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A Grammar of Old English, Volume 1: Phonology

ISBN: 978-1-4443-4134-8
368 pages
July 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Grammar of Old English, Volume 1: Phonology (1444341340) cover image


First published in 1992, A Grammar of Old English, Volume 1: Phonology was a landmark publication that in the intervening years has not been surpassed in its depth of scholarship and usefulness to the field. With the 2011 posthumous publication of Richard M. Hogg’s Volume 2: Morphology, Volume 1 is again in print, now in paperback, so that scholars can own this complete work.
  • Takes account of major developments both in the field of Old English studies and in linguistic theory
  • Takes full advantage of the Dictionary of Old English project at Toronto, and includes full cross-references to the DOE data
  • Fully utilizes work in phonemic and generative theory and related topics
  • Provides material crucial for future research both in diachronic and synchronic phonology and in historical sociolinguistics
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Table of Contents


List of abbreviations.

1 Introduction.

2 Orthography and phonology.

3 The vowels in Germanic.

I Primitive Germanic (§§1–4).

II Vowel harmony (§§5–12).

III Loss of nasals and compensatory lengthening (§§13–15).

IV Diphthongization (§§16–19).

V Infl uence of */z/ (§§20–1).

VI Long vowels (§§22–6).

VII Unstressed vowels (§§27–33).

VIII Raising of back vowels (§34).

4 The consonants in Germanic.

I Primitive Germanic (§§1–3).

II Verner’s Law (§§4–5).

III Germanic approximants (§§6–9).

IV Consonant loss (§10).

V West Germanic gemination (§§11–14).

VI Miscellanea (§§15–19).

5 Old English vowels.

I First fronting and associated changes (§§3–15).

II Breaking (§§16–34).

III Restoration of A (§§35–40).

IV Lowering of second elements of diphthongs (§§41–6).

V Palatal diphthongization (§§47–73).

VI I-umlaut (§§74–86).

VII Second fronting (§§87–92).

VIII Anglian smoothing (§§93–102).

IX Back umlaut (§§103–12).

X Palatal umlaut (§§113–18).

XI Palatal monophthongization (§§119–23).

XII Compensatory lengthening (§§124–30).

XIII Hiatus (§§131–54).

XIV Merger of /io/ and /eo/ (§§155–62).

XV West Saxon developments of high front vowels and diphthongs (§§163–75).

XVI The infl uence of /w/ (§§176–87).

XVII The development of Kentish front vowels (§§188–96).

XVIII Changes in quantity (§§197–205).

XIX Monophthongization of diphthongs (§§206–14).

XX Merger of /æ/ and /w/ (§§215–16).

6 Unstressed vowels.

I First fronting and associated changes (§§2–6).

II Breaking, palatal diphthongization, i-umlaut, and back umlaut (§§7–12).

III Syncope and apocope (§§13–25).

IV Shortening (§§26–33).

V Epenthesis and syllabifi cation (§§34–45).

VI Mergers of unstressed vowels (§§46–62).

VII Unstressed medial vowels (§§63–71).

7 Old English consonants.

I Dissimilation (§§4–14) .

II Palatalization and assibilation (§§15–43).

III Development of fricatives (i): lenition (§§44–53).

IV Development of fricatives (ii): voicing and devoicing (§§54–68).

V Post-vocalic approximants (§§69–76).

VI Consonant clusters (§§77–97).

VII Loss of fi nal nasals (§§98–100).

VIII Late Old English changes (§§101–3).


Word index. 

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Author Information

The late Richard M. Hogg was Professor of English Language at the University of Manchester. He was the General Editor of the Cambridge History of the English Language and author, with C. B. McCully, of Metrical Phonology: A Coursebook (1987), and editor, with David Denison, of A History of the English Language (2008).
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