Lectures in history of the English language and method-guides for seminars

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Lectures in history of the English language
Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, The Bee & the Crown - The Road to Ascension in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath
Questions to lecture 4:
1. What is the main outcome of the Norman Conquest in the writing system
2. What is the result of the Statute of Pleading in 1362?

3. What are the main consequences of the Transition from Middle English to Early
Modern English

Lecture 5.
Plan: The Great Vowel Shift.

Although the population of London in 1400 was only about 40,000, it was by far the largest city in England. York came second, followed by Bristol, Coventry, Plymouth, and Norwich. The Midlands and East Anglia, the most densely populated parts of England, supplied London with streams of young immigrants. The speech of the capital was mixed, and it was changing. The seven long vowels of Chaucer's speech had already begun to shift.
The Great Vowel Shift.
What Was It
The Great Vowel Shift was a gradual process which began in Chaucer's time (early 15th Century) and was continuing through the time of Shakespeare (early 17th Century. Speakers of English gradually changed the parts of their mouth used to articulate the long vowels. Simply put, the articulation point moved upward in the mouth. The vowels, which began being pronounced at the top, could not be moved farther up (without poking into the nose they became diphthongs. The upshot has been that the Anglo-Saxons lived (like the Scottish still do) in a 'hoose', and the English live in a 'house the Anglo-Saxons (like the Scottish) milked a 'coo, and the English milk a 'cow an Anglo-Saxon had a 'gode' day and the English have a 'good' one an Anglo-Saxon had 'feef' fingers on each hand and the English have 'five they wore 'boats' on their 'fate' while the English wear 'boots' on our 'feet. The Great Vowel Shift is still continuing today in regional dialects many speakers are now trying to move the topmost articulation points farther up, producing new diphthongs.

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