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[Ew} again (was: Name mangling)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, March 14, 2005, 7:02
On Sunday, March 13, 2005, at 06:55 , Roger Mills wrote:

> Stephen Mulraney wrote: > > Still, it's hard to >> imagine that Zamenhof got the idea for including these diphthongs [ew, >> au] >> in E-o >> *specifically* from Polish, since they're fairly marginal in that >> language, and >> present mainly only in borrowings....
Indeed - and how widespread was the pronunciation of 'dark l' as [w] in Polish at the end of the 19th century?
> Most likely not from Polish, IMO. Surely he had a pan-European outlook; > "eu" > in particular has many odd pronunciations, but [ew] exists in Span. and > Ital. (and presumably Latin and Classical Greek???).
Common enough certainly in ancient Greek (now pronounced [Ef] or [Ev], according to context, in modern Greek) - but marginal in Classical Latin, being found only IIRC in: a. exclamations: heu! "oh!, alas!" heus! "hey!" b. the words: ceu (<-- *ceue /kewe/) [adv.] "just as" neuter (<-- ne + uter) (masc), neutra (fem.), neutrum (neut.) [adj] "neither [of two]"; from which is derived: neutralis "of or pertaining to the neuter gender". c. the optional contractions: neu _or_ neue /ne:we/ [conj.] "and not, nor" (in constructions where 'not' = ne). seu _or_ siue /si:we/ [conj.] "or of" d. words, mainly proper names, borrowed from Greek. Zamenhof IIRC had learnt both ancient Greek and Latin at school. I imagine it was these languages that suggested the diphthong. Indeed, how was E-o otherwise to deal with words of Greek or Latin origin with the diphthong? I suppose he could have followed the modern Greek practice (which, I believe, the Slav languages do); but while *Evropo might possibly have been OK instead of _Eŭropo_, I don't somehow think having *neftrala instead of _neŭtral_ would have been a good idea! Ray =============================================== =============================================== Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight, which is not so much a twilight of the gods as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]