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Other research product . 2016

Tracing Change – A Historical Sociolinguist’s Investigation of an English in Flux

Flörke, Bruno Jeremy; Vachnadze, Nikoloz; Jørgensen, Anna Neerup; Benford-Brown, Cory George;
Open Access
Published: 01 Jan 2016
Publisher: Roskilde University
Country: Denmark

This paper is an historical sociolinguistic study of the English language primarily utilising the works of Meyerhoff (2006), Bergs (2005), and Fennell (2001) to investigate phonetic changes in English caused by the Great Vowel Shift. Our research explores the ‘Paston Letters and Papers of the Fifteenth Century, Part I’ as chronicled by Davis (1971) as a means of discovering to what extent the Great Vowel Shift had materialised in the 15th century. Prefacing our study is an historical overview spanning from the 11th century and leading up to the Late Middle English period of the 15th century, which is intended to provide the reader with a historical, linear plotting of the English language, mapping its rise to dominance in England.


Paston, Great Vowel Shift, GVS, Middle English, Language, Change, sociolinguistics, history

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