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Why is Leicester pronounced Lester?

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue December 30th, 2008, 2:44 am

What about Snoqualmie or Quillayute
I'm thinking anyone reading the Twilight books should be able to correctly pronounce the latter. Although we can test them. Kalaloch, a gorgeous spot on the coast part of the National Park. Never stayed at the lodge, although one of these days....

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Tue December 30th, 2008, 2:49 am

[quote=""Misfit""]I'm thinking anyone reading the Twilight books should be able to correctly pronounce the latter. Although we can test them. Kalaloch, a gorgeous spot on the coast part of the National Park. Never stayed at the lodge, although one of these days....[/quote]

I see, I haven't read her books but I heard they're set in the Pacific Northwest. I just looked up her wiki page, she's younger then me by 4 months. She's a Christmas Eve Baby in 1973.

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annis
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Post by annis » Tue December 30th, 2008, 3:08 am

Originally Posted by EC2
EC doesn't have a clue -LOL
Someone else probably knows. Boswell?
My understanding is that the Provisions of Oxford themselves were in Latin and French, but that Henry III's proclamation of his acceptance of them was issued in Latin, French, and English. The English version of the proclamation is here (pg. 387):
http://books.google.com/books?id=3L1...ford#PPA387,M1
Thanks, EC and Boswellbaxter. It's very interesting to look at the original Middle English version of Henry III's proclamation with the modern English translation beneath.
http://books.google.com/books?id=fUUvU- ... #PPA367,M1

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Post by Volgadon » Tue December 30th, 2008, 11:04 am

[quote=""keny from prague""]the four words in english (five in american english) which begin with a silent "h" are another example. at one point people most likely asperated the "h" at the start of "hour" "honor" "heir" and "honest" (and in american english "herb" which is asperated in the british isles).[/quote]

I thought that was because of Latin and French.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Tue December 30th, 2008, 11:47 am

the great silent "h" debate. lingustis often disargee as to whether the "h" existed in latin pronuncian. was he emperor "HAY-adrian" or emperor "AY-drian". Romance language linguists (French and Italian) will tell you that "of course it was never pronounced, it was a placeholder". That doesnt really make any sense. why would it be included in written texts if it had no use? I fall into the "h" was pronounced at some point category. but there is really little evidence either way. did the "h" become silent before or after 1066? why did english speakers begin to pronounce the "h" in words like "humour" or "host" when the majority of the population was illiterate and wouldnt be influenced by spelling?

the problem of the debate lies in the nature of an asperated "h" itself. its not really a sound just the exhelation of air (ie the vocal chords are not involved) so it makes it very challenging to determine whether of not it was actually there. ask a cockney. you can see that understanding is rarely affected by the asperation or lack of.

in general, we can determine how a population pronounced things based on foriegners from other countries writting down what they heard. for example, a foriegn visitor to England trying to write down an english word or name with no knowledge of english would attempt to write the word down phonetically in their own language. therefore you can tell if the sounds are different from the spelling. however then you enter into the problem of whether the foriegners language is still phonetic or has changed significantly. its really a lot of theory and guesswork. and asperation of an "h" would probably not be written down and might not be noticed. and languages without the "h" sound often add it into normal speech without realising it (eg. modern italian)

I tend to lean into the phonotic camp. what would be the point of writting down a sound if it wasnt there originally? English has the problem of trying to represent 44 distinct phonemes (individual sounds) (or 46 if you count tripthongs) with only 26 letters meaning that letters must represent several differnt sounds.

however we have to take into account other factorslike economics. early English printers were quite happy to add extra letters into words as it made them more money. the capitalization of all nouns in the german language springs from similar considerations. not wanting to leave too much blank space on a page.

ok ill shut up now. all in all we have no real idea whether medival french actually pronounced "h" at all (this is a point of contention with french linguists)
Last edited by Kveto from Prague on Tue December 30th, 2008, 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Tue December 30th, 2008, 1:06 pm

Look at the languages that evolved from Latin, can't think of one that aspirates 'h'. I i,agine that feature developed early enough to influence the Latin used in England.
Another consideration is that linguistic symbols are easily misunderstood, which helps the sounds to evolve.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Tue December 30th, 2008, 1:08 pm

[quote=""Volgadon""]Look at the languages that evolved from Latin, can't think of one that aspirates 'h'. I i,agine that feature developed early enough to influence the Latin used in England.
Another consideration is that linguistic symbols are easily misunderstood, which helps the sounds to evolve.[/quote]


um, Spanish (castiliano) :-)

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Tue December 30th, 2008, 1:14 pm

[quote=""Volgadon""]Look at the languages that evolved from Latin, can't think of one that aspirates 'h'. I i,agine that feature developed early enough to influence the Latin used in England.
Another consideration is that linguistic symbols are easily misunderstood, which helps the sounds to evolve.[/quote]


Romanian, too. :-)

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Tue December 30th, 2008, 1:21 pm

[quote=""Volgadon""]Look at the languages that evolved from Latin, can't think of one that aspirates 'h'. I i,agine that feature developed early enough to influence the Latin used in England.
Another consideration is that linguistic symbols are easily misunderstood, which helps the sounds to evolve.[/quote]

and significantly Swiss Romanch which is the closest thing to old latin in current existance. They aspirate their "h"s

good point. the misunderstanding of symbols is significant. Im guessing you speak russian so you know how the greek "P" became "R" in western languages :-)

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Tue December 30th, 2008, 4:12 pm

I don't know if this relates to placenames, but some English spellings have seemingly superfluous letters not because those letters were ever pronounced but because some clever so-and-sos decided they ought to be included in the spelling to reflect the words' etymology.

For example, the words "debt" and "doubt". The "b" was never, ever pronounced in English. The words were borrowed from French "dette" and "doute", which had already lost the "b" in the process. But, because those French words originally came from Latin words "debitum" and "dubitare", the "b" was added back into the English spellings to reflect their ultimate Latin origination.

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