Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

USAGE: What happened to Anglo-Saxon letters? (was: Intro to Frankish)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, January 15, 2005, 8:01
On Thursday, January 13, 2005, at 07:55 , Rodlox R wrote:

> (someone else pointed out that English remained the language of the masses > both before and after the Norman Invasion in 1066.....well, what happened > to > all the /ae/ and such Anglo-Saxon letters? *curious*).
/ae/ never existed. I assume you mean the letter 'ash' written as a-e ligature and denoting the sound /@/. The sound remained. We now write it simply as |a|. The general population remain English-*speaking*, not English-writing. Indeed, the general population never _wrote_ till more recent times. After the conquest, the people who did the writing were Normans. When, a century or so later, we find English being written it uses Norman spelling conventions - hence our crazy English spelling! But at least one 'Anglo-Saxon' letter did survive, namely thorn, which did not disappear until the advent of printing. The early printers, whose fonts were of German origin, did not have thorn & substituted |y| instead, hence "ye olde teas shoppe: :) But in the end they adopted the graphy |th| which the Normans had introduced as an aternative to thorn :=( Ray ======================================================= ======================================================= "If /ni/ can change into /A/, then practically anything can change into anything" Yuen Ren Chao, 'Language and Symbolic Systems"


Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>