© 2005

Consonant Change in English Worldwide

Synchrony meets Diachrony


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Daniel Schreier
    Pages 1-15
  3. Daniel Schreier
    Pages 16-55
  4. Daniel Schreier
    Pages 56-125
  5. Daniel Schreier
    Pages 126-197
  6. Daniel Schreier
    Pages 198-220
  7. Daniel Schreier
    Pages 221-225
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 226-248

About this book


Applying insights from variationist linguistics to historical change mechanisms that have affected the consonantal system of English, Daniel Schreier reports findings from a historical corpus-based study on the reduction of particular consonant clusters and compares them with similar processes in synchronic varieties, thus defining consonantal change as a phenomenon involving psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, phonological theory and contact linguistics. Moreover, he weighs the impact of external and internal effects on causation, examining data from a total of 15 varieties with different time depths and social histories.


diachronic historical corpus linguistics phonology sociolinguistics synchronic

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.BaselSwitzerland

About the authors

DANIEL SCHREIER has taught in Switzerland, the USA and in New Zealand and is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Berne, Switzerland. He is author of Isolation and Language Change and co-author (with Karen Lavarello-Schreier) of Tristan da Cunha: History People Language.

Bibliographic information


'This book is a remarkable descriptive and theoretical tour de force which not only describes, but also succeeds in finding, explanations for the phenomenon of consonant-cluster reduction in terms of a spectacular range of disciplines. The work is extremely impressive in its coverage of a broad but - we can now see - integrated field. Daniel Schreier has based the research reported on here on a very wide and impressive range of data. The theoretical conclusions arrived at, and the principles adumbrated, will be regarded as of vital importance by scholars working in historical linguistics, linguistic variation and change, and phonology.' - Professor Peter Trudgill, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

'...the book provides interesting insights into the complex area of phonotactics in various varierties of English around the world and should inspire further research in the field.' - The Year's Work in English Studies

'...this volume represents an extremely well crafted synthesis of existing and innovative work, some of it carried out in some of the world's most remote and isolated and fascinating Anglophone communities by the author himself, and it will serve as a benchmark for future studies of this ubiquitous variable of English.' - David Britain, English World-Wide