Middle English Vowels and Consonants

September 30th, 201110:48 am


Middle English Vowels and Consonants

Middle English Vowels

1. During this period the language underwent such qualitative changes:

1. In Middle English Vowels in the final unstressed position are reduced (or levelled).

2. Monophthongs’ development in Middle English language:



Monophthongs' development

З. ОЕ diphthongs are monophthongized:

ОЕ diphthongs are monophthongized

4. Vocalization of ƺ after e, æ and w after o, a.
5.The sounds [æ] and [y] disappeared from the system of the l-ge.

2. Quantitative changes

1. Lengthening:


2. Shortening: ē > e, і > ī before two consonants.

3.There are no long diphthongs.

Middle English Consonants

1 Development of the sounds tʃ, dƺ, ƺ from OE palatal k’, sk’ and g’: k’ > tʃ, sk’ > ʃ, g’ > ƺ (their velar variants are unchanged). Only in native words.

2. OE consonants which had voiced and voiceless variants became different phonemes. These are [f]/[v] (in spelling f), [s]/[z] (in spelling s) and [θ]/[ð] (in spelling þ, ð).

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