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Topic: Vowel shift

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 What is a Vowel?
Vowels can be contrasted with consonants, which are sounds for which there are one or more points where air is stopped.
Vowels in many languages are not crucial to the general meaning of the word.
Since a vowel refers to a specific type of sound, orthographically some letters may represent a consonant in some circumstances, and a vowel in others.
www.wisegeek.com /what-is-a-vowel.htm   (496 words)

 [No title]   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
The defining characteristic of a mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned mid-way between an open vowel and a close vowel.
The defining characteristic of a close vowel is that the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
The recognizable quality of the sound of different vowel sounds is attributed to the existence of formant regions: frequency ranges where the sound is enhanced by the cavity resonances of the human vocal mechanism.
www.lycos.com /info/vowel--vowel-sounds.html   (374 words)

 The Great Vowel Shift   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
The answer is the Great Vowel Shift, a mysterious linguistic phenomenon in which, over the course of generations, various vowels slid upwards and backwards in the throats of English speakers.
The vowel shift in its entirety has taken centuries (some linguists say that it is still going on today) but between 1400 and 1450, for unknown reasons, the rate of change accelerated.
To understand the great vowel shift, it is useful for us to have a common linguistic and physiological vocabulary (so we don't have to talk about "that dangly-thing in the back of your throat," but rather have a precise word to describe what's what).
web.cn.edu /kwheeler/great_vowel_shift.html   (417 words)

 [No title]
This vowel is a front vowel since the front part of the tongue is raised when it is articulated.
Data from Deterding 1997, where the vowels were obtained from a digital speech database consisting of the speech of five male speakers; approximately 10 occurrences per vowel type.
a close/middle vowel in that the position of the tongue and jaw is slightly raised.
www.lycos.com /info/vowel--vowels.html   (263 words)

The Great Vowel Shift was a massive but gradual change affecting the sound of long vowels of English from the 12th -18th centuries, but mainly in the 15th and 16th centuries at the very end of the Middle English period.
The long vowels of Middle English shifted upwards, meaning that a vowel that used to be pronounced in one place in the mouth would be pronounced higher up in the mouth in Modern English.
The traditional view is that the series of changes was connected, a move in one of the vowels causing a move in another, with each vowel keeping its distance from its neighbor.
dictionary.reference.com /help/faq/language/s23.html   (345 words)

Vowels are produced when the lungs push air through the mouth.
Unlike English the five basic vowels in Esperanto are not diphthongs, and it is very important for English speakers to strive to avoid tongue movement and to produce pure vowels.
However, both the tense vowel /e/ and the lax vowel /ɛ/ of 'bet' occur in the speech of many speakers of Esperanto, and the distribution probably depends on the distribution in the native language of the speaker.
www.owlnet.rice.edu /~wies301/Vowels.html   (1300 words)

 HLW: Word Forms: Processes: Change   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
Note that once /æ/ has shifted like this, it is the same phoneme as it was in the sense that it is still distinguished from all of the other vowel phonemes in this English dialect and is still used for the same set of words as before (back, glass, fancy, etc.).
This is an example of a "pulling" change; the movement of /æ/ left a gap in the vowel space that /α/ moved to fill so that the vowels remained roughly equally spaced.
Later another vowel — [ü] in Old English, [e] in Okinawan — came to be pronounced [i], but the old palatalization rule was no longer in effect so words in which /k/ had preceded this other vowel now had [ki].
www.indiana.edu /~hlw/V3/PhonProcess/change.html   (4015 words)

 Vowel shift   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
A vowel shift is a systematic change in the pronunciation of the vowel sounds of a language.
Other examples of ongoing Vowel shifts are the Southern Vowel Shift in the Southern United States, the California Vowel Shift in California English, or the Northern cities Vowel shift in Michigan, Chicago, and parts of upstate New York.
A Vowel shift can involve a merger of two previously different sounds, or it can be a chain shift, where vowels play "musical chairs".
vowel-shift.iqnaut.net   (131 words)

Thus, if the student attempts to sing an "aw" vowel but is instead producing an "uh" vowel, he or she can recognize the result on the monitor and be alerted to the problem.
Once the student has learned to recognize the telltale pattern of the pure vowels involved in the production of the diphthong, he or she can quickly work toward making those sounds pure and intelligible.
The properly initiated vowel presents an image that reveals virtually all of the harmonics initiating at the same time.
www.users.drew.edu /gnair/UsG41_Vowels.htm   (510 words)

 Great Vowel Shift
The Great Vowel Shift was a major linguistic rearrangement which took place in English in the century or two during and after Chaucer’s lifetime: perhaps 1350-1550 (?).
Indeed, we might guess that the earlier stage either had (a) just three vowels (spelled ‘i’ ‘e’ and ‘a’), or else (b) three close pairs of vowels, where each member of a pair was represented in spelling with the same vowel letter.
The modern informal terms of "long vowels" and "short vowels" are thus a reflection of an earlier stage of the language where vowel length was a distinctive feature.
asstudents.unco.edu /faculty/tbredehoft/UNCclasses/ENG419/GVS.html   (1727 words)

