The Transition Of Middle English Essay

1920 Words Apr 24th, 2015 null Page
INTRODUCTION
The transition from Middle English to Early Modern English occurred with the death of Chaucer (date). The transition from Middle English to Early Modern English was not a simple change of vocabulary and/or pronunciation; rather, it was the beginning of a new era in the history of the English language. A new era of more standardised language with richer lexicons and established literature replaced a language with large variations in large dialects.
Throughout the Early Modern English Period, a series of developments occurred that would help to evolve the English language and how it is spoken, written and perceived. These developments included: The Great Vowel Shift (changes in the pronunciation of the English language), the Elizabethan Era, Shakespeare’s influence, the standardisation of the English language through the printing press and the introduction of the dictionary and its influence.
THE GREAT VOWEL SHIFT
The Great Vowel Shift, according to Menzer (2000), occurred during the 15th to 18th century and, according to Labiak (unknown), changed the pronunciation of vowels in the English language. Before the occurrence of The Great Vowel Shift, the pronunciation of vowels much like that of modern Spanish language and considered to possess ‘continental’ value. With The occurrence of The Great Vowel Shift, some vowels changed from long to short, whilst other pronunciations began higher and further forward in the mouth.
There are several theories to why the Great…

Related Documents