Matrushka; Hryvna

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Fri Jul 19 15:35:15 UTC 2002

For a while during college I took Polish lessons privately from a woman from Lodz.  She pronounced it [wudzh] as I perceived it.  I suspect the final affricate may actually be devoiced but lenis, so that I interpreted it as still voiced.  I remember the vowel as close rather than open (under the influence of the preceding [w-]?).  I didn't hear any difference in the
pronunciation of the name by our guide on a tour in Poland two years ago.

I HEARD somewhere that while the Poles pronounce it [wudzh], its Yiddish-speaking inhabitants pronounced it [l)dz} (with )=open o), though
I've never actually heard a Yiddish speaker mention the city.  My Polish teacher had lived in the Lodz ghetto and done forced labor in a factory there during the war, but I don't know whether she was actually Jewish, or whether she spoke Yiddish.

Peter Mc.

--On Friday, July 19, 2002 10:54 AM -0400 Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:

> At 10:32 AM -0400 7/19/02, Alice Faber wrote:
>> Laurence Horn said:
>>> I thought it [pronunciation of Lodz] was /wUdzh/, with the wowel,
>>> er, vowel of "look" and a
>>> voiced final affricate.  But then they [my grandparents]'d have
>>> spoken Yiddish and
>>> pronounced it god knows how.
>> Well, most varieties of Yiddish lost final devoicing lo these many
>> years. And therein hangs a tale, actually, many tales. (It was
>> subsequently reacquired in some varieties of Polish Yiddish.)
>> Alice
> Well, yes, but my point was that virtually none of the Polish city
> names sounded anything like that in Yiddish.  The Yiddish names
> tended to be much closer to the German names for the relevant cities,
> and perhaps (does anyone here know?) the German/Yiddish take on Lwów
> bears as much relation to either [wUdzh] or [wutsh] as Lwów [lvuf]
> does to Lemberg.  Or maybe not--it could have just been something
> like [lOdz], the way "Lodz" would come out in German minus final
> devoicink, with O = open o.  These are, however, stabs in the dark.
> larry

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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