Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 11 16:27:46 UTC 2010

I've heard the edh symbol as used for OE called the "then," but I
don't see that use of the word in the OED.


On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM, Amy West <medievalist at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Thorn
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> While, yes, they were used interchangeably in the MSs, standardized
> OE (and ON), which is an artificial representation of the language
> created in order to make grammars and dictionaries usable, adheres to
> the voiced/voiceless distinction between thorn and eth/edh.
> ---Amy West
>>Date:    Wed, 10 Feb 2010 15:02:31 -0600
>>From:    "Gordon, Matthew J." <GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU>
>>Subject: Re: Thorn
>>I hope noone teaches this today. As I understand it, the Old English
>>letters (thorn and eth) were used interchangeably or according to
>>the preferences of the scribe. Since there was no phonemic
>>difference between voiced and voiceless fricatives in OE, it would
>>be very strange for them to have an orthographic distinction between
>>these sounds. Of course the eth functions today as the phonetic
>>symbol (in IPA) for the voiced interdental fricative.
>>- Matt Gordon
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