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THEORY: Th- words (was: RE: THEORY: Question: Bound Morphemes)

From:FFlores <fflores@...>
Date:Saturday, July 3, 1999, 1:57
Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...> wrote:
>=20 > 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=
> _thone_, accusative singular (plural?) masculine. "That" comes from th=
> 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 think? --Pablo Flores