15377RE: [S-R] Re: Varsa vs. Barsa - Long S
- Jul 3, 2006Hello Marilyn,
A brief and general explanation that may work, though: certain consonants frequently change place with each other through ages or when a language develops from another. Some typical examples:
b <--> v - just look at ther mess in Spanish where (mostly in pronounciation, very rarely in spelling) b substituted the initial (Latin) v.
f <--> p - it is not by chance that even English spell "f" as "ph" so many times. It is a graphical reminder of this phenomenon... fenomenon? Or just consider Tagalog (Filipino) where Spanish (and English) "f"s have been substituted with p (pilipino - for filipino, pranses - for francés, and so on...
r <--> l - just as in branco (Portuguese) - blanco (Spanish), praça (pt) - plaza (es), and so on...
Don't think that these changes occur only in the languages I mentioned. Don't think that proper names are not subject to these changes. These (and much more) phonetical changes occur on a universal base and people who speak more languages than I do (or happen to speak other languages) will be able to confirm it and they will surely add several other examples too. So don't bother too much trying to understand the changes in the spelling of your name - just keep a good record of them. I'm not sure I answered YOUR question... however I hope you'll be able to use this general answer too.
Have a nice day ahead.
Marilyn Hertenstein <mjhertenstein@...> escribió:
Most interesting about the long and short "s", thanks to your friend Cecil
for the explanation.
I'm still concerned about the exchange of the letter B for V. Were they
Perhaps that would explain why it was written that way on the manifest,
perhaps the clerk
heard a B. But then again, I assume passengers must have had papers for
them to copy from, and
so that brings up another question that will show off my ignorance, does a
Slovak, Hungarian or Cyrillic
letter representing V look anything like a B? (Andrej came from Teplicska,
near Spisska Nova Ves, now Slovakia)
From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of amiak27
Sent: Sunday, July 02, 2006 11:43 PM
Subject: [S-R] Re: Varsa vs. Barsa - Long S
--- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@ <mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS%40yahoogroups.com>
yahoogroups.com, "Marilyn Hertenstein"
>Some family members > were listed as Varssa, or Varsfa with the
> I would like the opinions of my fellow list members on this one.
second "s" an uncrossed f, but > the"V" was always legible.
I suspect the Varssa and Varsfa were spelling conventions of the time
using what is called the "long s" that looks like aa lower case 'f'.
I know it was in use in the USA and with European languages using
either the Cyrillic or the Roman/Latin script, I suspect the long s
was common in European languages that used the Latin script as well.
I haven't found my "Written Languages" book and only did a part of the
homework on teh internet, but check out
Why was it popular in the 18th century to occasionally substitute the
letter f (or a reasonable facsimile) for s? What were the rules of
grammar concerning this usage? Was is Noah Webster who finally put an
end to this abfurd practice? --Nina G., Chicago
At last, a chance to show off my encyclopedic knowledge of
paleography, the study of ancient writing. You have no idea how seldom
this topic comes up in casual conversation.
What you take to be an f is actually the so-called long s, also known
as the medial s, to be differentiated from the terminal or short or
round s, which we regard today as the conventional form. Throughout
its history, the long s has always looked a lot like the lowercase f,
to the extent of having a little nubbin vaguely reminiscent of a
crossbar appended to its middle sometimes. But the two letters are not
As one might deduce from the nomenclature, the long/medial s was
supposed to be used in the middle of a word, while the terminal s was
used to finish one off. (In practice this rule was somewhat
haphazardly adhered to.) The two versions were phonetically equivalent
and derived from the same Roman letterform. Why folks figured they
needed two varieties when they could have scraped by with one is
beyond me, but we might note that having terminal and middle
letterforms is not inherently any nuttier than having every sentence
start with a capital letter, a comparatively recent invention.
The use of two types of s dates back at least to the Middle Ages. The
long s became especially popular during the Italian Renaissance, with
the development of the various "humanistic" scripts that gave rise to
our present English script. You'll notice that the long f, though not
the long s, persists in many serif fonts in the type style we now call
italic, although the long s was used in so-called roman (i.e., non-
slanty) fonts as well.
The Italians often used the long s even when they should have used a
short one because letters with long expressive strokes in them made
for an artier-looking manuscript. Unfortunately, they also made for a
manuscript that was near impossible to read, and it's probably for
that reason as much as any that the use of the long s finally died out
in the 19th century. The form survived in the formal German script
Fraktur until Fraktur itself bit the dust after World War II. (The
script had come to be associated with German militarism.) Can't say
I'm sad to see it go. Spelling is enough of a crapshoot these days as
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
LLama Gratis a cualquier PC del Mundo.
Llamadas a fijos y móviles desde 1 céntimo por minuto.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- << Previous post in topic