Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Strangeness of U (was Re: CHAT behove etc (was: Natlag: Middle English imper

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Sunday, March 12, 2006, 22:51
>R A Brown wrote: >>it simply dates back to the time when U and V were the same letter. If _u_ >>came before a vowel, then it was /v/, but if it came before a consonant >>then it was a vowel (with one of the possible pronunciations of |u|). >> >>When the two letters were differentiated, those final Es could'v been >>dropped, but most people continued, and still continue, the write them. It >>is just habit.
I see. Final vocalic <ue> as in argue, true, blue etc. is presumably a later innovation?
>A similar phenomenon is the avoidance of initial {u} to represent /w/ in >Spanish. For example, _huevo_ not *_uevo_, due to the fact that uevo >would've been analyzed as /bebo/ (vevo) in the days when the two letters >were variants, thus, the letter {h} was added. > >This kind of oddity seems, to me, to be rather uncommon in conscripts.
As it's been noted, it's probably because they tend to be created freshly and not 20+ soundchanges before the current state. The uwjge script does have a few things that show its age, like retaining the p<>b difference in spelling even tho it's been gone for a while now; the newly arisen allophone [B] is however always spelt with the "b" glyph, even when it derives from older */p/. There's also been random reassignments of glyphs, so what would've been /zai/ according to the earliest system, now stands for /trO/... but this doesn't probably count. John Vertical


Joe <joe@...>
Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>