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/S/ in old and middle High German; was: Vikings

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 24, 2004, 16:11
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Cowan" <cowan@...>

> In some cases, the cognates of these words > already existed in English, as in the Norse borrowing "skirt" next to > the native word "shirt". (Words beginning "sk" are almost always > borrowings, because a sound-change during the Old English period > changed initial "sk" to "sh".)
Do you mean to say, rather, that in earlier OE the "sc" sound was formerly /sk/? I would think this was a continental change, and it would take an expert in Old Saxon to confirm it. Nevertheless, this is interesting to me, and a subject on which I need informing, so I'm glad you raised the topic. I'm interested in the |sc| and |sch| spellings in Old and Middle High German. How confident are we that in the twelfth century |sch| was the /S/ sound, and in what regions? I'm looking at the Heinrici Summerium and seeing the variations in spelling for, say, "shoulder" in the Trier copy of the HS. For L. scapula, various MSS give: scultra, scvltra, sculdera, schult, and svlter. Note "sch" in _schult_. (Trier would be Treves, on the Moselle River near the Rhine, so perhaps influenced by low German dialect and pronunciation?) I've read that "sch" was the courtly spelling in High German literature of the middle ages, but I need to know if /sc/ in other regions of Germany was a variant spelling of that sound, and not the /sk/ sound, especially in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. For instance: in the 12th c. Wiesbadener Codex we find scella glossing L. nola, "bell," but in the later Berlin manuscript schella. However it's reversed with scheida glossing L. vagina, of course, in the Wiesbaden, but seida in the Berlin MS. Go figure. Were these spellings pretty interchangeable? and were they used to express the phone /S/ in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, given that we have modern German Schulter, Schelle, and Scheide? How is |sc| pronounced today in low German dialect, or in Dutch? or rather, how is /S/ spelled? What about these three words? Do any of the |sc| words become /sk/ in low German? So basically, what is the history of the /S/ sound in Germany? Yry wemry firrimby, Sally


Joe <joe@...>
Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>