Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Thu Apr 18 22:25:53 UTC 2002

On Thu, 18 Apr 2002, James A. Landau wrote:

#In a message dated Wed, 17 Apr 2002  6:43:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time, FRITZ JUENGLING <juengling_fritz at SALKEIZ.K12.OR.US> writes:
#> Shall we also speak, in English, of Nihongo, Magya'r, Franc,ais, and
#"Spanish" is a reasonable rendering, considering English phonetics and
#suffices, of "Espan~ol".  Spanish insists on inserting an /eh/ (in
#writing, the letter "e") before an initial consonant cluster beginning
#with /s/, else the language would be called "Span~ol" (compare Italian
#"spagnol").  By the way, Spanish refers to the English language as
#"Ingle/s" (acute accent over the "e"), which does preserve the initial
#/ee/ vowel, although the accent is moved to the second syllable and
#/sh/ becomes /s/.

Are you sure? What about Spanish "France's" 'French', "Holande's"
'Dutch', "Dane's" 'Danish", and probably others? Is this a native (or
naturalized and productive) Spanish suffix, equivalent/akin to English
"-ese"? Ditto French "-ais" (your next para)?

#Similarly, "French" is a reasonable rendering of "Franc,ais" in the
#language which the French anachronistically call "Anglais."  ("-ais"
#is not a mispronunciation of "-ish" but rather the usual French suffix
#for "language or people of...").

OED says: OE frencisc, from franc-a 'Frank' sb.1 + -isc, '-ish'; the
suffix produces umlaut. With respect to the contraction, which began in
early ME., cf. Welsh from OE. wielisc, Scotch from Scottish.

#Magya'r is a more interesting case.
        [snip fascinating stuff]

#Is the USA the only country for which there is no generally-accepted
#and unambiguous term for a citizen? (Not quite, there is the G-word).

What, "GI"?

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguist at Large

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