Exceptions to sound change and external motivation

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This contribution looks at typical changes of sounds and views these as sets of changes the members of which are linked. It also considers the directions of sound changes, considering these as natural pathways (in the case of lenition) or trajectories among vowel movements in which different vocalic elements stand in a spatial relationship to each other. As data the contribution examines a number of changes in English in the capital of Ireland, Dublin, which has undergone considerable change in the past fifteen years or so. The present-day data is seen in a panchronic context and parallels are drawn to attested historical changes which show both regularities and principled exceptions to these. The latter are a particular focus in the theoretical discussion.


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