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Pesky diphthongs (was: OT coins and currency)

From:R A Brown <ray@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 10, 2006, 10:41
Andreas Johansson wrote:
> Quoting "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...>: > > >>On 1/9/06, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...> wrote: >> >>>Back in the day, some Swedes used an English-inspired [j8\:ru], but that >>>pronunciation, thankfully, seems to have died out. >> >>Yeah, thank goodness. The last thing you want is to sound like those >>ignorant Anglophones. :) > > > Indeed. :p > > Seriously, apart from the fact I personally find that pronunciation ugly, it's > totally disconnected from how we pronounce related words like _Europa_, > _eurocentrisk_, etc.
And also, being serious, we anglophones are not in fact being ignorant in pronouncing |eu| as /ju/ [ju:]. It is historically a development of earlier /ew/ just as modern Greek /ev/ ~ /ef/ is also a historic development of earlier /ew/. When the teaching of Greek was revived in England, the Byzantine (essentially same as the modern) Greek pronunciation was used. But many scholars in Europe realized that ancient Greek must have been pronounced differently and there was a move to reform the pronunciation of ancient Greek. This culminated in 1528 with Erasmus's "De recta Latini Graecique sermonis pronuntiatate." The Cambridge scholars John Cheke and Thomas Smith propagated the Erasmian pronunciation during the Tudor period. It was recommended that Greek EY be pronounced as 'ew' in 'few', which at that time was still /ew/. A pronunciation similar to this is still used in "Welsh English" where, for example, one hears 'few' [fIw], 'screw' [skIw] etc. But elsewhere in the anglophone world the falling diphthong changed to a rising one /ew/ --> /ju/ (and in certain environments - which are not the same in all English variants - the [j] onset may disappear). The shift of a falling diphthong to a rising one is not unknown in other languages. One obvious example is French |oi| which was originally [Oj] but had shifted to [wE] by the end of the 13th century and is now [wa], except when it is nasalized when it is still [wE~]. -- Ray ================================== ================================== MAKE POVERTY HISTORY