- How do you pronounce 'bagms'? I can think of 4 possible ways, only
one of which involves the straightforward pronounciation of every
letter. What's confusing me are the other forms for this word in
English/German/Dutch such as boom/beam/baum/boim where the -g- has
either been lost, rounded or glided (which account for the other 3
possible ways I am thinking of). Also, I am being influenced by
Icelandic words such as 'safn', pronounced basically as /sap/ in the
nom. and 'safns' = /saps/ in the gen., with the -n- coming out only
prevocalically (or is it syllable initially?) 'safnið' = /sapnið/.
So the Gothic word, I imagine, is either bagms/baums/bams or possibly
> How do you pronounce 'bagms'? I can think of 4 possible ways, onlyThis remarkable concatenation of consonants arises because of the
>one of which involves the straightforward pronounciation of every
>letter. What's confusing me are the other forms for this word in
>English/German/Dutch such as boom/beam/baum/boim where the -g- has
>either been lost, rounded or glided (which account for the other 3
>possible ways I am thinking of).
collapse of the -az (or -as) nominative singular ending to just -s; it had
been *bagmaz, which divides nicely as two syllables bag-maz. So if worst
came to worst, and you couldn't pronounce it any other way, you could do
worse than inserting a schwa before the s and saying "bagm's". Or you
could treat the m as a syllabic nasal (as in the words "prism", "prisms").
But with a little practice, it is not so hard to pronounce it as one
syllable. The g is, after all, not a stop but a fricative "gh" sound, not
really that different from a Parisian "r"; so if you can say "barms",
giving the "r" a velar pronunciation, you're probably not that far from
We can't be quite sure what that pronunciation is, though; it's quite
likely that a number of pronunciation adjustments in the nom. or acc.
singulars were lost, if Ulfila adjusted the spelling to agree with other
cases of the noun: with bagmis, bagmos, bagmans, bagma, bagme, bagmam
(which present no pronunciation problems) Ulfila would almost have to write
bagms, bagm even if he pronounced them slightly differently!
The Dutch, German, and English words you give point to a common change
*bagm > *baum (and then au > ea in Old English, au > oo in Dutch); I don't
think there's any evidence for such a change in Gothic, but if you want to
adopt a "West Germanic" accent and pronounce "bagms" as "baums", who can
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