Great Vowel Shift


noun Linguistics.

a series of changes in the quality of the long vowels between Middle and Modern English as a result of which all were raised, while the high vowels (ē) and (o̅o̅), already at the upper limit, underwent breaking to become the diphthongs (ī) and (ou).

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British Dictionary definitions for great vowel shift

Great Vowel Shift

noun

linguistics a phonetic change that took place during the transition from Middle to Modern English, whereby the long vowels were raised: ( became , became ), etc. The vowels () and () underwent breaking and became the diphthongs () and ()
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