English historical linguistics has been characterised by a strong focus on changes that affected the vowel system (such as the Great Vowel Shift). In contrast, the consonantal system has been considered as more stable and changes in individual consonants or groups of consonants have been neglected. This is illustrated by Finegan (1990: 78, 80), who points out that the diachronic development of English was primarily one of vowel rather than consonant change:
KeywordsPhonological Theory Syllable Structure Syllable Type Syllable Onset Diachronic Development
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