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Re: More on "silent letters"

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  • hrimalf
    OK, I understand that the -r is meant to be pronounced. My next question is; how do I do that? Is it rolled? Is it like the english -er (as in speaker, softer,
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 17, 2002
      OK, I understand that the -r is meant to be pronounced. My next
      question is; how do I do that? Is it rolled? Is it like the english
      -er (as in speaker, softer, etc)? Is it like a vacuum cleaner type
      noise (sorry can't describe this more technically!) with teeth shut
      and lips open? Do we know?

      Hrimalf

      PS you write 'Hrimalfr' - this is a minor point but I am actually
      female so presumably it is without the -r? How do you write female
      elf? I don't really want to change my nickname as I've had it for
      years :-(

      --- In norse_course@y..., Haukur Thorgeirsson <haukurth@h...> wrote:
      > I searched a bit for "silent r's" in Old Norse
      > and quickly found many sources (all of them SCA,
      > I think) telling tales of silent and "nearly silent"
      > (whatever that means) r's. As I stated before this
      > is incorrect. :-)
      >
      > Kveðja,
      > Haukr
    • Lazarus
      I d like to know this too. My Icelandic language CDs and tapes pronounce it one way, but when I went to iceland it was quite different (damn colloquialisms).
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 17, 2002
        I'd like to know this too.

        My Icelandic language CDs and tapes pronounce it one way, but when I went to
        iceland it was quite different (damn colloquialisms).

        On tape it sounds like 'rzh' but really short and always as if it were a
        syllable all to itself.

        In person it sounded either like a half vowelized 'r' or a '-ch'
        so 'Galdur' sounded either like 'Garder' or 'Gulch'

        Which way is considered more proper?
        And which way will keep you from getting laughed at?

        -Laz

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "hrimalf" <hrimalf@...>
        To: <norse_course@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2002 4:49 PM
        Subject: [norse_course] Re: More on "silent letters"


        > OK, I understand that the -r is meant to be pronounced. My next
        > question is; how do I do that? Is it rolled? Is it like the english
        > -er (as in speaker, softer, etc)? Is it like a vacuum cleaner type
        > noise (sorry can't describe this more technically!) with teeth shut
        > and lips open? Do we know?
        >
        > Hrimalf
        >
        > PS you write 'Hrimalfr' - this is a minor point but I am actually
        > female so presumably it is without the -r? How do you write female
        > elf? I don't really want to change my nickname as I've had it for
        > years

        >
        > --- In norse_course@y..., Haukur Thorgeirsson <haukurth@h...> wrote:
        > > I searched a bit for "silent r's" in Old Norse
        > > and quickly found many sources (all of them SCA,
        > > I think) telling tales of silent and "nearly silent"
        > > (whatever that means) r's. As I stated before this
        > > is incorrect. :-)
        > >
        > > Kveðja,
        > > Haukr
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Sumir hafa kvæði...
        > ...aðrir spakmæli.
        >
        > - Keth
        >
        > Homepage: http://www.hi.is/~haukurth/norse/
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > norse_course-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Ambrosius Kyrielle
        My attempt to translate these descriptions into not quite linguistic terms. I believe that for Nearly Silent the authors are referring to the fact that the
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 17, 2002
          My attempt to translate these descriptions into not quite linguistic terms.
           
          I believe that for 'Nearly Silent' the authors are referring to the fact that the Final -R inflection is a non stressed syllable. To a non linguist this means that it makes less noise than a stressed or medial syllable. Similar to butter and rubber. Though it is also shorter. Not trilled ( as in classical languages)  or held (like in bar room) but short like in 'short' if you didn't say the -t-. and not like in shore.
           
          And, if i recall correctly, the inflected -R ending on runestones in represented by the 'pitchforky one' "erhaz" in one text. This used to be a -Z- sound but over centuries is became zh..then rzh, then R, then faded entirely.
          This is why the rune names are often ending in Z such as tiwaz, erhaz, thurisaz. This is the Older pronounciation.
          There is more of this on  Vikinganswerlady.com.
           
          Ambrosius- Who has yet to find an appropriate Norse name, though Gummi Bera is sounding appealing.
           
           
           
        • Lazarus
          Just some more random thoughts... I hope this isn t too off topic, but it s about the Final -R. The common rune name for the final -R sound is ElhR, which is
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 17, 2002
            Just some more random thoughts... I hope this isn't too off topic, but it's about the Final -R.
             
            The common rune name for the final -R sound is ElhR, which is pronounced 'Elk-aR' with a very hard 'h' and translates to the word Elk (as in the animal).
             
