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
> 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 :=(
"If /ni/ can change into /A/, then practically anything
can change into anything"
Yuen Ren Chao, 'Language and Symbolic Systems"