RE: Transcriptions of "Unicode"

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 11:03:31 EST

{Notice: way off-topic}

Mark Davis wrote:
> There was a period well after the Norman invasion where a
> large number of words came into English directly from
> Latin, which was still in widespread use among scholars.

Right. And it also was the language of priests, on both sides of the

> [ju:] isn't an approximation to the French [y]. There was a
> phase in the development of English called the Great Vowel
> Shift, where certain long vowels shifted back: a => [e:],
> e => [i:], i => [ai], o => [u:] (as in fool, move), u => [ju:].
> I don't remember when this was -- it's been a long time -- but
> I seem to recall that it was a bit before Shakespeare. The
> pronunciation of u in French shifted at some point from [u]
> to [y]; I have no idea when this change happened, or if it
> would have affected the Latin spoken by the English at the time.
> Perhaps someone else knows.

No, sorry. Middle English [u:] normally became modern [au] -- e.g.: "hus"
[hu:s] -> "house" [hauz].

I insist that [ju:] was the English rendering of the alien French phoneme
[y]. The fact that it did not become [jau] simply testifies that most French
words (re-)entered English *after* the GVS was concluded.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:18 EDT