Re: CHAT: weird names
|From:||R G Roberts <rgroberts@...>|
|Date:||Monday, August 9, 1999, 22:26|
Thank you, Ed Heil, for a very succint and very enlightening
----- Original Message -----
From: Ed Heil <edheil@...>
To: Multiple recipients of list CONLANG <CONLANG@...>
Sent: 09 August 1999 22:45
Subject: Re: chat: weird names
| R G Roberts wrote:
| > Re your correspondence about c / k / q?? you may or may not be
| to know that the earliest printers setting up the type for the Welsh
| (and of course the Bible was always the first book to be printed
| the world) found that they didn't have enough 'k' types (because 'k'
| relatively rare) so they used 'c' throughout even though 'k' should
| the correct letter! Hence today 'c' is always hard and 'k' does not
| the alphabet!
| > By the way, how does 'q' fit into all this?
| In the Semitic languages, "Q" (which is like "k" but pronounced
| farther back in the throat) was a different phoneme from "K", and so
| when the Greeks adopted the Semitic alphabet, they kept the two
| (Kappa and Qoppa). Eventually it stopped being used, since it was
| a separate phoneme (it only appeared before O and U, I believe).
| However, by that time, it had been adopted by the Romans in their
| alphabet. Unlike the Greeks, they had preserved the Indo-European
| "labio-velar" stop "k-superscript w", which is a K pronounced with
| rounded lips -- that is, a K and W pronounced simultaneously (as
| oppoed to the current English pronunciation of "qu" where they are
| pronounced sequentially). They used the Qoppa plus a U to represent
| this sound, and that is where we get our Q.
| Ed Heil email@example.com
| 1999 World Champion
| On the Edge Collectible Card Game