Stress Placement in Pronouncing Dictionaries (1727–2010) : Latin Etymology vs. English Derivation

Abstract : Variation in stress placement has so far not been studied very closely from a sociolinguistic perspective, although orthoepists since the eighteenth century have prescribed certain patterns and stigmatized others. Stress placement preferences are based on conflicting criteria (origin, including Latin and Greek etymologies, vs stress-neutral English derivation). This area of study remains partially unexplored in historical phonology. The period stretching from the eighteenth century to our time is characterized by changes that reveal the influence of opposing sets of rules, which are themselves connected to the cultural background of speakers more or less versed in Latin and French. The prescriptivism pervading works such as Walker’s Critical Pronouncing Dictionary provides evidence of conflicting tendencies affecting stress placement. This paper aims at revealing an evolution of these tendencies from Latin-based etymology to isomorphism over the last three centuries.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 16, 2016 - 4:18:08 PM
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Jean-Louis Duchet, Nicolas Trapateau, Jeremy Castanier. Stress Placement in Pronouncing Dictionaries (1727–2010) : Latin Etymology vs. English Derivation. Language and History, 2012, 55/2012 (1), pp.34-46. ⟨10.1179/1759753612Z.0000000003⟩. ⟨halshs-01367778⟩



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