Share this entry

Share this page

vowel shift

Syllabification: vow·el shift

Definition of vowel shift in English:

noun

Phonetics
1A phonetic change in a vowel or vowels.
Example sentences
  • Observations suggest that some Australians may be following the NZ lead in the vowel shift, but the pattern appears to be increasing divergence from the old near-identity.
  • I can accept that cks could become x, but why the vowel shift?
  • All of these languages are characterized by a highly inflected grammar, meaning that grammatical structure is indicated by prefixes, suffixes, vowel shifts, and other changes of words within a sentence.
1.1 (the Great Vowel Shift) A series of changes between medieval and modern English affecting the long vowels of the standard language.
Example sentences
  • The Great Vowel Shift is something of a mystery, and linguists have been unable to account for why it took place.
  • When the Great Vowel Shift took place, the vowels rose upward, pushing the next higher vowel into the slot above.
  • English had genuine ‘long vowels’ until the Great Vowel Shift between 1400 and 1600.

Definition of vowel shift in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day prepotent
Pronunciation: prɪˈpəʊt(ə)nt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence