[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,
>> 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;
> 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:
heu! "oh!, alas!"
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!
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" ]