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Germanic Accentology

Author:

Anatoly Liberman

Germanic Accentology

“Liberman is a scholar of wide multilingual erudition, and has a magnificent gift for languages and their comparative analyses ... He is equally strong in the historical comparison of languages and in their typology. The problems of sound systems and especially their accentual patterning ... have led him to important new discoveries ... This book is a welcome substantial contribution to the cultural history of Germanic languages and to general linguistics.” - Roman Jackson

“Liberman is a scholar of wide multilingual erudition, and has a magnificent gift for languages and their comparative analyses ... He is equally strong in the historical comparison of languages and in their typology. The problems of sound systems and especially their accentual patterning ... have led him to important new discoveries ... This book is a welcome substantial contribution to the cultural history of Germanic languages and to general linguistics.” - Roman Jackson

Germanic Accentology

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Literature

The Scandinavian languages are among the few living Indo-European languages that possess a ramified system of special tones or accents. Such accents are widespread in the languages of Africa and Asia (creating, for example, the singsong character of Chinese and Vietnamese), but in the vast territory occupied by the Indo-European family only the Scandinavian languages, some German dialects, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Serbo-Croatian have similar accetologies. The function and origin of the Scandinavian accents are central problems facing linguists and are the issues that Anatoly Liberman confronts in this book.

Liberman uses the methods of synchronic and diachronic phonology to explore the current status of Scandinavian accentology and to reconstruct its historical development. In the first, synchronic, group of chapters he analyzes the accents and accent-like phenomena in all the modern Scandinavian languages, comparing the literary languages with spoken dialects, and drawing from all of the published descriptions of and theories about Scandinavian prosody. In the final, diachronic, chapter he presents a new hypothesis on the origins of Scandinavian accentology based upon his descriptive material. Throughout, his theoretical approach is that of a functionalist.

Germanic Accentology

Anatoly Liberman, born and educated in Leningrad, is a professor at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of books and articles in linguistics, literature, and language acquisition, and a translator of English and Russian poetry. The second volume of Germanic Accentology will be the The West Germanic Languages.

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