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Studies in second fronting

Schmitt, Melanie (2009) Studies in second fronting. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation studies Second Fronting, an Old English sound change which is associated with Mercian, one of the Old English dialects. Due to the lack of preserved material of this dialect, it is very difficult to analyse Second Fronting in detail. Hence it is a change that although it is included in every textbook on the history of English, it is usually described in fairly brief terms. This work deals with Second Fronting and aims to give an historical outline of the change as well as presenting new results that either emphasise old approaches or point the finger into a new direction for the study. The research draws on late Old English Mercian material as well as on Middle English data of dialects that are thought to be the descendents of Mercian containing Second Fronting reflexes. Furthermore, existing phonological theories on this particular sound change are given to show what kind of work has been done already in the field. The research itself consists of a questionnaire that is run against carefully chosen texts. The outcome of this questionnaire is presented in tables and interpreted, using the model of language study known as lexical diffusion. This dissertation stresses that due to the lack of evidence former approaches to Second Fronting can be simply questioned. In addition, it discovers that hardly anything has been done to investigate the origins of the change and hence suggests that more research should be carried out on the triggering of Second Fronting.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Second Fronting, Middle English, Ancrene Wisse, Mercian, Old English, lexical diffusion, sound change
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PD Germanic languages
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Professor Jeremy J.
Date of Award: 16 January 2009
Depositing User: Miss Melanie Schmitt
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-01-16-591
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:20
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/591

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