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Re: USAGE: Thorn vs Eth

From:Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 9, 2002, 14:28
From: "John Cowan" <jcowan@...>
> Christophe Grandsire scripsit: > > > Well, the simple fact that there isn't any minimal pair between /T/ and /D/, > > A few: "thigh" vs. "thy" is the one usually given. But certainly the > functional load is very low, as shown by this model: > > Initial "th" is /D/ in closed-class words only;
The counter-problem with thigh/thy, all initial /D/, and the final /D/ with and without silent "e" following is that they all cross morpheme boundaries. The morphemes are not free-standing words (or usually recognized by native speakers), but they indicate meaning nonetheless--there's the second-person-familiar and the deictic (which is also in 'either' etc.)
> Intervocalic "th" is /D/ except in words of Greek origin; > > Final "th" is /D/ if a silent "e" follows, and in some pron. of "with"; > > All other "th" is /T/. > > (Anglophones, I'd be interested to hear of exceptions.)
When affecting a lisp, /s/ becomes /T/, even intervocalically. I was *going* to say "zither", but that one turns out to be ultimately from Greek anyway. And that I thought "mathom" was /"m(Tm=/ doesn't count either, I suppose. "prithee" sometimes has /T/, depending on idiolect. "pithy" and other -th-y always do (but then, there's another morpheme boundary there). *Muke! --


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Barbara Barrett <barbarabarrett@...>