Showing the Actual Great Vowel Shift
The Great Vowel Shift is
marked by a movement of the long vowels. The general movement
is up and to the back of the throat. In the chart below, those
letters surrounded by slashing diagonal lines (virgules) refer
to the phonetic sounds as opposed the written letter. This
marking is opposed to letters surrounded by pointy wedged
brackets, which in linguistic studies indicate written symbols
as opposed to phonetic sounds.
The chart below generally
shows the direction of the shift. If you have trouble seeing
the chart below, you can click here to download and print
out a pdf file of this
material. Otherwise, when you are done looking, click
here to move on.
- Click here to download
a PDF file of all
this material on this page.
- Click here for an
IPA consonant chart or an
IPA vowel chart not limited to Middle English pronunciation.
- Click here for a
PDF file comparing the phonetic symbols used here with
those in A. C. Baugh's History of the English Language
and other common variants.
Click here to
- This webpage is adapted
from materials Professor James Boren designed for his Chaucer
students at the University of Oregon. Any errors in this
webpage are the result of my own scribal corruptions rather
than a product of the original work. --Kip Wheeler