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585Re: Pronunciation and writing of _r_ in Quenya

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  • Doug Pearson
    Jan 5, 2004
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      Ales posted:

      > **Appendix E is a problematic text. When reading it, we must
      > remember that Tolkien was writing it primarily for English
      > readers that could not be supposed to have deep linguistic
      > knowledge. Also, he must have been limited by space. And
      > he was not or could not be always accurate.

      [snip]

      > Another similar case is when Tolkien says that _h_ has the
      > sound of English _h_ in 'house' or 'behold'. The problem is
      > that the _h_ in 'house' is voiceless but voiced in 'behold'.

      Not in "American" English: both _h_s are voiced and sound
      identical. It seems strange that Tolkien, (who I assume
      would differentiate these sounds) would make this mistake.
      Could he have had an American audience in mind?

      -- Tobold (Doug Pearson)

      [The answer to the final question is almost certainly "no". As
      for Tolkien having made a "mistake" -- it is far more likely
      that Tolkien was simply speaking of the pronunciation of
      _h_ in a general manner for a lay audience. I note that even
      the OED indicates the pronunciation of the _h_ in both 'house'
      and 'behold' with the same symbol 'h', which the "Key to the
      Pronunciation" indicates is pronounced as in 'ho!" -- PHW]
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