Pronunciation of "sk"
New to the list, and I've only recently begun working on David Salo's
Gothic lessons online. Also working with William H. Bennett's An
Introduction to the Gothic Language. I've looked in various sources
but can't find an answer to my question:
In Gothic, is "sk" ever pronounced as in English /sh/? I know the
Gothic sk is related to German sch and OE sc (Got. fisks, German
Fisch, Mod. English fish; Got. skips, OE scip, Mod. Eng. ship). I
realize there are also instances where Got. sk would be pronounced as
in OE ascian. Is there a definitive answer on the pronunciation of sk?
- Hello Don,
Can't say for sure, but I haven't heard of any evidence (e.g. in the
spelling of Gothic personal names by Greek writers) to suggest that
Gothic <sk> had a "sh" pronunciation, e.g. before front vowels. I
think that at the time of the Gothic bible translation in the 4th
century, this combination had yet to acquire its modern pronunciation
in English and German. In the Latin epigram De Conviviis Barbaris,
the Gothic or Vandal word 'skapjam' begins with the Roman letters
<sc>, so as far as I know, no indication of palatisation in all
initial positions as later happened in English and German.