Filología Inglesa

Evolución fonética de la Lengua inglesa # Phonetique



* Grimm's Law or First Sound-Shifting

voiceless stops aspiration voiceless fricatives

p > ph > f

t > th >  <þ>

k > kh >  <h>

kw > kwh > w <hw>

voiced stops voiceless stops

b > p

d > t

g > k

gw > kw

aspirated voiced voiced stops


bh > b

dh > d

gh > g

gwh > gw

Ex: IE*pisk- ; IE* ten- ; IE* kerd- ; IE* dónt- ; IE* gen*- ; IE* bhrter ; IE* dhoigh- ; IE* ghaido-

* Grassmann's Law

a) After voiceless fricatives Gmc voiceless stops did not become voiceless fricatives.

b) After [s] Gmc voiceless stops did not change.

c) When there are two voiceless stops together only the first one is affected.

Ex: IE* okto-

* Free changes

 >  / o > a / * > a / ² appeared (preterite of some verbs of class 7 and adverb Œ hr)

Ex: IE* mter ; IE* golt- ; IE* p*tér

* Conditioned changes


e nasal or > i


o high vowel > u

Ex: IE* pempe, ten.


i > e

+ r

u > o

* Diphthongs: ei >  / oi > ai / ou > au

Ex: IE* bheid ; IE* le-loikw- e (>*laihw) ; IE* louk-o- (>lauha)

* (Re)sonnants: m, , ,  > um, un, ul, ur.

Ex: IE*s ; IE*mtos

* e + i, ,j (in the following syllable) > i

* i + a (in the following syllable) > e

Ex: IE* nisdo > PrGmc* nesta


*Verner's Law

Voiceless fricatives became voiced fricatives unless:

(a) Being the first sound of the word

(b) Being next to another voiceless sound Ex: PdE stop

(c) Having the IE stress on the immediately preceding syllable.

Voiceless fricatives Voiced fricatives

f > v [*]

 > *

 > g [*]

s > z

IE* went-

* Stress shift: stress to the first syllable of the word.

*  >  (only ¹) Ex: PrGmc* mnan > WGmc mna (> Œ mna)

* a mf > f, s, þ

i + ns > f, s, þ

u nþ [n] > f, s, þ

Ex: PrGmc* gans > WGmc gs (>Πgs )


*WGmc Change

The sounds resulting from Verner's Law where further modified as follows:

v [*] > v

* > d

g [*] > [*] or [j] according to whether the neighbouring vowels were back or front.

z > r (this change is called Rhotacism)

Ex: IE* mter, Œ SV2 osan: est as curon e-coren; SV3 weorþan: wierþ wearþ wurdon e-worden.

* f, s, þ > f, s, þ

f, s, þ > f, s, þ

f, s, þ > f, s, þ

* Palatalization (Occurred earlier than i-mutation)

k- > [t*] <  >(Posición inicial ante vocales frontales)

g- + front vowels > [j] <  >(Posición inicial y medial ante vocales frontales)

sk- (æ,e,i) > [*] < s(e) >

Ex: Πild; iefan; fis.

* e + nasal or labial + consonant > i

* [n] before [h] was lost / [n] before [f, , s] was lost in PreŒ.

* Final accented  >  Ex: Πc, h, t.

* i + z (< s) > e

u + z (< s) > o

Ex: Πmeord (e > eo Breaking), leornian.

* Final open vowels were lengthened when under full accent. Ex: Œ þ, þ, m, w, , h, s, n, etc.

* Unstressed syllables were reduced phonetically.

* au > [æa] < a > / eu > o Ex: PrGmc* hauhaz > Œ hah; PrGmc* deupaz > Œ dop

* Gemination of consonants

single vowel + single consonant + resonnant (l, m, n, r, j, w)

Gemination of < f > [v] was < bb > [vv]; gemination of < g > [j] was < cg > [d*]

The [r] was not geminated, and when followed by [j] ( rj ) the [j] was vocalized to [i], so that [rj] > [ri]

Ex: Πsettan, tellan, bycan, hebban (to raise), nerian, herias.

