The diachrony and synchrony of vowel quantity in English and Dutch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This investigation of Open Syllable Lengthening in Middle English and Middle Dutch treats the changes as the result of listener-based reinterpretations of coarticulatory effects on vowel duration. OSL in English is a result of compensatory lengthening, which is analyzed as a hypocorrection. OSL in Middle Dutch involves a hypercorrection in which the duration of etymologically long vowels is reinterpreted as a purely phonetic correlate of stress in open syllables. The different phonological bases for OSL provide a diachronic explanation for the retention of contrastive vowel quantity in Modern English and its absence in Modern Dutch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-104
Number of pages44
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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