Re: English plural -(e)s
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, November 27, 2004, 7:30|
On Friday, November 26, 2004, at 01:32 , Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> Ray Brown wrote:[snip]
> I beg to differ slightly. I think that the /z/ phoneme had already
> developed into /r\/ in Common Scandinavian of the viking age,
You mean [z] had developed to [r\], I think - there's no phonemic change.
> i.e. there was a fricative/approximant /r\/ contrasting with
> a rolled /r/.
I suspect there was still some friction - maybe [z`} ?
> It is true they later merged, but into what
> sound or allophonic alteration is impossible to tell.
> However any bilingual(*) could easily figure out that
> OE -as and CS -aR corresponded to one another.
I suspect the Old English "heard" -aR as -as [-az] pronounced "with a
'Danish' accent", and on their side the Danes/Vikings whose /s/ did not
have the [z] variant, "heard" the OE [az] as -aR pronounced "with an
> -as was the only ending in the two languages that was
> unambiguously a nom/acc plural ending. This helped to
> establish it no doubt!
I would not disagree with that, whatever the details of pronunciation may
> (*Actually these two languages differed less than many
> dialects of modern languages.
Absolutely - I think this is certainly so.
> The 13th century Icelander
> Snorri Sturluson explicitly said that in viking times
> Scandinavia, England and northern Germany had all one
> language -- i.e. so it still seemed to contemporaries.)
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]