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Re: The Roman alphabet and its original letter names.

From:Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Date:Thursday, February 13, 2003, 22:43
Steven Williams wrote:
> > So, how _did_ the ancient Romans sing the 'ABC Song'?
Vowels were named by their sound, nasals, fricatives, and liquids were /e/ plus the consonant, stops were consonant plus /e/, except that Q and K were /ku/ and /ka/ respectively; y and z were Greek borrowings and were, I think, called "I graeca" and "zeta" respectively. I think X was /eks/, so: A /a/ B /be/ C /ke/ D /de/ E /e/ F /ef/ G /ge/ H /he/ I/J /i/ K /ka/ L /el/ M /em/ N /en/ O /o/ P /pe/ Q /ku/ R /er/ S /es/ T /te/ U/V /u/ X /eks/ Y /y/ or "i graeca" Z /zeta/ The modern English name for "h" comes from the French "ache" or something like that, which in turn came from midieval Latin "acca", a name derived from an attempt at [aha] by people who lacked /h/; the loss of /h/ had merged the names of "e" and "h". The modern name for "R" comes from an er -> ar sound change (which also survives in the word "parson"). The name for "Y" comes from /y/. When OE merged /y/ and /i/, the name of "y" would've become homophonous with "i", and so, presumably in an attempt to approximate /y/, they began to say /wi/. THe names of "J", "V" and "Z" are by analogy. -- "There's no such thing as 'cool'. Everyone's just a big dork or nerd, you just have to find people who are dorky the same way you are." - overheard ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-Name: NikTaylor42


Joe <joe@...>
Tristan <kesuari@...>