Palatalization as a Non-Uniform Process Affecting Grammatical Words: A Comparison of Data from Dialectally Identified and Unidentified Late Middle English Texts
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The process of palatalization has exerted much influence on the forms of four highfrequency lemmas, EACH, MUCH, SUCH, WHICH, revealing significant heterogeneity in terms of palatalized and non-palatalized variants being used in the close vicinity of each other both in the Northern and Southern dialects as well as in the texts of unknown origin. Such unpredictability of the process, accounted for by the operation of lexical diffusion, raises questions concerning the manner of how palatalization, being one of the major phonological changes, affected the lexis and phonological system of Middle English, proving to be much less consistent than expected.
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