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The Purpose of Double Accenting in the Ormulum and a Possible French Connection

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pBased on a study contrasting the spellings of the jats:italicOrmulum</jats:italic>’s (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Junius 1) Hand C with those of Orm, this article proposes that final < tt > did not necessarily indicate a short preceding vowel in the hypothesized spelling system which Orm sought to reform, and that the jats:italicOrmulum</jats:italic>’s double accent marks might serve to prophylactically counteract a spelling habit present in Orm’s house of doubling final < t > following an etymological long vowel. It argues thus against previous explanations which tend to construe the double accents as redundant markers of vowel length. Further evidence is adduced to suppose that the unexpected doubling of final < t > could have been a post-Conquest orthographical tendency arising from the intermixture of English and (Anglo-)French spelling systems.</jats:p>



47 Language, Communication and Culture, 4703 Language Studies, 4704 Linguistics

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