoultry - giving natives the chance to right the invariable mispronunciations of outsiders. /-vocalisation was once avoided by means of one issue: the presence of the cluster within the series /aid/. the following breaking of the vowel to /au/ happened, yet no longer lack of the / I / . this variation used to be occasionally, yet now not constantly, mirrored within the spelling, hence (ald/auld), (bald/bauld), (cald/cauld), and so forth. Intervocalically, too, / I / was once regularly preserved. ahead of the good Vowel Shift, that's, parts, /eu/ and /ei/, had disappeared from the method; and the distribution of/au/, /ou/ and /u:/ were significantly widened. forty eight English in Scotland the nice Vowel Shift happened north of the Tweed as in different areas of the island; yet a massive think about the heritage of Scots is that the shift was once basically partial in comparison to what came about in southern dialects. such a lot strikingly, /u:/ remained unaffected. To at the present time some of the most widely recognized stereotypical gains of Scots is the pronunciation represented by means of such spellings (etymologically misspellings, by the way, and hence now kept away from through critical writers) as hoose, toon, doon, and so forth. The Shift had the impression of elevating / o : / from [o:] to [o:], yet this concerned no systemic swap. /&:/ was once additionally unaffected: there are substantial ameliorations one of the reflexes of this vowel within the smooth dialects (see pp. 66-8), yet those are because of later adjustments. front monophthongs have been uniformly tormented by the nice Vowel Shift; /i: e: e: a:/ grew to become /ai i: e: e:/. In southern and south-eastern Scotland the elevating of /a:/ was once now not, as in English dialects, avoided by means of a previous labial continuant. As in southern dialects, the next historical past of front vowels exhibits advancements no longer predictable from the nice Vowel Shift. The /a:/ of Early Scots, raised to / E : / , is rarely represented through a vowel of this caliber in glossy dialects yet consistently by way of one within the high-mid diversity, / e : / as a result of past / e : / underwent a cut up, a few phrases preserving the recent high-mid vowel and others pursuing an upward path to turn into absolutely excessive. The latter workforce is far extra moderately represented in Scots than in southern English, even if: beast, heap, heal, meat, for instance, are actually reported in Scots with an [e]-like instead of an [i]-like vowel. /au/, even if unique or as a result of /-vocalisation, used to be monophthongised to a low again vowel: within the first example possibly [D:]like, notwithstanding glossy dialects are divided right into a team which keeps a vowel of this caliber and one during which it has an unrounded [a(:)]-like reflex.

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