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

From:J. 'Mach' Wust <j_mach_wust@...>
Date:Saturday, November 27, 2004, 9:38
On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 22:51:15 -0500, Sally Caves <scaves@...> wrote:

>----- Original Message ----- >From: "J. 'Mach' Wust" <j_mach_wust@...> > >> I remember differently: |sch| was already used in OHG, and im MHG it was >> pronounced [S]... > >In what OHG texts? I'm perusing these and see only "sc"s.
I've taken a look into the web and now I guess I was wrong. But I found a nice link page to OHG texts: It links e.g. to a comparison of Lord's Prayers:
>And when it >comes to MHG, couldn't there be regional differences? Which MHG are we >talking about?
Most MHG resources talk about the overregionally used language, which was a kind of poetry standard in that time. If I remember correctly, it's mainly Alemmanic-Swabian (that's also the reason why it's more similar to current Alemannic than to modern standard German, which has developed from other dialects). The spoken language, of course, differed a lot from region to region.
>A new question: could the monks from this region, used to reading Latin, or >even a little Greek, have ever associated the letter "z" with the sound >/z/, instead of with /s/ or /ts/? After all, there was Zephyrus, Zodiak, >and a handful of other words in Latin borrowed from Greek words with >initial zeta (which I think may have also been pronounced /dz/ but under >what circumstances I'm unsure). I'm perfectly willing to accept what I've >read and been told, that /z/ was not a sound in general then, but could >there have been exceptions? I'm thinking, of course, of the southern >Middle English dialect, whose /z/-ish "s"s. Could that sound have come >from the continent along with the Anglo-Saxon invaders? Where does this >sound come from in modern English, German, and French, and how far back >does it go?
I've always thought of this sound as an original allophone of /s/. In southern German, BTW, there's no [z] at all, but only voiceless [s] (though often transcribed as [z_0]). The two s-sounds are distinguished by length (or by articulary "force"??). So I'm inclined to believe that [z] is a northern German/Saxon sound, therefore also found in English. gry@s: j. 'mach' wust