The Development of OE ē and ēo in Middle English: spelling evidence
Gjertud F. Stenbrenden
Tuesday 1 March, 14.15 pm; room 489 PAM
In my recently finished doctoral dissertation, I examine Middle English (ME) spelling evidence for the ‘Great Vowel Shift’ as well as for earlier long-vowel changes in late Old English (OE) and early ME. The evidence has been abstracted from three ME corpora which collectively cover the period c. 1150-1500; the corpora have made use of texts in local language; the language of each text has, moreover, been precisely localised. In this talk, the ME developments of OE ē and ēo are discussed, with a view to illustrating (a) the types of long-vowel changes investigated, (b) the types of evidence exploited, (c) the kinds of problems which attend the interpretation of orthographical material in terms of phonetic correspondences, (d) the dating and chronology of the long-vowel changes in question, and (e) the dialects which stand out as loci of change.