In view of the unsatisfactory state of the mechanism that the Neogrammarians advocated, Wang (1969) proposed the theory of lexical diffusion, within which it is assumed that a phonological change operates on words severally at a time, rather than on the phoneme per se. Several significant issues are discussed within the perspective of lexical diffusion: the interaction of phonetic factors and word frequency in the eModE u shortening; the processes of language acquisition of the three children who were learning their first fifty words; and the language relationship. We critically introduce genetic subgroupings of the dialects or languages by tree diagrams. Then, basing on large quantities of data on current reflexes of 7 ME long vowels, we propose a method of dynamic dialectology that better unifies the study of language in its temporal and spatial aspects.
This article explores an entirely new approach to the long-standing problem of how to explain the marked vs. unmarked distinction that has generally been supposed to be recognizable in phonological rule interactions. First, it is shown that the“principles” of rule ordering proposed up to now are all questionable, so that in the existing circumstances it seems almost impossible to account consistently for all the facts about the markedness of phonological rule interactions. Second, in an alternative to that diachronic analysis presented in Chapter Six of Chomsky and Halle(1968), the Great Vowel Shift is shown to be a functionally coherent process of strengthening. Finally, on the basis of the above alternative it is suggested that the markedness of phonological rule interactions can be accounted for by a principle based on that substantive typology of phonological rules which divides them into some functionally different natural classes such as those of strengthening and weakening.
The modal auxiliaries in English have changed their syntactic and morphological character substantially in the course of their development from Old English to Modern English. The English modals, which had all the formal properties of full verbs in the Old and Middle English periods, have lost these properties and now constitute a special subclass of verbs called ‘auxiliary verbs’. Generative grammarians regard this change as the result of the ‘reanalysis’ of modal as auxiliaries which took place in the Early Modern English period. Several generative grammatical approaches have been proposed to account for this reanalysis of the English modals. In this paper we will review three of these proposals which seem to have particularly important theoretical implications for the study of the reanalysis in question, and point out that they all have some theoretical defect. We will then propose a new analysis of this problem in which it is assumed that the reanalysis of modals into auxiliaries was caused by structural as well as semantic factors. Our analysis lays particular stress on the theoretical importance of the change of the VP structure in English effected by the loss of verbal inflections and claims that this change is a crucial factor in the reanalysis of the English modals.
In Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper(1881), the prince Edward and the pauper Tom are suddenly forced to change their places, and experience the different ways of life. Thus, this story develops in the two plots-that of Tom in Court and that of Edward among the populace. Such a contrastive plot seems to be brought into relief by the author's cumulative use of contrastive expression appearing in each scene on thematic dimensions like “dignity, ” “wealth,” “truthfulness,” etc. Put in another way, his contrastive expression may be regarded as one of the rhetorical devices which build up the author's style in this novel. It is the aim of the present article to examine the qualities of the language of The Prince and the Pauper and to approach the relation between his contrastive expression and the themes of this work including Twain's satirical view on the society in the sixteenth-century England.