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On 20/02/2018 21:45, Alex Fink wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:49:18 +0000, Raymond Brown wrote:
[snip]
>> At present, as well as tydying up the Consonants and Vowels pages, 
>> I am also revising the Orthography page, which badly needs 
>> rewriting.  I have been wondering about _z_.  It will not have
>> been in the earliest Britainese but will be introdiced quite early
>> in more learned words such as _baptizar_, _evangelizar_ etc.  The 
>> learned pronunciation would almost certainly be [dz] as it was in 
>> Old French.  I had been sort of assuming it would pass to plain
>> [z] as it dis in French.  But in one or two wild moments I had 
>> considered [dz] -> [ð], so that Britainese /ð/ is written _z_, 
>> rather than _dh_ (or _đ_ ).
>> 
>> I had dismissed this as a wild idea, but having met it this
>> evening in an actual Romancelang, I am wondering if it isn't so
>> whacky after all?
> 
> My gut reaction is that it's still wacky in the Britainese context.

Sadly, I think you are correct.  The idea is certainly not whacky per_se
and if I was 'discovering' a lost Romlang in some obscure European
enclave, it would fine.  But I have been using the way things have gone
*here* in Welsh, English and northern Gaul as controls of what is likely
to happen in Britainese in BART.

Certainly there never was any move in English to spell /ð/ as _z_; it
was, however, one proposal in Welsh, as well _ð_.  But as we know Welsh
has stuck with _dd_; and [ð] was lost in northern French dialects.

> I'd actually expect a pre-existing phonemic /ð/, and what's more a 
> /ð/:/z/ contrast which makes the sibilancy feature for anterior 
> coronal fricatives active in Britainese, to exert pressure against 
> [dz] losing its sibilance as it would have to do en route to merging 
> into [ð].

I'd expect [dz] to simply shift to [z] as it did in French.  The dental
fricatives were no more liked in English or Welsh here.

> Your idea would affect [ts] as well, and that prompts for me two 
> half-related questions: - Have you reached any conclusion about the 
> acquisition of /θ/ from Germanic?

It could come only through direct borrowings, and what would have borrowed?

> - There is at least transiently a /ts/ in the 2pl verb endings.

No, the /t/ and /s/ would have undergone lenition so, e.g. -[a:tɪs] ->
-[adez] -> -[adz] and thus -[az].

This is, infact, similar to French development, except [a:] finishes up
as [e] in French and also Old French devoiced final consonants so there
it developed to -[ets], written _ez_.  It has continued to be written
that way even though the ending underwent firther changes, namely, ->
-[es] -> -[e].      :)

> And you said you had morphological thoughts bursting to get out, and
> I'm certainly curious...

A taster above.   :)

Ray