[Ads-l] "Downsight"

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 31 06:22:57 UTC 2014

​HS:  <<Except that Notker's seems to have been a phonological alternation,
not morphophonemic.>>​
WB:  Well, it's been forty years ago, but I think Notker impressed me as
being marvelously 'superficial' (i.e. obsessive about phonetic detail), not
orthographically abstract as in the more phonemic NHG spelling; which is of
course his value to historical description. The transcribing of <downside>
as <downsight> indicates the writer was attuning hand to ear (in his/her
ignorance of etymology, in this case). Notker, on the other hand, was aware
of morphophonemic alternation, but hadn't taken phonology 101, either.

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

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