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Chart Showing the Actual Great Vowel Shift

(phonetic aspects only)

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 move on.


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

 

 
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Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2017. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated January 5, 2017. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.