By William Pierce Shephard
From the INTRODUCTION.
In all languages owning a good constructed expiratory accessory there's stumbled on a bent to weaken the syllables which stand at the reduce levels of accentuation. The strength dedicated to the construction of the syllable on which the main accessory rests makes precious a discount within the strength of the expiration of the opposite syllables of the be aware. The vowels of those syllables then convey a lack of sonority; and are vulnerable to be decreased to that caliber which calls for the smallest amount of expiratory strength for his or her articulation. in basic terms that half is left that's completely beneficial for the lifestyles of the syllable. Or, in different circumstances, the relief may match nonetheless farther. Then the weaker syllables disappear completely; the power as soon as expended on their creation is going to swell the strain given to the extra hugely accented syllables, and so they lose their self sufficient life. to monitor the impact of those traits, we've simply to check a language with a chromatic—or musical—accent with one owning a robust expiratory pressure. within the former, the entire vowels are articulated surprisingly and customarily preserved via lengthy classes of improvement; within the latter, they're first decreased in strength, their articulation is slurred or hasty, and so they frequently disappear solely. for instance, in old Greek, which had certainly a tone-accent, there are nearly no examples of the syncope of unaccented vowels. the single circumstances of loss are end result of the next contraction of 2 vowels status in hiatus after the outfall of an intervocal j or w. yet within the Teutonic department, nevertheless, the vowels of the unaccented syllables are always weakened; from the earliest interval this tendency might be saw, and its operation is unchecked at present day. In smooth English those vowels are regularly slurred in pronunciation, and are often weakened to the so-called '' irrational'' vowel (the sound of u in but), that's normally a trifling voice-glide, with out 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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