* [z] is lost finally in unaccented syllables

*  > æ /  + nasal >  Ex: WGmc mna > Œ mna

* ai >  (> æ² by i-mutation) Ex: WGmc stainaz > Œ stn

* Anglo-Frisian Brightening or First Fronting

a > æ/e Unless followed by nasal or back vowel in the following syllable

Ex: WGmc hwat > Œ hwæt.



1- Breaking or Fracture (WS)

æ + h > ea [æa] e + h > eo

æ + h + consonant > ea [æa] e + h + consonant > eo

æ + r + consonant > ea [æa] e + r + consonant > eo

æ + l + consonant > ea [æa]

i + h > io (io > eo in WS)

i + h + consonant > io

i + r + consonant > io

i + l + consonant > io

Ex: Œ eahta, weorþan, eald, leornian, Peohtas.

Retraction (Anglian)

æ h > a

e + w > o

i l, r, h + cons > u

Ex: Anglian ald, barn, harm, sword, worþian,

2- Restoration of [a] before back vowels: æ > a

Ex: Œ dæ (nom. sg) dæes (gen. sg.) dagas (nom/acc. pl) dagum (dat. pl)

3- Second Fronting (Mercian)

æ >e / a > æ Takes place after First Fronting and after the Restoration of [a] before back vowels. Ex: Mercian de dægum.

Palatal Diphthongization (WS)

< s(e) > [*] æ > [æa] < ea >

<  > [t*] + e > [ie]

<  > [j]

Ex: Πsap, iellan, iefan, easter, et.

4- I-Mutation (I-Umlaut; Front Mutation)

The back vowels a, , o, , u, ; the diphthongs ea, a, eo, o; and the front vowels æ, e; were modified by the vowels [i, , j] in the following syllable.

a > æ a + m, n > e ea > ie æ > e

o > e eo > ie e > i

u > y

Ex: Œ dman, fyllan, cwellan, færst, epan, hilpþ, fend, menn.

5- Back Mutation

æ > [æa] < ea >

e + u, o in the next syllable > eo

i > io

West-Saxon: only when there was an intervening single consonant which was either a labial or a liquid (f, p, w, m, l, r).

Anglian: through any intervening consonant except [k, g]

Kentish: before any consonant.

Ex: Πearm, frond, feohtan, hiord, eorn.

6- Smoothing (Anglian)

[æa] > æ (> e)

eo + [, k, g] > e

io > i

Ex: Anglian æhta, fehtan, feh, birhtu

7- Contraction of vowels leading to compensatory lengthening

vowel + h + vowel the <h> is lost and the vowels are contracted and lengthened.

Ex: PreŒ* sehan > * seohan > * seoan > Œ son (PdE see).

vowel + liquid + h + vowel / vowel + h + liquid + vowel the <h> is lost and the first vowel (or diphthong) is lengthened, but there is no vocalic contraction due to the <r>. Ex:PreΠfeorh + es>Πfores.

Œ (there are not ,  in Œ, only , )

* All diphthongs became monophthongs (usually falling diphthongs):

o > LŒ [] / < a > [æa] > 12thC[] / < ea > [æa] > 12thC[a]

( æ > 12thC[] / æ > 12thC[a] )

Ex: Πhafod, heofon, fond, mearc.

Rising diphthongs: Œ fower (>LŒ[fwer]), scotan, sawian.

* Lengthening of short vowels followed by lengthening consonantal groups: < ng, nd, mb, ld, rd, rl, rn > and < rþ, rs > when a vowel follows.

Ex: Πgrund, feld, word (> LWS [w] + short vowel or [eo] + [r] > [u] always), wolde, scolde, land.

* Œ [ss] > [s] (se simplifica) Ex: Œ mæsse

* Syncope : in trisyllabic words the vowel of the second syllable (usually [] ) is syncopated. Ex: Œ fæder > 12thC[fad()r] Syncope (oblique cases).

* Πlg > LΠlw / Πrg > LΠrw. Ex: Πfolgian [folian] > LΠ[folwian] / Πhergode [herode] > LΠ[herw(o)d] (also syncope)

* Palatal Umlaut (LWS):

[e] ht, hs, hþ

[eo] + or > [i]

[io] h(e)

Ex: Πfeoht, reoht, (nah, hah > !!)

