[ExI] Genes and the Great Vowel Shift

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Feb 25 02:40:40 UTC 2008

At 03:55 PM 2/24/2008, Tom Nowell wrote:
>The Great Vowel Shift is a linguistic mystery, so it
>may be premature to suggest a genetic basis.

When something is not understood, it never too early to suggest *any* 
possible explanation.  Now without genetic information and the paths 
by which this lead to mental propensities to shift vowel sounds or 
physical shape of the vocal apparatus it's certainly premature to 
state there is a genetic basis for the Great Vowel Shift.

Stating this as a possibility will get people to think about it and 
devise tests.  The tests may show it to be true or false, or may fail 
for now because we don't have the technology yet.  But just thinking 
about it may lead to better ideas about this linguistic mystery.

snip (cogent material if not exactly on this topic.)


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