Gothic "au"

Hans-Werner Hatting hwhatting at
Tue Apr 3 14:26:26 UTC 2001

On Thu, 29 Mar 2001 12:58:18 -0600 David L. White wrote:

>I am not too sure this is such a good idea.  The Greek/Hebrew names
>in Wright show that the basic rule is what I said it was (what a
>coincidence!):  long /oo/ comes across as "o", short /o/  as "au".

I don't think we are too much apart on this question. What I said is that
<au> and <o> denote two vowels of different quality, of which <o> probably
denoted a long, open /o:/ and <au> a closed /o/ (long or short) or /ou/.
AFAIK, at that time there was no distinction of vowel length in Greek any
more, and I'm not sure whether there was a quality distinction between the
sounds represented by <o mikron> and <o mega>. Traditionally, Greek short
/o/ was closed, and long /o/ was open, so what was said about the rendering
of the Greek "o" letters (Gothic <au> for <o mikron>, Gothic <o> for <o
mega> could have been triggered by the different qualities of the "o"s,
which would support my analysis - if there still was a quality distinction.

>  I suppose I can dredge up the Damned Thing and
>send to anyone who may be interested.

I am.

Best regards,
Hans-Werner Hatting

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