THEORY: Th- words (was: RE: THEORY: Question: Bound Morphemes)
|Date:||Saturday, July 3, 1999, 1:57|
Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> wrote:
> Yes, from _se_, the masculine singular nominative word for "that". The
> "th" comes from analogy with the other forms, which had a thorn, such a=s
> _thone_, accusative singular (plural?) masculine. "That" comes from th=e
> nominative singular *neuter*, incidentally, =FE=E6t (thaet).
This reminded me of something I saw in a book once about
the th- pronouns/determiners in English. It mentioned the
difference between "formal" and "content" words (which
were discussed some time ago, with other names). It said
that in most English words, initial <th-> was pronounced
/T/, but in formal words (such as the determiners, the
article, etc. and some others) it was /D/: that, these,=20
those, this, these, there, then, they... (except "through").
And most of these, I guess, began with a thorn in OE.
Why is it that they're pronounced with /D/? The author I
read used this as a kind of evidence favoring the idea that
the difference between formal and content words can be
reflected by specific phonological features. What do y'all