evolution of consonant clusters in English
AN INTERACTIVE DATABASE OF ENGLISH WORD-FINAL CONSONANT CLUSTERS
ECCE database includes:
(a) Word forms that ended in consonant clusters at the time of their attestation (e.g. EME ald /ɑld/ ‘old’),
(b) Word forms that had the potential of ending in clusters after schwa loss (e.g. EME giltes /giltəs/ > /gilts/ ‘guilts’),
(c) Word forms that had lost a cluster which had been present in their predecessors (e.g. EModE climb /kli:m/ < /kli:mb/ after final consonant deletion).
All tokens in ECCE database are annotated and categorized with regard to a rich variety of phonological and morphological parameters.
The word form tokens contained in ECCE database were retrieved from the POS-tagged versions of the Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Middle English (© Kroch & Taylor 2000) and the Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English (© Kroch et al. 2004), which cover the period from 1150 - 1720.
For each token, the Penn-Helsinki source file from which it was retrieved is indicated.
ECCE database can be used to analyse the evolution of word final consonant clusters in quantitative terms. Its phonological and morphological categorizations make it possible to test and models and theories about factors that affect the historical stability of phonological constituents, such as their phonological markedness or their morphological indexicality. The period covered by ECCE lends itself well for the purpose because many and diverse types of consonant clusters emerged at its start, when vowels were lost in final syllables.