Friday, March 3, 2017

One, find, could, UK place names

These three words don't follow usual phonics rules.

I believe in learning a language with a spelling not fully phonetic, it is important to learn both the phonics rules and the exceptions, with their reasons.

In Swedish, there are several ways of spelling the first sound of English year.

Those following phonics rules are j before dark vowels and outside certain combinations of consonants (sj, tj, kj, stj give two other sounds) and g before the bright vowels. Bright being front, rounded or unrounded, dark being either back or mid. One word is spelled with y as in English : yacht is spelled yacht because it is an English word.

Now, let's get about business why these three words do not follow phonics rules.

  • "one"

    One used to be pronounced 400 years back as alone minus all, atone minus at. These two words are actually compounds with -one, from the time of its older pronunciation.

    So counting went : AUne, TWAU, THree ...

    It was confused into:

    WAUne, TAU, THree.

    So, one got its w- sound from two, and two lost its -w- sound to one.

  • "find"

    It follows normal phonics rules if you spell it "finde".

    Only, a final -e in a verb used to be a verb ending, no longer pronounced.

    When "clippe" was simplified to "clip", no conflict with phonics, "finde" was simplified to "find", despite a conflict with phonics.

  • "could"

    Is, like "would" and "should" an auxiliary verb.

    There are these three of them which are relevant to this discussion.

    For regular pasts of can, will, shall, one could (!) expect something like **canned, **willed, **shalled**. The actual pronunciation in English was however at a certain time cood, wood, shood - and at the time, ou was the best spelling for oo (which back then was pronounced AU, see above). So, a perfectly adequate and phonic spelling was coud, woud, shoud. Or perhaps coude, woude, shoude (see above for clippe). Either way, the scribes and printers wanted to show their learning, at least with woud and shoud, and inserted a silent l in it. Unfortunately, by laziness, it was this silent l, rather than a silent n, which was inserted in "could" too.

    Or, one could (!) also say that the l was pronounced in a period of English (my grasp of Middle English is at best VERY rusty, it's decades since I read Canterbury Tales), one had coude, woulde, shoulde, THEN the l went silent (perhaps in analogy with coude) and then the now silent l was at last inserted in coude too.

And here is from quora:

Could someone tell why a lot of places in the UK seem to have names made with more than one word?

C on Q
Sussex - Essex

Manchester - Winchester - Chichester

Newton - Seaton

I'm not expecting definitions, but reason behind it

Answer requested by 1 person, Anonymous

Thanks in advance

Hans-Georg Lundahl
studied at Lund University
Written just now
The first line is actually originally short for the populations there : Suth Sexons, Este Sexons (a k a South Saxons and East Saxons).

In this case, the second part is the original name of a population, the invading Saxons, and the first refers to their geographical distribution when settling after the Conquest.

The other two lines have a second element which is a type of place.

Anything ending in -chester comes from “castra” which means the camp of a Roman legion. Castra is Latin, so these names existed before the Saxon and English conquest - in a somewhat different form, closer to Classical.

Anything ending in -ton comes from a word which when independent means town - an enclosure larger than a single farm and in which you can do barter trade or even monetary trade. All of these are, as names, from after the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Any place which was already inhabited before those times and which has such a name has therefore been renamed.

How about the reason for been made into one word instead of kept separated?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Because the usual English way of compounds back then was full fusion into one word.

:) Thank you sir

Hans-Georg Lundahl
No problem!

It was a very welcome diversion, after I had been angered by another quoran!

What NOT to ask in Shakespear studies (with some gratitude to CSL)

(I was so upset by previous quoran question I actually typed Ckassical instead of Classical!)

Thank God! After that idiotic question on what influenced Shakespear to write, I like some honest philology!/HGL

* Grammarly underlined "are actually compounds" as an "incorrect verb form" ... no, the only verb is "are" which is correctly plural after subject "these two words". ** The corresponding verbs in German are kann ~ konnte, will ~ wollte, soll ~ sollte with audible n and l as well as past endings, and in Swedish are kan ~ kunde, vill ~ ville, skall ~ skulle, with audible n and l, but past ending d disappeared after l.

No comments: