"ye": "the" vs. "thee"?

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Thu Oct 2 14:31:10 UTC 2008

From:    "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>


> "You will find excellent information on letter
> forms, including one of my pet peeves, the
> inappropriate substitution of the letter y for
> the ancient letter (known as ‘thorn’). The thorn
> represented a ‘th’ sound, so when you see words
> like “yat” or “ye,” you should transcribe them as “that” or “the.” "

> So I have authority for what I plan to do -- at least from the NEHGS!  :-)

As with nearly any transcription, of course, it depends on the purpose
of the transcription. For example, if i'm teaching a course where i need
my students to deal with textual conventions, the replacement of <y>
with <th> and <{yogh}> with <g> are problematic. If i'm just trying to
get them to read the texts, those replacements aren't as big a deal.

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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