 Northern Cities Shift   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
The Northern Cities Chain Shift is a series of innovations in the vowels of the English spoken in the urban centres that surround the American side of the Great Lakes.
The result of the Northern Cities Shift is that each of a series of vowels receives a new place of articulation along the parameters of tongue advancement and height.
The low vowels are advanced, while the mid vowels retract, as illustrated in the diagram below.
www.ic.arizona.edu /~lsp/Northeast/ncshift/ncshift.html   (122 words)

 Great Vowel Shift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Great Vowel Shift was first studied by the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen (1860–1943), who coined the term.
Because English spelling was becoming standardized in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Great Vowel Shift is responsible for many of the peculiarities of English spelling.
Ideally, the term shift should be reserved for a sequence of interconnected changes, such as the two Germanic consonant shifts rather than used as a practical synonym of "sound change".
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift   (1238 words)

 Do You Speak American . What Lies Ahead? . Change . Changin | PBS
When a vowel sound moves into another vowel’s territory, the result may be a merger —as when the sound of caught comes to be pronounced with the tongue in the same region of the mouth as for cot.
These vowels are traditionally pronounced with the tongue placed in the back of the mouth, but here they are made with the tongue more toward the front.
All words with the same vowel as cot (box, lot, job, Don) are pronounced with a vowel closer to that of cat in the Northern Cities Shift, and all words with the vowel of tame (bake, late, Jane, day) take on a pronunciation closer to the vowel of time in the Southern Shift.
www.pbs.org /speak/ahead/change/changin   (2328 words)

 Southern Vowel Shift
According to Wolfram and Schilling-Estes (1998), this shift is largely confined to rural areas of the areas of the Southern States traditionally defined as the South.
The front vowels, however, do not seem to be undergoing the vowel shift to a large extent.
The front shift is even more pronounced in this speaker, with a few tokens of /iy/ (namely she and keeps) still in the upper front region, but most tokens below and behind the /i/ region.
www.ic.arizona.edu /~lsp/Features/SVS.html   (406 words)

 What is the Great Vowel Shift?
The Great Vowel Shift was a massive sound change affecting the long vowels of English during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries.
Basically, the long vowels shifted upwards; that is, a vowel that used to be pronounced in one place in the mouth would be pronounced in a different place, higher up in the mouth.
The Great Vowel Shift has had long-term implications for, among other things, orthography, the teaching of reading, and the understanding of any English-language text written before or during the Shift.
alpha.furman.edu /~mmenzer/gvs/what.htm   (279 words)

 BBC - h2g2 - The Great Vowel Shift
The Great Vowel Shift was a gradual process which began in Chaucer's time (early fifteenth century) and was continuing through the time of Shakespeare (early seventeenth century).
The Great Vowel Shift is still continuing today in regional dialicts; many speakers are now trying to move the topmost articulation points farther up, producing new diphthongs.
Two models of the pattern of vowel change are the "pull theory" in which the upper vowels moved first and "pulled" the lower ones along, and the "push theory" in which the lower vowels moved forward and up, pushing the others ahead.
www.bbc.co.uk /dna/h2g2/A964578   (654 words)

 Web Lecture 4.4
If we visual this shift in terms of the phonetics chart for vowels which we studied in Unit 2, we could say that English vowels shifted up the chart.
The Great Vowel Shift would probably be just an historical curiosity if it weren't for the fact that the first printing press opened in London in 1476, right in the middle of the shift!
By the time the vowel shift was complete (about 100 years from start to finish), hundreds of books had been printed with the older spellings.
darkwing.uoregon.edu /~l150web/weblec4.4.html   (576 words)

 storytelling: The Great Vowel Shift
Sometime around 1400 the long vowels of English began to shift upward, which means basically that the degree of opening of the mouth narrowed.
So the the vowel in the world house changed, but the vowel in the word husband did not; once both were pronounced with a sound you might write as ooo.
The Great Vowel Shift was a series of language shifts that took place over a very long period of time -- and in fact, never quite finished or caught on in some places.
www.tiedtothetracks.com /storytelling/archives/000990.htm   (1098 words)

 Great Vowel Shift   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language, generally accomplished in the 15th century, although evidence suggests it began as early as the 14th century.
The Great Vowel Shift was first studied by the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen (1860 - 1943), who coined the term.
Because English spelling was becoming standardised in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Great Vowel Shift is responsible for many of the peculiarities of English spelling.
great-vowel-shift.kiwiki.homeip.net   (446 words)

