On 07/09/2010 22:38, Alex Fink wrote:
> That still wants an ultimate explanation.  I suppose that
> all it is from here is that these<x>s will have largely
> been in learned words of the sort likely to have
> pronunciations reconstructed from their spellings -- and
> so even if /ps/ and /ks/ clusters voiced uniformly in
> some contexts at some point, written<ps>  availed the
> restoration of /ps/ more strongly than written<x>  did
> anything.

<ps> occurred mainly (only?) in learned words and indeed the 
written <ps> must surely militate against any tendency to 
voice the combination.

<x> however is a different matter. As a single letter there 
was nothing in spelling to militate voicing in intervocalic 
positions. As Greek ξ was uniformly transcribed as <x> it 
was treated the same way.

As I observed, if the Emperor Claudius had been successful 
in getting ɔ added to the alphabet to represent Classical 
Latin [ps], then Greek ψ would have been rendered <ɔ>.  I 
have no doubt that <ɔ> would have been subject to voicing in 
similar positions to <x>.  But his alphabet reforms died 
with him; <ps> continued to be used and the <p> ensured the 
combination stayed voiceless      :)

Thinks: if <ɔ> had caught on, would Esperanto, which renders 
Latin <x> as <kz>, have rendered Latin <ɔ> as <bz>?  ;)

> On Tue, 7 Sep 2010 15:49:40 +0000, Douglas
> Koller<[log in to unmask]>  wrote:
>> But just to throw it in the mix, the name "Xavier" can
>> be pronounced as if it were pronounced like "exactly"
>> (and all the bad puns that Vincent Price as Egghead
>> regaled on Batman ("eggcellent", "eggzemplary", etc.)).
>> So, many a Catholic educational institution, at least
>> here, come off as St. Xavier's [log in to unmask]
> Okay, maybe that's unremarkable epenthesis, but it could
> well be *slight involuntary shudder* the same rationale
> that makes Yreka, California be /waIr\ik@/ and so on

..and soldiers of WWI render Ypres as "wipers"   :)

Yep - long years ago when I was a youngster, _Xavier_ was 
always AFAIK pronounced /'zeIvi@(r)/.  I've noticed a 
tendency in popular speech to pronounce initial <x> in 
learned words as /Eks/ or /Egz/; I've even heard 
/Eg'zaIl@foʊn/! I assume this is a false 'spelling 
pronunciation', just like /waIr\ik@/ and "wipers". In the 
case of <x> it is possibly helped by the popular _Xmas 
[log in to unmask]

"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".