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On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 4:29 PM, Andreas Johansson<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Vaguely relatedly, is there an historical reason for <gh> in words like
> "ghost"? Certainly no-one would see *gost and infer it to be pronounced
> /dZOst/ ...

A good question.  In OE, back when English spelling made sense, it was
spelled "gast".  According to Wikipedia, which gets this tidbit from
"Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Twisted
Story of English Spelling", by David Wolman. Collins, ISBN
9780061369254, the -h- in "ghost" was introduced by typesetters
trained in the Low Countries (Dutch "gheest").

That, in turn, comes from the PG root reconstructed as *ghoizdoz from
the PIE *ghois; the "gh" in both of those means [gʰ]...


-- 
Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>