Thomas Leigh wrote: > > What basis is there *really* for supposing the > > ai ái aí and au áu aú distinction apart from > > etymology? AFAIK there is no internal evidence > > for any actually diphthongal ái or áu in 4th-6th > > century Gothic, like occasional misspellings > > with <aj> or <aw>. As for length it is of course > > not at all expressed in Gothic orthography, but > > must be inferred from etymology. > > Honestly, I don't know! What I posted is what is presented in > Wright's grammar. I do remember reading somewhere, though I no > longer remember where, that at least some (if not most or all) > scholars today believe that the diphthongs /aj/ and /au/ had > become monophthongised to [e] and [o] (I don't know whether open > or closed) by Wulfila's time, whence the spelling of /E/ as > _ai_, copied from Greek, like _ei_ for /i:/. As I recall, both etymology and loan words suggest the different pronunciations of the various (modern) written forms ai, ái, aí etc. (Of course that depends on what is known about Greek pronunciation in that era.) Also, there is some evidence from later developments-- e.g. short vowel + 2 consonants (or closed syllables), long vowel + 1 consonant (open syl.) in German. That suggests that Gothic could have had a similar rule.