 Do You Speak American . Sea to Shining Sea . American Varieties . Pacific Northwest | PBS
This shift is also reported to be operating in Californian English, and is stereotyped in the speech of Valley Girls, as in “gahg me to the mahx.” Another aspect of Californian English is the fronting of the back vowels in the words boot, book, and boat, similar to Southern American English.
The fronting of the boat vowel is not as common, and is one measure that the Atlas of North American English uses to categorize dialects.
As Portlanders continue to front their back vowels, they will continue to go to the coast (geow to the ceowst), not the beach or the shore, as well as to microbrews, used clothing stores (where the clothes are not too spendy (expensive), bookstores (bik-stores) and coffee shops (both words pronounced with the same vowel).
www.pbs.org /speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/pacificnorthwest   (2414 words)

 VK5: Lecture 6, page 2: The Great Vowel Shift
The Great Vowel Shift (GVS) is a generally recognized term for a series of changes affecting late ME long vowels (as well as a few late ME diphthongs) in the variety of standard London English that eventually led to RP.
With hindsight, however, these changes give the impression of pushing the vowels around in a manner that resembles the country dance movement known as ‘down the middle and up’, only in the reverse order: the vowels have kept moving up the peripheries (i.e.
Each vowel is represented by a word in which the vowel occurs.
www.english.su.se /nlj/vk5/lect6/gvs.htm   (250 words)

 The Great Vowel Shift -- brief note on language
Beginning in the twelfth century and continuing until the eighteenth century (but with its main effects in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries) the sounds of the long stressed vowels in English changed their places of articulation (i./e., how the sounds are made).
Old and Middle English were written in the Latin alphabet and the vowels were represented by the letters assigned to the sounds in Latin.
The Great Vowel shift invloved a regular movement of the places of articulation: The front vowels each moved up a notch, except for /i:/, which formed a dipthong.
victorian.fortunecity.com /vangogh/555/Spell/vowelshift.htm   (670 words)

 What Is the Great Vowel Shift?
The Great Vowel Shift refers to the 15th century change in pronunciation of long that occurred in England.
After the Great Vowel Shift, one sees the long i sound pronounced as it is currently pronounced, such as in the word night.
Some linguists account for the Great Vowel Shift by suggesting that England’s rule by the French led to disenchantment with French pronunciation of vowels, which is a similar pronunciation to that of Middle English.
www.wisegeek.com /what-is-the-great-vowel-shift.htm   (589 words)

 Penny Eckert's Web Page
The merged vowel is pronounced between the two.
/ow/ The vowel in boat, tone, ghost becomes a diphthong, and the first part of the diphthong is shifting towards the vowel in bet, ten, guest.
This vowel is represented as fl circles with arrows.
www.stanford.edu /~eckert/vowels.html   (731 words)

 American Accent Undergoing Great Vowel Shift | Antimoon Forum
One note is that I would not use the term "Great Vowel Shift" here, as it refers to a specific historical vowel shift in Early Modern English.
As for North American English dialects and large-scale vowel system changes, such are in no fashion limited to the Northern Cities Vowel Shift (NCVS for short) but also include things like the parallel but opposite California Vowel Shift.
The NCVS is but one example, as there is also the California Vowel Shift, which is very similar to the NCVS except is newer and shifts the same vowels as the NCVS but in roughly the opposite direction.
www.antimoon.com /forum/t4828.htm   (2217 words)

 Toward Modern English
In understanding the shifts between Middle and Modern English, however, it's very important to turn to phonology again and see how the pronunciation of words has (probably) changed since Chaucer's time.
In Standard Modern American English, of course, the vowel in these words is /o/ --it has gone up still further since the Middle English period.
The causes of such vowel shifting are mysterious.
www.uta.edu /english/tim/courses/4301f98/nov9.html   (643 words)

 Northern cities vowel shift   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
The Northern cities vowel shift is a chain shift in the sounds of some vowels.
The fourth stage is the backing of, a phonetic shift seen in some other accents, although less markedly and in fewer contexts; this is a push stage, because former and fronted sound similar, especially when is not fully raised to but only to.
The shift is more notable in Caucasian speakers and those who identify themselves with the region in which the vowel shift is occurring.
northern-cities-vowel-shift.iqnaut.net   (413 words)

 Phonological Length and Vowel Quality   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-09-10)
The primary difference between /a/ and /a:/ appears to be that the short vowel is more widely distributed, perhaps because as a short vowel, it is more susceptible to context and stress effects.
In the Great English Vowel Shift, the nuclei of the high-front and high-back vowels, Middle English long //i:// and //u://, dropped down to the bottom center of vowel space, with the result that their nuclei could be identified as the same in some of the daughter languages.
The Shift has not had the same result here, since the resulting classes /ai/ and /ou/ have nuclei that are phonetically quite different.
www.tomveatch.com /Veatch1991/node70.html   (475 words)

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