English & Old French (was: How you pronunce foreign place names)
|From:||R A Brown <ray@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 17:17|
Wesley Parish wrote:
> On Wednesday 24 January 2007 04:49, email@example.com wrote:[snip]
>>I wonder how much of this is related to French. After all, English
>>borrowed a lot of vocabulary from French over its history and possibly left
>>a legacy of <j> being /Z/ in loanwords, at least until the loanwords become
>>more assimilated where they will take on the fully anglicized /dZ/. We
>>still have words like "garage" with the last <g> being /dZ/ or /Z/
>>depending on the speaker.
A relatively modern borrowing.
> Actually, if I remember my dabbling in Old French well enough, Old French (in
> the Ile de France region) _did_ pronounce 'j' as /dZ/, and English would then
> have picked the phoneme up from Old French and Norman French.
> Words in English with /dZ/ with cognates in French with /Z/ would then be
> fossils of the older pronunciation.
Exactly!! And Old French _ch_ was pronounced /tS/ as borrowings like
chair, chain, charity etc etc.
The shift from affricate pronunciation in French the the fricative one
familiar in modern French took place sometime in the mid 13th century.
> Old English had the semivowel 'y' (as 'ge') where German has 'g', so I think
> the /dZ/ phoneme actually came from Old French borrowings
Yes - but the Saxon 'cg' was apparently similar and certainly, e.g.
bridge <-- Old English _bricg_.
- Old English, if
> left to go its own way with a minimal of Romance borrowings and no
> Norman/Acquitainian court influences, would have ended up a lot more like
> Frisian and Low Saxon/Niedersassisch/Plattdeutsch.
Possibly if the Danes & Vikings had left us alone as well :)
Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.