By Professor Donka Minkova
This learn makes use of proof from early English poetry to figure out whilst definite sound adjustments happened within the transition from outdated to center English. It builds at the premise that alliteration in early English verse displays faithfully the identification and similarity of under pressure syllable onsets; it truly is according to the acoustic sign and never at the visible id of letters. exam of the behaviour of onset clusters ends up in new conclusions concerning the factors for the specific therapy of sp-, st-, sk-, and the chronology and motivation of cluster relief.
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Additional info for Alliteration and Sound Change in Early English
A related point is that the copying of English poems was more likely to be a oneoff, “special purpose activity,” while Latin and French manuscripts survived in multiple copies because of the prospective wider audience (Blake  1979: 16). What was interrupted for about a hundred years after the Norman Conquest in England was thus not familiarity with, exposure to, or composition of some form of verse, but the access of English speakers to formal authorial and scribal privileges. Thematically, verse in which alliteration was a central feature had much in common with the more prominent Anglo-Norman verse tradition, but there is also awareness of the Anglo-Saxon heroic and homiletic literary links.
On the meter of The Grave see Saintsbury (1923: 28, fn. 1). 24. It seems clear that the proper source of the continuity of alliteration is to be found in the rhythmical prose of the period, see Blake (1969), Cable (1991: 41–65). Blake’s proposal, now generally accepted, is based on a discussion of some salient stylistic features of Lagamon’s Brut. These features strongly resemble and even replicate the features of prose works written in styles and rhythms reminiscent of the Germanic heritage, such as Ælfric’s and Wulfstan’s alliterative prose works which continued to be copied through the eleventh and the twelfth centuries.
It is difficult to differentiate between Norman and Anglo-Norman works at first, but soon after the Conquest the settlers, often the younger sons of the aristocratic families, felt the need “. . ” On this point see Legge (1963: 3–4). 22. See Stenton (1952: 269–270). On the European fame of English artistic accomplishments in illumination, embroidery, metalwork, etc. see Chambers (1932: lxx–lxxi). 14 1 Social and linguistic setting form of verse constitutes an aspect of every human culture. The combination of the flourishing (southern) French troubadour tradition, with which members of the aristocracy must have been familiar, and the historical centrality of the literary arts in England, lends credence to an assumption that the composition and enjoyment of verse continued to be a favorite pastime.