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Extra resources for A grammar of the Kachin language

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A second example is one we shall be examining at greater length in later chapters: varieties spoken in the north of England, unlike most other varieties of English, do not have the vowel / /. In these accents words such as up and but have /υ/, and blood and hood, dull and full rhyme. Differences of this sort can, as we have seen, be handled very easily by structural dialectology. In this case it is a simple matter to construct a (partial) diasystem for short vowels incorporating both southern and northern English English varieties: S, N // , ε ≈ æ ≈ S υ~ N υ ≈ ɒ // The schema shows that southern (S) and northern (N) varieties have the short vowels //, /ε/, /æ/ and /ɒ/ in common, but that all words that have /υ/ or / / in the south have /υ/ in the north.

And it is not able to show the degree to which a modern phoneme corresponds to one historical source rather than another. The above diasystem shows that some Middle English /o /s have become /u / in Norwich and others /u /, but not which or how many. A diasystem of this type, as Moulton pointed out, also has the unfortunate consequence of giving the impression that RP and Norwich do not, at least in these partial systems, have a single phonological unit in common. As Ernst Pulgram has written: ‘a diasystem that takes into account certain conditions which historical linguists, dialectologists, and the speakers will regard as indispensable and that then shows so little agreement between closely related dialects as to make them seem foreign to one another distorts the facts’ (1964: 67).

In so far as dialect variation is the result of waves of linguistic innovation spreading throughout a region, there is an intrinsic chronological dimension (in terms of ‘apparent’ time rather than real time, a distinction that is discussed in Chapter 10), a domain shared with comparativehistorical linguistics. However, in addition to these, there are other aspects of dialect geography which are uniquely associated with it or, if they are shared by some other branch of linguistics, grew out of it.

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A grammar of the Kachin language by by Rev. O. Hanson.


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