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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:
> 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 English accent".
> Moreover > -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 have been/
> (*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.)
Interesting. Ray =============================================== =============================================== 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" ]


Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>