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).[snip]
>>>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])
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