Alliteration And Sound Change In Early English by Donka MinkovaAlliteration And Sound Change In Early English by Donka Minkova

Alliteration And Sound Change In Early English

byDonka Minkova

Paperback | November 23, 2006

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 502 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


This study uses evidence from early English poetry to determine when certain sound changes took place in the transition from Old to Middle English. It builds on the premise that alliteration in early English verse reflects faithfully the identity and similarity of stressed syllable onsets; it is based on the acoustic signal and not on the visual identity of letters. Examination of the behaviour of onset clusters leads to new conclusions regarding the causes for the special treatment of sp-, st-, sk-, and the chronology and motivation of cluster reduction.
Donka Minkova is Professor of English Language at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has published widely in the fields of English and Germanic historical phonology and syntax, historical dialectology and English historical metrics. She is the author of The History of Final Vowels in English (1991) and of English Words: His...
Title:Alliteration And Sound Change In Early EnglishFormat:PaperbackDimensions:424 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.94 inPublished:November 23, 2006Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521032245

ISBN - 13:9780521032247

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

List of figures; List of tables; List of abbreviations; Preface; 1. Social and linguistic setting of alliterative verse in Anglo-Saxon and Medieval England; 2. Linguistic structures in English alliterative verse; 3. Segmental histories: velar palatalization; 4. Syllable structure; 5. ONSET and cluster alliteration in Old English: the case of sp-, st-, sk-; 6. ONSET and cluster alliteration in Middle English; 7. Verse evidence for cluster simplification in Middle English; References; Index of names; Subject index.

Editorial Reviews

"This book offers a thorough analysis of alliteration in early English, with an eye to using the data to shed light on long-standing problems of English historical phonology. Furthermore, it synthesizes traditional philology with current formal approaches to phonology, namely, a phonetically informed version of Optimality Theory. The book should therefore appeal to both students and scholars of English metrics and to theoretical phonologists." - Marc Pierce, University of Texas