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Re: USAGE: writ [was Re: Here, *Here*, and There, *There*]

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, July 1, 2002, 19:08
On Sunday, June 30, 2002, at 11:13 , Thomas R. Wier wrote:

> Quoting agricola <agricola@...>: > >> yscreus il Th. Weir: > > It's <Wier>. > >>> Quoting agricola <agricola@...>: >>> >>>> Also, it'd be pronounced /wrItiN/. :) >> >>> What? In all my experience, a <writ> (as in "of habeas corpus") has >>> always been [rIt]; the onset cluster [wr] is complete disallowed for >>> me, not surprisingly, since it flagrantly violates sonority contour >>> principles. >> >> Different strokes for different blokes. Are you one of those [hw]less >> people, too? > > No, I do have [w_0].
Yes, [w_0] is not obsolete either side of the Atlantic. It's still common enough in Scotland, where I've even encountered [hw] and, I believe, some northern dialects. I still heard it occasionally used in these southern climes when I was a youngster and one still encounters it in the heart of RP-dom in certain styles (e.g. reading in church).
> Don't get me wrong: I'm not condemning your usage,
No, indeed - it would be nice to learn that old pronunciations still survive somewhere. I believe initial /kn/ persisted in odd places till the 19th cent., but I suspect it's obsolete everywhere now.
> but I'm rather shocked because I was under the impression that the onset > cluster [wr] had died out in just about every English dialect... oh, > over 800 years ago.
Indeed so - I had hitherto been under the impression that it had virtually disappeared during the Middle English period.
>> Wot's a "sonority contour principle"? And how does it apply in this >> case? > > All sounds can be arranged along a "sonority hierarchy" according > to how loud they are relative to other sounds with the same length, > stress and pitch. This hierarchy is usually represented schematically > something like this: > > MORE SONORITY > vowels > glides/semivowels > liquids > nasals > stops > - voiced > - voiceless > LESS SONORITY > > (In fact, voicelessness is always less sonorous than voicedness.)
> [kr] and [ny] are licit onset clusters, but *[pt], *[pn] and > *[nl] are not.
Nor indeed is [kn] any more :=(
> In the case of [wr], there is no distance at > all (although historically <r> was a trill),
Yep, I find it well nigh impossible to pronounce [w] and the modern AngloAmerican [r\] together. As you say, initial /r/ was once trilled, as the Welsh /r/ still is. In the Welsh initial {wr} both sounds are said more or less together: the lips are rounded to produce [w], and the tongue tip is trilled to pronounce [r].
> which is why I'm surprised that you would have it.
Me too. What sort of /r/ do you use? Ray.


Muke Tever <alrivera@...>