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Historical Dialectology in the Digital Age$
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Rhona Alcorn, Joanna Kopaczyk, Bettelou Los, and Benjamin Molineaux

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474430531

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430531.001.0001

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Early Spelling Evidence for Scots L-vocalisation: A Corpus-based Approach

Early Spelling Evidence for Scots L-vocalisation: A Corpus-based Approach

(p.61) 4 Early Spelling Evidence for Scots L-vocalisation: A Corpus-based Approach
Historical Dialectology in the Digital Age

Benjamin Molineaux

Joanna Kopaczyk

Warren Maguire

Rhona Alcorn

Vasilis Karaiskos

Bettelou Los

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter showcases the From Inglis to Scots (FITS) Project database, which comprises texts from the Linguistic Atlas of Older Scots (LAOS), of the period 1380-1500. This new resource for historical dialectology makes it possible to test earlier assumptions about phonological changes that are characteristic of Scots and not shared with Southern English. This chapter uses LAOS to test the claim that L-vocalisation, which entails the loss of coda-/l/ following short back vowels with concomitant vocalic lengthening or diphthongisation (as in OE full > OSc fow), was completed by the beginning of the sixteenth century. Based on attestations of <l>-less forms and reverse spellings, including /l/~ø alternations in borrowed items from (Norman) French (as in realme~reaume ‘realm’), the chapter maps the spread of <l> loss in different phonological contexts over time and space, and presents evidence of <l> loss in less than 1% of relevant environments. The final position of <l> is an important locus, but there is no evidence of a spread.

Keywords:   historical dialectology, phonological change, FITS, LAOS, L-vocalisation, Older Scots, Coda-/l/, Reverse spellings

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