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
The do however look better that way . . .
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
> 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?
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.