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OT English /ju/ (was: [OT] English [dZ])

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Monday, December 12, 2005, 16:45
Alex Fink wrote:
> On Sun, 11 Dec 2005 10:36:07 -0500, Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...> wrote: > > >>On 12/11/05, John Vertical <johnvertical@...> wrote: >> >>>>In "long u" (cute). In reflex of /ew/ (new).
>>>But what >>>about the /ju:/ in words like "lute"? They can't surely ALL be later >>>borrowings, re-spelt pGVS /o:/ or /eu/, or exceptions to the GVS. >> >>I don't know the answer, but I should point out that there was >>substantial overlap between the GVS and the standardization of English >>spelling. It's not that words were re-examined and re-spelled after >>the shift; it's just that they were standardized at different points >>during the shift. > > > I seem to recall that even this [ju(:)] (exceptions aside) is indeed derived > from ME /eu/ or /iu/, and the spelling |u| is motivated by French |u| = [y].
Quite so. Middle English did not [y]; in borrowings from French, the Normans kept the French spellings, but |u|=/y/ got pronounced /iw/. There is essentially no difference in development of 'cute' and 'new'; both are still pronounced [k_hIwt] and [nIw] in the English of south Wales, which is probably much the same as their pre-Tudor pronunciations in England. All that's happened is that most English dialects changed the falling diphthong to the rising [ju], and then the initial [j] falls silent in certain environments, particularly in Merkan English. (Down there in south Wales 'screw' is still pronounced [skrIw]) -- Ray ================================== ================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY