Aaron E. Drews
aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Wed Aug 9 13:36:22 UTC 2000
Rudolph C Troike wrote:
> Alphabetic representations of
> words may or may not have much historical connection with actual
> pronunciations (such as the <l> in <could>, which has never been
The <l> was never pronounced? I thought (Middle) English had a phonemic
(ish) alphabet. I know /l/ has a strong tendency to become a vowel (as
in my .signature: 'fa' in Scots is 'fall' (*not* autumn) in English).
Was the <l> introduced through spelling reformers? Was it pronounced
before the Normans corssed the Channel? I'm genuinely curious as to how
the the <l> got into the past tense of our modals, particularly
<could>. I also will admit complete ignorance as to the history of the
phonology of the modals or high, back vowels followed by <l>.
Apologies to the non-linguists.
> Letters don't have sounds: people do.
Is this linguists' response to the Second Amendment? :-)
Aaron E. Drews The University of Edinburgh
aaron at ling.ed.ac.uk Departments of English Language and
http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~aaron Theoretical & Applied Linguistics
Bide lang an fa fair \\ //
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