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Thread: Omrop Fryslân (Fryslân Yn Frysk)

  1. #11
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    Sybren,

    That 'hard', fricative /g/ in the middle of words is actually inherited from Proto-Germanic. All the old Germanic languages, Old Norse and Old English included, once had it. An Anglo-Saxon, for example, would have pronounced nćht 'night' the same way a modern Dutchman pronounces nacht 'night' (except for the vowel of course).

    And according to Ringe there's a good chance that in Proto-Germanic the /g/ was also pronounced that way when at the front of a word. So that typical Dutch /g/ that everybody loves () might be the real Germanic deal.

    Something to think about.

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    Question ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anlef View Post
    That 'hard', fricative /g/ in the middle of words is actually inherited from Proto-Germanic. All the old Germanic languages, Old Norse and Old English included, once had it. An Anglo-Saxon, for example, would have pronounced nćht 'night' the same way a modern Dutchman pronounces nacht 'night' (except for the vowel of course).
    Where did you get all of this from? ...references please if you can cite them. I want to find out whomever maintains all of this so that I can go argue with them, lol.

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    From A Guide to Old English (pp. 15-6):

    At the beginning of a word (‘initially’) before a vowel, h is pronounced as in MnE ‘hound’. Otherwise it is like German ch in ich [ç] or ach [x], according to the front or back quality of the neighbouring vowel. It can be pronounced like ch in Scots loch.
    &
    After or between back vowels, g is pronounced as [ɣ], like the g sometimes heard in dialectal German sagen.
    Both the [x] (voiceless velar fricative) and the [ɣ] (voiced velar fricative) are the guttural sounds typical to the standard Dutch of the Netherlands – as opposed to that of Flanders. Etymologically and phonologically speaking these two consonants are closely related. In fact, they are almost indistinguishable to most people.

    Try to spot the difference for yourself:

    gaan [ɣaːn] 'to go'
    acht [ɑxt] 'eight'

    But as you can see by the quotes above, these guttural sounds were typical to Old English as well. Although Modern Dutch (of the Netherlands) has them in higher frequency.

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    Thumbs Up Thanks!

    Thanks a lot for that resource, I've added it to my bookmarks for sure.

    Generally, I'm a skeptic when it comes to attempts to 'resurrect' speech which hasn't been spoken for century upon century, esp. super old speech like Ang.-Sax., et al. So, I take such attempts with a grain of salt. I'm more lenient when it comes to languages like Latin (as but one example), which have at least been passed down by mouth from generation to generation and priest by priest (i. e., by scholars) due to liturgical use, etc. Very little if any spoken change occurs in all that, I suppose. But you know, there was no group of persons in England, for example, who kept A.-S. running/going/speaking from the days of that tongue until now...unlike Eng. churchmen did with Latin for church use. 500 years from now (if the human species is still around, that is) folks then will know how we speak today, because they'll presumably have audio recordings of how we sound in our era. I'd never discourage someone from learning a language like A.-S. or others, and there's at least 1 school in England that does it...not sure where it is, though...but I would say to anyone doing it that that what they're speaking is to one degree or % or another: speculation, albeit learned/scholarly speculation.

    ...*cheers* & happy Saturday, Anlef.

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