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Re: French

From:Mike Ellis <nihilsum@...>
Date:Sunday, January 19, 2003, 1:39
Tristan <kesuari@...>:

>On the subject of French and lieutenant, where'd the /f/ come from in >the Commonwealth pronunciation of it?
Whoa. Exactly this day, the 18th, seven months ago, I asked the same damn thing. I got this answer: QUOTE Ray Brown: On Tuesday, June 18, 2002, at 12:27 , Clint Jackson Baker wrote: >Here's a theory--|u| and |v| come from the same Latin >source. |v| is pronounced /f/ in German--maybe it's >all connected. Not just a theory either. The letters {u} and {v} were _not_ distinguished until the Italian renaissance. The Roman letter was {V}; {u} was developed as the lower case form during the Middle Ages. But to return to the question. The word, of course, is old French and is yet another thing bequeathed to us by the Normans (lieu tenant = holding a position). _lieu_ would have reached us as [lj2w] which we Saxons would soon have unrounded to [l(j)ew]. It seems there was a different dialect treatment of -eft- ~ -ewt- , cf. "a newt" and "an eft", both from Old English "an efeta". Those who said /eft/ while their neighbors said /ewt]/ obviously did the same with their neighbors' /lewtenant/, saying /leftenant/ instead - and the rest, as they say, is history. Ray. UNQUOTE M