            In the United States, the animal known everywhere in Europe as an Elk is called a 'Moose'. For some reason, we dumb Americans call the Wapiti an 'Elk' and called the Elk a 'Moose'.  This is just one of the wonderful linguistic anomollies to beat our heads against. :)
             
            Now having said that, the divergence in languages account for the translation of the ElkR rune to either a 'R' or a 'z' depending on the school of the scholar/student. German evolved the 'z' sound for the ending and so those like Thorsson (who, according to his bio, began his studies in Germanic rune texts) prefer to continue to use the 'z' letter ending and sound. Icelandic and English evolved the 'r' sound for the ending (as in 'dancer' and 'lumber') and so many of those native speakers prefer to use the 'R' for translation and pronunication.
             
            However, the shear volume of Thorsson's contributions (say what you will) has caused much of the serious US rune studies to use his German based translations... at least in the early years.
             
            Since most people I know who study runes do NOT also study language, they remain, alas, ignorant of the relationship between a very interesting rune and their own modern language.
             
            -Laz
             
            p.s. - Besides, seeing the Rune 'Ur' published as 'Urur' or 'UrR' just wouldn't be comprehensible to the general public. 'Uruz' is easy, especially since we use the letter Z so infrequently.
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2002 9:10 PM
            Subject: Re: [norse_course] Re: More on "silent letters"

            My attempt to translate these descriptions into not quite linguistic terms.
             
            I believe that for 'Nearly Silent' the authors are referring to the fact that the Final -R inflection is a non stressed syllable. To a non linguist this means that it makes less noise than a stressed or medial syllable. Similar to butter and rubber. Though it is also shorter. Not trilled ( as in classical languages)  or held (like in bar room) but short like in 'short' if you didn't say the -t-. and not like in shore.
             
            And, if i recall correctly, the inflected -R ending on runestones in represented by the 'pitchforky one' "erhaz" in one text. This used to be a -Z- sound but over centuries is became zh..then rzh, then R, then faded entirely.
            This is why the rune names are often ending in Z such as tiwaz, erhaz, thurisaz. This is the Older pronounciation.
            There is more of this on  Vikinganswerlady.com.
             
            Ambrosius- Who has yet to find an appropriate Norse name, though Gummi Bera is sounding appealing.
             
             
             


            Sumir hafa kvæði...
            ...aðrir spakmæli.

            - Keth

            Homepage: http://www.hi.is/~haukurth/norse/

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          • hr_oskar
            Hi all, For those new ones who are not already acquainted with me, I m that other guy whose name is mentioned on the front page of the course s home page :)
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 18, 2002
              Hi all,

              For those new ones who are not already acquainted with me, I'm that
              other guy whose name is mentioned on the front page of the course's
              home page :) I'm just appearing now to help Haukur clarify
              this 'silent r' thing...

              ---

              Hrimalf wrote:

              >OK, I understand that the -r is meant to be pronounced. My next
              question is; how do I do that? Is it rolled? Is it like the english
              -er (as in speaker, softer, etc)? Is it like a vacuum cleaner type
              noise (sorry can't describe this more technically!) with teeth shut
              and lips open? Do we know?

              Good question (whether we know) :)

              We (or rather, the historical linguists) have projected with fair
              enough accuracy (for all purposes) that the 'z' sound of various
              Germanic endings (most notably the nominative of strong masculines)
              evolved into a rolled 'r' sound in the language of the Nordic peoples
              in the late 1st millenium AD.
              Evolved, that is, through a transition sound described as "mid
              between 'r' and 'z'", "trilled fricative", "rzh". _A sound that I
              frankly do not comprehend and have never heard anything like_. In
              fact, this transition sound isn't really important to our studies
              of "Old Norse" at all. Please don't feel obliged to divert any
              thought to the matter :)

              Admittedly, the complexity and length of the two paragraphs above
              may be excessive; I just wanted to get everything *correct*.

              To conclude, and simplify: the ending -r is conventionally
              *pronounced* as the trilled 'r' sound in all its other positions.

              The exact pronunciation of 'r', in Modern Icelandic at least, is
              variable between speakers, in what regards the "number of trills" -
              some (such as me) merely tap the tongue once or twice against the
              alveolum. It may vary by position, and will often vary by what is
              being said, i.e. by whether the speaker wants to emphasize something
              or otherwise make special effects (as is done in most languages,
              including English).


              >PS you write 'Hrimalfr' - this is a minor point but I am actually
              female so presumably it is without the -r? How do you write female
              elf? I don't really want to change my nickname as I've had it for
              years :-(

              In no case should you, as long as you're using "conventional Old
              Norse", drop the nominative -r of 'álfr' simply because of you being
              female :) The fact is that _the word is masculine_. E.g. if I point
              to a female elf and say "she's an elf", I'd say "Hon er álfr".

              In reality, a name ending in 'álfr' simply would never be given to
              a female. However, you like your nickname and want to keep it, and
              that's fine :) So, the good news is that the word's being masculine
              won't stop you from being a 'Hrímálfr' (Frost Elf), though it should
              be correctly declined nonetheless.

              This touches once again on a recurring subject:
              _Grammatical gender IS NOT EQUAL TO natural gender_

              ---

              Lazarus wrote:

              > In person it sounded either like a half vowelized 'r' or a '-ch'
              > so 'Galdur' sounded either like 'Garder' or 'Gulch'
              >
              > Which way is considered more proper?
              > And which way will keep you from getting laughed at?

              Probably neither :) However, the 'gulch' pronunciation would most
              likely not be comprehensible to Icelanders at all. Stick rather to
              the 'garder' - it is certainly the best (of bad) approximation(s) :)

              Regards,
              Óskar
            • Ambrosius Kyrielle
              To help clear up confusion, as this is the Computer Age could you direct us to a sound file on the web? or make and upload one? Written descriptions of
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 18, 2002
                To help clear up confusion, as this is the "Computer Age" could you direct us to a sound file on the web? or make and upload one?
                Written descriptions of sounds can only take us so far.
                Thanks.
                Ambrosius
              • Lazarus
                Thank you Hroskar. That cleared up a lot. ... From: hr_oskar ... Maybe not, but Álfdís is a perfectly acceptable name for a woman.
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 18, 2002
                  Thank you Hroskar. That cleared up a lot.

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "hr_oskar" <hr_oskar@...>

                  > In reality, a name ending in 'álfr' simply would never be given to
                  > a female. However, you like your nickname and want to keep it, and
                  > that's fine :)

                  Maybe not, but 'Álfdís' is a perfectly acceptable name for a woman.

                  -Laz
                • Haukur Thorgeirsson
                  ... This amuses me :-) There are FIVE DAYS since I last sent a letter devoted solely to promoting a site featuring SOUND FILES with Old Norse urging list
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 18, 2002
                    Ambrosius wrote:

                    > To help clear up confusion, as this is the "Computer Age"
                    > could you direct us to a sound file on the web? or make and upload one?

                    This amuses me :-) There are FIVE DAYS since I last sent a letter
                    devoted solely to promoting a site featuring SOUND FILES with
                    Old Norse urging list members to look at them and tell us
                    their opinion. No reply to date. I know there are some people
                    WRITING to this list but does anyone actually READ it? :-)

                    The letter I'm referring to can be found in the archives.
                    My own readings can be found at the course's homepage.

                    Kveðja,
                    Haukur
                  • Ambrosius Kyrielle
                    Pardon, But you mentioned that the Reader on that site was deficient in /r/ and /R/ differentiation. Your reading contains only one instance of the inflected
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 18, 2002
                      Pardon, But you mentioned that the Reader on that site was deficient in /r/ and /R/ differentiation.
                      Your reading contains only one instance of the inflected -r- following a consonant.
                       
                      Glad to be of some use as entertainment:)
                       I also have a series of stupid puns based on Norse..as in a Norse of a different colour..Anyway:)
                      In service,
                      Ambrosius
                       
                    • Lazarus
                      ... From: Haukur Thorgeirsson ... Thanks for the reminder. There are some people who don t have operational sound cards or speakers on their
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 18, 2002
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Haukur Thorgeirsson" <haukurth@...>

                        > This amuses me :-) There are FIVE DAYS since I last sent a letter
                        > devoted solely to promoting a site featuring SOUND FILES with
                        > Old Norse urging list members to look at them and tell us
                        > their opinion. No reply to date. I know there are some people
                        > WRITING to this list but does anyone actually READ it? :-)

                        Thanks for the reminder.

                        There are some people who don't have operational sound cards or speakers on
                        their computer, so the discussion was still valid.

                        -Laz
                      • fjornir
                        ... Sorry. I didn t mean to get annoyed. So you want to hear R ? I don t know how to pronounce it - but I m willing to try, perforce of course. I chose the
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 20, 2002
                          >Pardon, But you mentioned that the Reader
                          >on that site was deficient in /r/ and /R/
                          >differentiation. Your reading contains only
                          >one instance of the inflected -r- following
                          >a consonant.

                          Sorry. I didn't mean to get annoyed.

                          So you want to hear 'R'? I don't know
                          how to pronounce it - but I'm willing
                          to try, perforce of course.

                          I chose the Gallehus inscription -
                          a sentence from about 400 A.D.
                          It has both an 'r' and an 'R'.

                          http://www.hi.is/~haukurth/norse/sounds/gastiz.html


                          >Glad to be of some use as entertainment:)
                          >I also have a series of stupid puns based
                          >on Norse..as in a Norse of a different colour..Anyway:)

                          Yeah... I read your poem :)
                          Enter the Beatles:
                          "And Henry the horse would of
                          course dance the waltz!"

                          Kveðja,
                          Haukur
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