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Changes of consonants in OE

On the whole, consonants were historically more stable than vowels, though certain changes took place in all historical periods. In may seem that being a typical OG language OE ought to contain all the consonants that arose under Grimmís and Vernerís Law. Treatment of fricatives.Hardening.Rhotacism. Voicing and Devoicing.

After the changes under Grimmís Law and Vernerís Law had PG had the following two sets of fricative consonants: voiceless [f, Ө, x, s] and voiced [v, ?, γ, z]. In WG and in Early OE the difference between two groups was supported by new features. PG voiced fricatives tended to be hardened to corresponding plosives while voiceless fricatives, being contrasted to them primarily as fricatives to plosives, developed new voiced allophones. The PG voiced [?] (due to Vernerís Law) was always hardened to [d] in OE and other WG languages, e.g. Icel, gō?r and OE Áōd. The two other fricatives, [v] and [γ] were hardened to [b] and [g] initially and after nasals, otherwise they remained fricatives. PG [z] underwent a phonetic modification through the stage of [Á] into [r] and thus became a sonorant, which ultimately merged with the older IE [r]. This process is termed rhotacism. In the meantime or somewhat later the PG set of voiceless fricatives [f, Ө, x, s] and also those of the voiced fricaties which had not turned into plosives, that is, [v] and [γ], were subjected to a new process of voicing and devoicing. In Early OE they became or remained voiced intervocally and between vowels, sonorants and voiced consonants; they remained or became voiceless in other environments, namely, initially, finally and next to other voiceless consonants. In all WG languages, at an early stage of their independent history, most consonants were lengthened after a short vowel before [l]. This process is known as ďgeminantionĒ or ďdoublingĒ of consonants, e.g. fuljan>fyllan(NE fill). The change did not affect the sonorant [r], e.g OE werian (NE wear); nor did it operate if the consonant was preceded by a long vowel, e.g. OE dēman, mētan (NE deem, meet).

Date: 2015-01-29; view: 2657

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