Mark J. Reed wrote: > But whence the English name "wye"? It must derive from Old English [y:], since the letter was used that way. As late Latin was also psilotic (i.e. they dropped their aitches) that would've been the contemporary Latin form also. Of course, Old English /y(:)/ became /i(:)/ in Middle English, but that would've meant that I and Y had identical names! Presumably when the vowel was unrounded, the letter name retained initial lip-rounding, i.e. became [wi:], hence modern English [waj]. It did occur to me that there might have been dialect forms with initial non-phonemic glide in Old English, i.e. [Hy:], which would presumably have given Middle English [wi:]. -- Ray ================================== http://www.carolandray.plus.com ================================== "Ein Kopf, der auf seine eigene Kosten denkt, wird immer Eingriffe in die Sprache thun." [J.G. Hamann, 1760] "A mind that thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language".