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Re: USAGE: Thorn vs Eth

From:Thomas Leigh <thomas@...>
Date:Thursday, July 11, 2002, 12:27

> > Kendra wrote: > > > I'm curious as to how many natural languages have th and dh, as I
heard that
> > > not many do. Anyone? :) > > > > Modern Greek for one. Castilian Spanish has /T/ and [D] as an
> > of /d/. Icelandic has /T/ and /D/. I can't think of any others > > off-head. Those are fairly rare. > > > > > Albanian. And my very limited experience with it tells me that /T/ and
> aren't as marginal as in say, english, or icelandic.
Don't forget Welsh and Cornish! Breton lost them, though -- they became /z/. Old Gaelic had them, but they disappeared sometime towards the end of the Middle Gaelic (or Early Modern Gaelic, perhaps -- I'm crap with dates) period. Classical/Modern Standard Arabic has them as well, though the spoken dialects often change them to either t/d or s/z. Biblical Hebrew had them too. Syriac did, and (at least some of) its modern decendants still do. Also, I've read that in Turkmen, s and z are realised as /T/ and /D/. Sort of a national lisp, I guess. :) BTW, back to the letters thorn and edh, it bears pointing out that although Faroese uses the letter edh (the only language other than Icelandic, AFAIK, to do so) it is there for etymological purposes only; it is silent in pronunciation, the sounds /T/ and /D/ having been completely lost. Thomas


tim talpas <tim@...>