Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    The Great Vowel Shift

    Hi All! I'm new to the forums here and am interested in getting a bit of feedback on an essay i'm currently working on.

    I've been asked to give the advantages and disadvantages of the great vowel shift, and I've come up with a few interesting ideas but I'm not entirely sure if I'm on track or not.

    Would love to hear if anyone has any suggestions that could point me in the right direction though.

    Joe


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #2

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJoeyB View Post
    Hi All! I'm new to the forums here and am interested in getting a bit of feedback on an essay i'm currently working on.

    I've been asked to give the advantages and disadvantages of the great vowel shift, and I've come up with a few interesting ideas but I'm not entirely sure if I'm on track or not.

    Would love to hear if anyone has any suggestions that could point me in the right direction though.

    Joe


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Mr. B.,


    You have chosen a really interesting subject that will keep you

    busy --- for years.

    I happen to know next to nothing about it.

    Here is the pathetic little bit that I think I know:

    (1) Hundreds of years ago, English vowels had

    more or less the same sounds that Spanish

    vowels have today.

    (2) Then for some reason that the experts do not

    understand, the English people started to pronounce

    some of the vowels higher up in the mouth.

    (a) For example, the symbol "e" was pronounced like

    today's "a." When the English people pushed it higher

    up in the mouth, it took on the sound that we now

    associate with the symbol "e."

    (3) I think that I might suggest something for you to

    study. I understand that the Great Vowel Shift is

    responsible for the fact that some nouns and adjectives

    are pronounced differently. For example, you know how

    "division" (the noun) is pronounced. Now pronounce the

    adjective "divisive." The vowels are pronounced differently, at least


    in the United States. I notice, however, that some people

    do not observe this difference.

    I am looking at a book that gives more differences in

    pronunciation because of the Shift:

    child/children

    five/fifth

    wise/wisdom

    hide/ hid

    type/typical

    dine/dinner


    I think the nouns have the original sound of the symbol "i" until the

    English people decided to pronounce it like "eye."

    Good luck on your research efforts!!!

    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********
    Last edited by TheParser; 09-Nov-2010 at 11:33.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #3

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJoeyB View Post
    Hi All! I'm new to the forums here and am interested in getting a bit of feedback on an essay i'm currently working on.

    I've been asked to give the advantages and disadvantages of the great vowel shift, and I've come up with a few interesting ideas but I'm not entirely sure if I'm on track or not.

    Would love to hear if anyone has any suggestions that could point me in the right direction though.

    Joe

    What are your ideas? I'm especially curious about the advantages you've thought of.

  2. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 2
    #4

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Well I thought It was a little ambiguous to state advantages and disadvantages. But... this period of time stated the division between Middle English and the Early Modern English period of English Language. So one advantage would be the gradual standardization of English language.

    Again, as TheParser already stated, no one knows why the Great Vowel Shift even started, so one disadvantage of the current theories I've looked at already is that none of them suggest any reason for why it began, just that it started around the SW of England and began to spread. I'm pretty sure some aspects the GVS didn't take place in certain regional dialects too, so I'll be sure to check that out soon.

    I'm currently looking into a few lingists at the moment, Barber, Nevalainen, Stockwell & Minkova, etc. I'll let you know If I find anything else interesting out, but it's an intensive essay!

    Thanks for the replies so far though!

    Joe


  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #5

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJoeyB View Post
    Well I thought It was a little ambiguous to state advantages and disadvantages. I don't know about ambiguous, but it certainly seems a strange idea to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the great vowel shift.

    So one advantage would be the gradual standardization of English language. If the great vowel shift brought that about.

    I'm currently looking into a few lingists at the moment, Barber, Nevalainen, Stockwell & Minkova, etc. I'll let you know If I find anything else interesting out, but it's an intensive essay! Good luck!


    5

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #6

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Well I thought It was a little ambiguous to state advantages and disadvantages. I don't know about ambiguous, but it certainly seems a strange idea to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the great vowel shift.
    I tried to make this point once, but apparently it's OK to use 'advantages' and 'disadvantages' this way these days. It simply means the positive and negative consequences.
    You don't need to consider "advantages compared to what?"

  5. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #7

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I tried to make this point once, but apparently it's OK to use 'advantages' and 'disadvantages' this way these days. It simply means the positive and negative consequences.
    You don't need to consider "advantages compared to what?"
    I see your point but, and this is purely a personal response, I don't see how we can speak of a positive or negative consequence of, for example, a change in a vowel sound.

    Although I suppose the problems of English spelling might be considered a negative consequence of language change. The spelling was largely frozen in print before the pronunciation of certain words changed. Thus the underlined letters were once pronounced in knight - hence the spelling, which is totally illogical in modern English.

  6. lauralie2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 774
    #8

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJoeyB View Post
    Well I thought It was a little ambiguous to state advantages and disadvantages.
    If your focus is on when and why the change happened, then, yes, the evidence is ambiguous, as there are several theories; the (dis)advantages, on the other hand, the positive and negative effects that resulted from the change (i.e., standardization) are not ambiguous but rather straightforward, and can be seen today in modern languages.

    Shift your focus to the (dis)advantages of standardization and you may find that many contributors on this board have a lot to say about that, because history repeats itself. Back then it was about dialect, today it is also about dialect; it will always be about dialect. You don't have to have lived during the GVS to understand the effects of an across-the-board language change, or the threat of one. We are all too familiar with this issue. The (dis)advantages, today, of adopting one dialect in both spoken and written forms are manifold. Wouldn't that have been the same back then? Yes.



    _______________________

    "The 'standardization' described by the GVS may simply have been the social fixation upon one variant among several dialectical options available in each case, a variant selected for reasons of community preference or by the external force of printing standardization and not as a result of a wholesale phonetic shift."
    (M. Giancarlo, quoted by Seth Lerer in Inventing English. Columbia Univ. Press, 2007)

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,888
    #9

    Re: The Great Vowel Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJoeyB View Post

    Again, as TheParser already stated, no one knows why the Great Vowel Shift even started, so one disadvantage of the current theories I've looked at already is that none of them suggest any reason for why it began
    Is the question about the advantages/disadvantages of the vowel change itself or theories about it? I can't see that not knowing why it happened would be a disadvantage of the GVS itself.

Similar Threads

  1. what is a noun phrase shift and a heavy noun phrase shift?
    By britt_vanessa in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 30-May-2010, 16:23
  2. Great vowel Shif?
    By Ever Student in forum Linguistics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2010, 04:05
  3. Factors that lead to great achievements of great men
    By linhtho0211 in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-Jan-2009, 16:33
  4. Great Vowel Shift
    By hazeleyedgirl in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-Sep-2008, 17:01
  5. Great Britain -> Great British - ?
    By englishstudent in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 25-Feb-2006, 15:32

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •