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1711Re: quick question on 1 norse word

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  • icelandstone
    Feb 3, 2002
      OK, OK.

      This is getting sort of strained.

      'ár' as pronounced in Iceland today is /aur/. These are the standard
      IPA symbols and should be taken as such, except that the /r/ is
      devoiced. The orthographical convention 'á' is a true diphthong and
      should be regarded as such. The orthographical convention 'é' is NOT
      a diphthong but rather a modern way of writing the sounds /jE/
      (with /j/ being the palatal approximate (or 'framgómmælt hliðarhljóð'
      in Icelandic phonological terminology) and /E/ being the open-mid
      front lax vowel). This sound was written in Icelandic as 'je' for
      many years up until the spelling reforms of the early part of this
      century, cf. 'jeg er hjer' in older texts for modern 'ég er
      hér'. 'Ár' has not been pronounced with the /j/ glide since before
      Scandinavian broke off from Common Germanic, as can be seen in
      Danish/Norwegian 'år'. /jE/ as in the first person singular
      pronoun 'ég' only began to be pronounced with the glide a few
      centuries ago, cf. 'ek' in the fornkvæði or runic 'ek hlewegastiR'.

      The use of orthographic 'y' should never be used to describe the /j/
      glide in languages other than English. This is one of only a handful
      of languages using it for this purpose (French and Spanish being the
      others) and provides only confusion for the people seeing it. It
      cannot possibly be difficult for people to learn to use /j/ for this
      purpose. IPA exists for a reason, and is relatively simple to use,
      especially in broad transcriptions (those using / / and not [ ]).

      Best,

      Chad




      --- In norse_course@y..., "Lazarus" <lazarus@f...> wrote:
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Selvarv Stigard" <selvarv@r...>
      >
      > > I think Lazarus is trying to explain to other English-speakers,
      that
      > > Á sounds like "YA" and É sounds like "YE", which in standard
      American
      > > English would be considered to be a consonant and a vowel, not a
      > > diphthong. However, to my understanding, this is not quite
      right - É
      > > does sound like "YE" to us, but Á sounds more like "AW" - "ár"
      > > doesn't sound how "yar" would be said in English, but how "awr"
      would
      > > be said.
      > >
      > > -Selv
      >
      > Thank you. Yes, this is what I was saying.
      >
      > But to my Mid-Western accent, 'AW' doesn't sound anything like 'Á'
      and my
      > trying to pronounce it so would be incorrect.
      >
      > To illustrate:
      >
      > The Icelandic word "ár" to me sounds exactly like the Mid-Western
      word
      > "hour" with slightly rounded lips.
      >
      > When I listen to 'Á', I equate it with the vowel sounded
      in 'found', 'ouch',
      > 'plow' and 'kow-tow'.
      > The vowel sounded in 'paw', 'claw', 'saw' and 'pawn' does not sound
      to me
      > that way I've heard "ár" spoken. But then, I might have been
      hearing a
      > colloquialism that doesn't apply.
      >
      > I was not saying Old Norse "ár" sounded like "yar" but like
      slightly like
      > "yowr" (see above) though I think I can imagine it like "yawr" as
      sort of
      > like "yawn" or "y'all".
      >
      > -Lazarus
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