On 30 Dec 01, at 22:25, laokou wrote:

> "Ch" in English is /tS/, and in Greek loans /k/. The /S/ development
> applies to French loans (final "c" without an accompanying "k" is
> weird, too [for English]).

Though British English has "disc", and there's also "tic" and "bloc"
(as in "Eastern Bloc"). You're right, though, that there don't seem to
be many words with final -c... although I just remembered the not
uncommon suffix -ic, as in heretic, magic, physic(s), phonetic,
phonemic, acetic, acerbic, .... (though at least "magick" and possibly
also "alembick", "almanack" used to be spelled with final <ck> at some
point AFAIK).

> (German, I believe, now also has the same three-way distinction for
> "ch").

Not quite. Originally, German <ch> is [c-cedilla] or [x] or (especially
preceding <s>) [k]. Now, it's also got [tS] and [S] in loan words from
English and French (e.g. checken, Chaussee). So we've got at least a
five-way distinction there.

(But note that "chic" was borrowed into German as "schick", except in
formal registers or advertising-speak -- and there it's usually a noun,
as in "Pariser Chic", and seldom an adjective. "Das Kleid ist chic"
would look extremely affected to me, even more than, say, "Möchtest du
noch etwas mehr Sauce [instead of Soße; /'zo:s@/] haben?".)

> (Cf. Hungarian, where "chic" is imported as "sikkes" [SIkES], "sikk"
> plus an adjectival ending "-es".

Not [SIk:ES]? AFAIK, double consonants are distinguished from single
ones phonemically.

Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>