On 07/09/2010 22:38, Alex Fink wrote: [snip] > > 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] -- 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".