Inverted Operations

D. Gary Miller

in Language Change and Linguistic Theory, Volume I

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583423
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191723438 | DOI:
Inverted Operations

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To avoid some token of speech perceived as negative by an emulated segment of the population, speakers alter proper forms in hypercorrection, e.g. pseudocorrective replacement, inversion. Alleged examples of the latter are drawn from non‐rhotic varieties of English and their histories. An inversion account is difficult because hypercorrection and limited generalization resulted in arbitrary constraints at a subsequent synchronic stage. Better examples of inverted operations are the loss and acquisition of segmental contrast (phonemicization). The latter generally correlates with lexicalization of contrast and can prompt lexical diffusion of a new phoneme. The flipside of these reversals of the effects of phonetic change is the regularization of an analogical or lexical diffusional change to make it more phonological.

Keywords: phonemicization; lexical diffusion; regularization; inverted operations

Chapter.  5802 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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