[] + [h]>LŒ[] (Palatal umlaut) Ex: Œ plh, enh, th.

* Long accented vowels are shortened in closed syllables before consonantal groups (except lengthening groups) Ex:Πgdspell

* Se vocaliza <g> []//[]: [j] after front vowels / [w] after back vowels

Ex: Œ dæ, gen

Late Œ

* æ > 12thC[] (>[] in KENTISH DIALECT) / æ > 12thC[a]

Ex: Œ sæ, æs [æ]

[i] North and East Midlands Ex:Œ þyrstan(PdE<thirst>)

* y > 12thC: [y] <u> West Midlands and South West


[e] South Eastern (Kent).Ex: Πyfel(PdE <evil>)

* New dipththongs arose due to the vocalization of <g>:

Palatal sounds

Œ <æ> [æ]>LŒ[æj]>12thC[ai]>13thC[ai]>14thC[]>15thC[æ]

Œ <æ> [æ]>LŒ[æj]>[j]>12thC[ei]>13thC[ai]>14thC[]>15thC[æ]

Œ <e> [e]>LŒ[ej]>12thC[ei]> 13thC[ai]>14thC[]>15thC[æ]

Œ <> []>LŒ[j]>12thC[ei]/[]>13thC[ai]/[]>14thC[]/[]>15thC[æ]/[ij]

Œ <i> [i]>LŒ[ij]>12thC[]> 13thC[]>14thC[]>15thC[ij]

Ex: Œ we, fæn, land

Velar sounds

Œ <ag> [a]>LŒ[aw]>12thC[au]>16thC[ou]…>19thC[]

Œ <g> []>LŒ[w]>12thC[w]>13thC[ou]>14thC[]>16thC[]

Œ <og> [o]>LŒ[ow]>12thC[ou]>14thC[]>16thC[]

Œ <g> []>LŒ[w]>12thC[ou]/[]>14thC[]/[]>15thC[]/[uw]>16thC[]/[ou]

Œ <ug> [ug]>LŒ[uw]>12thC[]>15thC[uw]>16thC[ou]

Ex: Πdg, bg, bgan

* There are not long diphthongs in ME and ModE.


* []>[] : not in Northern dialects. Ex: Πhw

* Gliding between a vowel and <h> : [j] after front vowels/ [w] after back vowels.

Ex: Πfeohtan, bh

* 13thC-18thC: loss of [h] : [hl], [hn], [hr] Ex: Πhlapan, hld

* Short vowels were lengthened in open stressed syllables of disyllabic words:

South (1st half of century): [a]>[] North (2nd half): [i]>[]

[e]>[] [u]>[]


Ex: Πnama, specan/ North: wicu

* [i] + [ht] gliding in between(and the resulting lengthening): [ijht]>[ht]

Ex: Πniht.

* Shortening of first syllable of trisyllabic words.Ex: Œ hlidæ

* Shortening before two or more consonants (except for lengthening groups)

* Epenthetic vowel: in disyllables a glide develops in medial position between:

consonant + nasal, liquid, [w] Making trisyllables. Ex: dvles > LME(13th-14thC) dveles

And between a liquid + []/[w] (glide [o] ) Ex: folwen > LME folowen / morwe > LME morowe.

* NORTHERN DIALECT: [ai]>13-14thC[]

[ei]>13-14thC[] They lose the 2nd element.

[oi]>13-14thC[] Ex: Œ cæ


* WEST-MIDLANDS: [h]>LME[f]>14-15thC[uf]>17thC[f] (the [f] shortens the vowel) Ex: Πenh, th


* [-er]>[-ar] (>18thC[] ) when [r] belonged to the same syllable. Sometimes [-er] remained or was reintroduced: >18thC[] (=[:]) Ex: Πbern, heorte.

* Lengthening kept only (the rest were shortened):

(a) [i] / [o] + [mb] (b) [i] / [u] + [nd] (c) Any vowel + [ld]

(“bimbo”) (“hindu”)

* [ir]>[er] / [ur]>[or] / [er]>[ær] (>15thC[ar] )

* [ai]>[] Ex: Œ næel.

