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Re: Eth vs Thorn

From:Matthew Butt <m.butt@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 10, 2002, 14:33
If I remember rightly Icelandic only uses thorn at the beginning of a
morpheme and eth everywhere else, so to some extent they're allophonic (
particularly as primary accent always falls on the first syllable of a
morpheme, so thorn will always be followed by primary accent and eth
never ).

The do however look better that way . . .


-----Original Message-----
From: Constructed Languages List [mailto:CONLANG@LISTSERV.BROWN.EDU] On
Behalf Of Barbara Barrett
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: Eth vs Thorn

Abrigon Abridged;
> > Opps, I did get it backwards. I did not make sense in the back of my > mind. So Eth is more like Edh, and Thord? >
Barbara Babbles. In the histories of individual graphemes I have to hand say that in medaevil times they were interchangable and there was no consistant use, even by single writers. It seems that in anglo saxon MSS anyway, that which was chosen depended not upon sound value but how it looked with the other letters of the word - ie most pleasing to the eye in that setting won! Modern Icelandic diferentiates as you describe, and so do *modern* transcriptions of Anglos saxon. The IPA however ditched the Thorn in favour of the greek theta. My last script used an accent to indicate if a phoneme was voiced or not, cutting down the number of letters needed. Eg; (t) was /t/ but (t)+acute was /d/. I needed to do that because there were initial and final forms of each grapheme. Also each grapheme had its vocalisation/name which with accents indicated if the "letter" was to be used as a syllable, which cut down the number of letters needed to write words and increased the number of "one letter words"(common ones of the "The"and"or"he"she"it"is"no"yes" etc type) so a word like "nessescity" was more like nSS+E ("+" = the "t" final syalabic "it"). The use of accents to indicate voiced and syllabic is I believe original to my script. A fascinating (for me) and successfull experiemnt in approacing the problem from a different perspective. Oh, I also stole an idea from egyptian hieroglyphs - all plurals were indicated by placing three dots after the singular. It didn't mater how the plural could be spelt phonetically, the reader knew this to be the plural and said it accoringly. Barbara