Re: Beauty of Old Norse (was Re: New to the list)
|From:||Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, June 19, 2000, 5:27|
At 1:51 am -0500 17/6/00, Thomas R. Wier wrote:
>Nik Taylor wrote:
>> Oskar Gudlaugsson wrote:
>> > AFAIR, Old Norse was a pitch accent language, like Latin.
>> Actually, Latin was a stress accent language. Ancient Greek was pitch
>The Romans themselves said they had pitch accent, but it may have merely
>been archaic, or in imitation of Greek. (Ray, is there any more to it
>than this, or
>am I incorrect?)
There is actually no external evidence of this. It looks like simply
taking the Greeks terms and kidding themselves that their stress accent
worked the same way as the Greek pitch accent - in fact it didn't.
But neither the Greeks nor the Romans were exactly brilliant phoneticians -
you have to go to ancient India for that :)
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]