* [dr]>[r] <th> (French influence)

* LME Glide consonants: [m] + [p, b] / [n] + [t, d] Ex: Œ æmet

* [w] often disappeared in LME(14-15thCs) between [s] and a back rounded vowel; and at the beginning of a lightly stressed syllable.

[sw + back rounded vowel]>14-15thC[s + back rounded vowel] Ex: Πsw

* WESTERN DIALECT: tendency to put a [w] in front of words in LME (Prothetic [w,j] ) Ex: Πn.


* Great Vowel Shift :







* Se empieza a fijar la grafía a finales del siglo XV

* Œ <e> [e]>LŒ[je]>12thC[ji]>[]>13thC[]>14thC[]>15thC[Ø]

It was weakened due to lack of stress and finally lost in 15thC.

* Back vowel + [l] / [l + consonant] develops a gliding [u] when in the same syllable.

[al]>15thC[aul]>16-17thCs[oul]>18thC[] (15thC[aul] has two possible written forms: <aul> / <awl> ) Ex: PdE all, tall, call, pall, small.

(a) when [l] occurred finally.

(b) before dentals.

(c) when [l] was followed by [f, v, m] (lip consonants): [au]>[]

[ol]>15thC[oul]>20thC[l]. Ex: PdE toll

[u] + [ld] / [lt] > [ou] Ex: PdE shoulder.

* [w] + [a]>15thC[wo] (Rounding influence of [w] )Ex: PdE wash, swan

[w] + [a] + [k, g, ] : there in no rounding.Ex: PdE twang, wag.


* GVS: []>16thC[]>19thC[ou]>20thC[]

* [dr] >16thC[r] <th> / sometimes <dr>.

* -er

-ir >16thC[r]>18thC[] [:] Ex: Πyrie


* There are not oblique cases anymore and [d, t] can shorten the previous vowel.


* [a]>17thC(1653)[æ] In the North, the [a] remained. Ex: 14thC barn

* ME <u/o> (minims) [u]>17thC[] // >[o]/[] influence of spelling with <o>

Ex: Πdst

* [r] lengthened the preceding vowels when in the same syllable, but not when [r] was in intervocalic position (spelt <rr>)

ME[ar]>[ær]>17thC[ær]>18thC[].Ex: PdE arm, sharp, garden.

ME[or]>17thC[r]>18thC[] Ex: PdE for, horse.

* the labial consonants [f, p, b] tend to cause rounding of the following vowels. And their influence prevented [u]>17thC[] or led to the restoration of the founded vowel, especially when followed by [, t, l].Ex: PdE full, pull, pulpit.

* Voiceless fricatives caused lengthening of the immediately preceding vowel:

ME[a]>[æ] + [f, s, ] >17thC[æ]>18thC[] Ex: PdE after, staff, fast, grass,path

ME[o] + [f, s, ] >17thC[] Ex: PdE off, coffee, cross, froth.

* [æ] + [f, s, ]

[r] + consonant >17-18thC[æ] Ex: PdE craft, mark

[n] + consonant (dental or [s] )

* Before [k] shortening took place late and not in Scots and Northern dialects.

* Initial [k, g] + [n] : [k, g] disappeared in pronunciation in 17thC.Ex: PdE knight

* Se fija la grafía para diferenciar [v]/[u]: <ve> en posición final para evitar confusiones antes de que fijara la grafía, y luego se mantuvo la misma grafía.

* [g] after the velar nasal [] is lost in the 17thC.Ex: PdE king


* loss of [r]: (a) medially before consonants.

(b) finally: short vowel + [r]> 18thC[long vowel] Ex: PdE thirst

long vowel + [r]> 18thC[long vowel + ] Ex: PdE hard

diphthong + [r]>18thC[diphthong + ] Ex: PdE fire[f]

* [wr]>18thC[r]. [w] disappeared in pronunciation.Ex: PdE write


* Diphthongization: []>19thC[ou] Ex: PdE over [v]


* Centralization of diphthong: [ou]>20thC[] Ex: PdE so [s]


Enviado por:Esther Pajares San Gregorio
Idioma: castellano
País: España

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