Palatable Palatalization – A Story of Each, Much, Such, and Which in Middle English Dialects (paperback)

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Description

The concept of palatalization has always intrigued linguists trying to find a palatable explanation for one of the most influential processes in the English phonology.  Having initiated in Old English, palatalization took Middle English by storm, introducing a variety of forms, some of which have survived well into our modern times.  Contrary to the popular belief, however, the process itself was far from palatable, proving lack of consistency observed across different dialects of that period.  The present monograph intends to show the true, both palatable and unpalatable, character of palatalization, examining its effects exerted on four high-frequency words: EACH, MUCH, SUCH and WHICH, all of which appear copiously in the texts of the Innsbruck Prose Corpus.  The monograph thus aims to analyze the extent of phonological inhomogeneity from the point of view of lexical diffusion, which demonstrates the impossibility to establish any definitive dialectal boundaries underlining the existence of a [k]-dialect and, consequently, the everlasting idea of the north-south divide.

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