By William Pierce Shephard
From the INTRODUCTION.
In all languages owning a good built expiratory accessory there's came upon an inclination to weaken the syllables which stand at the decrease levels of accentuation. The power dedicated to the construction of the syllable on which the main accessory rests makes valuable a discount within the strength of the expiration of the opposite syllables of the notice. The vowels of those syllables then express a lack of sonority; and are at risk of be lowered to that caliber which calls for the smallest amount of expiratory strength for his or her articulation. simply that half is left that's completely beneficial for the life of the syllable. Or, in different situations, the relief may work nonetheless farther. Then the weaker syllables disappear solely; the strength as soon as expended on their construction is going to swell the strain given to the extra hugely accented syllables, and so they lose their self sufficient life. to watch the impact of those developments, we have now basically to match a language with a chromatic—or musical—accent with one owning a powerful expiratory pressure. within the former, the entire vowels are articulated exceptionally and usually preserved via lengthy sessions of improvement; within the latter, they're first decreased in strength, their articulation is slurred or hasty, and so they usually disappear completely. for instance, in historic Greek, which had unquestionably a tone-accent, there are virtually no examples of the syncope of unaccented vowels. the single situations of loss are because of the next contraction of 2 vowels status in hiatus after the outfall of an intervocal j or w. yet within the Teutonic department, nonetheless, the vowels of the unaccented syllables are regularly weakened; from the earliest interval this tendency can be saw, and its operation is unchecked at this time day. In smooth English those vowels are consistently slurred in pronunciation, and are often weakened to the so-called '' irrational'' vowel (the sound of u in but), that's regularly a trifling voice-glide, with no made up our minds articulation.
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Extra info for A contribution to the history of the unaccented vowels in Old French
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