Print

Print


Salvete omnes!

I thought it might be useful - at least in clarifying my thoughts - if I
summarizes things vis_à_vis Germanic borrowings as I see them.

*************************** Initial [w] ******************************
This has long been part of Britainese and has good Romance predecents
from the languages of northern Gaul, sse subsection '3.2.2 Germanic /w/
retained' on:
http://www.carolandray.plus.com/BART/consonants.html

There has been no counter-arguments given on this list.  So this stays.

**************************** Initial [h] ****************************
The evidence from Picard, Walloon and other dialects and, indeed, from
French itself, are evidence enough that early Britainese would have
retained [h] in Germanic borrowings.

The questions are:

1. How long would the soud have been retained?  It appears to have hung
on in French till the 15th century.  It is still there in Picard and
Walloon.  My feeling is that it would also still be there in Britainese.

2. How would this effect spelling?  Clearly <h> = [h] would remain.
Would there have been a tendency to omit inherited silent <h> in words
of Latin origin?  AFAIK the only Romancelangs to have done this are
Italian and Romanian; Romanian does have <h> but only in words of
non-Latin origin.

3. If silent <h> is retained then we have a language in which one has to
learn which words have this redundant letter.  We would get something
aking to French 'h-aspiré' ~ 'h-muet', except in Britainese 'h-aspiré"
would be aspirated.  :)

Of course we could have [h] falling silent and a replication of the
French  'h-aspiré' ~ 'h-muet' situation but that IMO would be a fairly
blatent bogoism of the type I wish to avoid.

******************************* Initial [θ] *************************
This is a sticking point.

There is no doubt IMO that /ð/ would have existed in early Britainese,
just as it did in early French in our time-line (OTL).  It has been
argued, however, by And and others that /ð/ is unlikely to have
persisted in the absence of /θ/.  Thus it would eventually either have
disappered or shifted to [z].

It has been suggested that /θ/ may have occurred in Germanic borrowings,
e.g. _thoail_ (or _thwail) <- Old Saxon _þwhahila_ (cf. Old French _
toaille_ <- Frankish _*þwahlja_).

There is no precedence for this in other Romancelangs where, as we see
in the French example, Frankish /θ/ is rendered /t/.  But, it should be
observed that /θ/ was not preserved in continental Germanic; it either
shifted to /t/, as in Scandinavia, or shifted [θ] -> [ð] -> [d]; so,
e.g. we see that Proto-Germanic _*þrijiz_ now survives as: Swedish,
Norwegian & Danish _tre_, Dutch _drie_, German _drei_.   It is,
therefore, not suprising IMO that continental Romancelangs do not have
[θ] in their Germanic borrowings!

But Germanic [θ] survived in Iceland and Britain, thus: Icelandic
_þrír_, English _three_.

Clearly the Ingvaeonic settlers in Britain would have preserved [θ] in
BART just as they did in OTL.  So it could be argued that just as in OLT
[θ] and [ð] survived in the Germanic language of Britain (i.e. English)
while continental Germanic languages lost these sounds, so in BART [θ]
and [ð] were retained in the Romance language of Britain, i.e.
Britainese, but not in many of the continental Romancelangs (tho infact
as we have seen some Romancelangs do have [θ] and [ð], but not in
Germanic borrowings)?

Ray