Factors And Mechanisms Of Chain Shifts

867 WordsApr 26, 20174 Pages
Q:What.are.the.motivation.and.mechanisms.of.chain.shifts,and.what.kinds.of.evidence.can.we.use.to.study.them? Chain.shifts.(870/1000) Definition.(206/100) According to Labov (2010:140), chain shifts is a series of sound changes, affecting group of phonemes, which are causally linked in way that preserve the number of distinctions. Chain shift is a balance system, and the phonemes within are interrelated. This means that in order to maximized the difference among phonemes, a change in one part will automatically leads to a change in another. This series of reactions is called chain shifts. A famous example of chain shift is Grimm’s law.(examples?.grimm’s.or.any.one) (handout.page.3.&.find reference) There are two kinds of chain shifts:…show more content…
Labov (2010) states that the chain shift is a mechanical result of the language learning process; and this process includes three stages. In stage one, there is a tendency of misunderstanding between the pronunciation of phoneme B and A, due to the fact that some outlying realizations of phoneme B appears to be similar as A. This will make phoneme tokens of B less likely to be recognized by language learners. In stage two of a push-chain, B encroaching on A, causing a major overlap. In this stage, A tokens in turns will be mis-recognized as B tokens. In this stage, language learners generalize a position which A is pushed to, and leads to the output in stage 3. In stage three, the distinction between phoneme A and B is restored, and the system remains balanced. With the same stable starting point as push-chain in stage one, phoneme A in a pull-chain shifts away from B in stage two, leaving a more distinct gap between A and B. As a result, the previously mis-recognized tokens are more likely to be recognized as tokens of B instead of A. Then phoneme B is dragged to fill the position vacated by A. As a result, restoring a stable boundary between A and B in stage three. However, this mechanism only describes how chain shifts might work, without explaining the reason behind this phenomenon. For
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