Why is a swallow called a swallow?
k_salmon at ipinc.net
Wed Sep 12 04:02:37 UTC 2007
Given that they hear spanish most frequently, not English...
Golondrina/tragar... sound nothing alike.
On Sep 11, 2007, at 4:09 PM, Frye, David wrote:
> The [gh] spellings are my own fault. The OED uses the Old English
> letter "yogh" (look it up, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogh, if
> you want to see what it looks like), which I have no way of
> representing by email. My understanding is that yogh originally
> represented a voiced velar fricative. I have only heard the sound
> in real life when I was in Turkey and heard how "yoghurt" is really
> supposed to be pronounced; I've also heard it via radio in
> interviews with people from Gaza (or more properly, Ghazza).
> Sorry about the extended off-topic etymologies. I guess my larger
> point is that sometimes seemingly logical similarities between
> words are just coincidences, though sometimes these coincidences
> can be reinforced by folk etymologies (or even by puns, I suppose).
> From: ANTHONY APPLEYARD [mailto:a.appleyard at btinternet.com]
> Sent: Tue 9/11/2007 6:13 PM
> To: Frye, David; nahuatl at lists.famsi.org
> Subject: RE: [Nahuat-l] Why is a swallow called a swallow?
> The original Common Germanic forms were presumably [swalw-] for the
> bird, and [swelg-] for the verb; the rest is Anglo-Saxon vowel-
> and umlauting and the [gh] sound gradually changing to [w], and
> suchlike. The [gh] spellings above are likely someone's transcription
> of the Anglo-Saxon way of writing lowercase g, which in Common
> was pronounced as a fricative [gh].
> About Nahuatl [cui:cui:tzcatl] for "swallow" (the bird): there is also
> [cui_ca] = "to sing", and swallows sing sometimes.
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