Tracing L-vocalisation in early Scots

Molineaux, B., Kopaczyk, J. , Maguire, W., Alcorn, R., Karaiskos, V. and Los, B. (2016) Tracing L-vocalisation in early Scots. Papers in Historical Phonology, 1, pp. 187-217. (doi:10.2218/pihph.1.2016.1699)

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Abstract

This paper provides novel evidence for the frequency and spatio-temporal distribution of the earliest instances of Scots L-vocalisation. This so-called “characteristic Scots change” (McClure 1994: 48) entails the loss of coda-/l/ following back vowels, with concomitant vocalic lengthening or diphthongisation (e.g. OE healf > OSc hawff; OE bolster > OSc bouster; OE full > OSc fow, cf. Johnston 1997: 90). Using data from the Linguistic Atlas of Older Scots (LAOS), spanning 1380-1500, we reassess the claims for the emergence of L-vocalisation in the early 15th century (Aitken & Macafee 2002: 101-4) and for its completion by the beginning of the 16th (cf. Stuart-Smith et al. 2006, Bann & Corbett, 2015). Based on attestations of <l>-less forms and reverse spellings, we map the spread of <l>-loss over time and space. Emphasis is placed on the relative chronologies and lexical and geographic distributions of the change in different phonological contexts, including morpheme-final, pre-labial, pre-velar and (more lexically sporadic) pre-alveolar. Particular attention is also paid to the under-explored /l/~Ø alternation in borrowed items from (Norman) French (cf. realme~reaume ‘realm’) and their potential influence on the development of coda-/l/ in Scots. The results show low-level presence of the phenomenon throughout our corpus, but no signs of a categorical change in any of the target contexts.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kopaczyk, Dr Joanna
Authors: Molineaux, B., Kopaczyk, J., Maguire, W., Alcorn, R., Karaiskos, V., and Los, B.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Papers in Historical Phonology
Publisher:University of Edinburgh
ISSN:2399-6714
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Papers in Historical Phonology 1:187-217
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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