Re: rhotic miscellany (was: Advanced English + Babel text)
|From:||John Cowan <jcowan@...>|
|Date:||Friday, November 5, 2004, 12:34|
Ray Brown scripsit:
> Those people who use the uvular trill, do so also when they speak English.
> My guess that you simply did not come across any speakers who used the
> uvular trill.
In Ill Bethisad, if you remember, the uvular trill (and perhaps by now the
uvular fricative) is an eastern North American _Sprachbund_ phenomenon,
affecting English, Brithenig, French, and perhaps the archaic Swedish
of New Sweden. I do not think it has spread to North American Spanish
or to Montreiano, however. I have no clue about the Judeo-Spanish of
Mueva Sefarad (Newfoundland).
> The confusion is quite an old one in the UK. I think if prescriptivists
> had not insisted on _lie_ (intrans.) ~ lay (trans.), _lay_ would have
> become the norm for both long ago. My parents used only _lay_, reserving
> _lie_ exclusively for "telling a falsehood". This seems to be common to
> colloquial dialect over much of Britain.
And North America as well. The distinction is high-maintenance and
low-functional-load and probably would be abandoned if it weren't
such a convenient class shibboleth.
> >I hope "nucular" doesn't catch on and become dominant.
> ...and I hope it doesn't cross the Atlantic :)
Some people, it seems, now have two lexemes: "nucular bomb/reactor"
vs. "nuclear DNA". It will be interesting to see, if it does spread
to the U.K., whether it remains [nukj@l@(r\)] or whether a variant
with [nju-] appears.
> For example, in English "waistcoat" had become pronounced 'weskit',
> but the Victorian bourgeoisie that this too vulgar so the spelling
> pronunciation now prevails.
Huh. I'm surprised. The object itself is rather archaic to me, but
I learned the pronunciation "weskit" (from a dictionary, probably) and
didn't know it had changed back.
I note that in one of the last chapters of the _Lord of the Rings_,
the Gaffer (Sam's father) says "What's become of his weskit [sic]?
I don't hold with wearing ironmongery, whether it wears well or no."
ObScure: English has made three separate compounds of "house" + "wife":
the OE one is now pronounced ['hVsi] and spelled "hussy"; the ME one
is now pronounced ['hVsIf], still spelled "housewife", and means "portable
sewing kit", and the ModE one is of course ['hauswaIf].
> When I was young (chronologically) everyone called a _tortoise_ a
I believe all Americans say this (rhotically or not, as the case may be).
So that's the tune they play on John Cowan
their fascist banjos, is it? email@example.com
--Great-Souled Sam http://www.ccil.org/~cowan