I think 'guessing' is too pejorative a term for this endeavour. He's
theorising, based on very good evidence and deep research. I'm guessing about
what I'll be given for lunch.
There are many present day clues in extant dialects which have preserved such
sounds and vocal styles, thanks to isolation and deliberate resistance. The
difference between the northern short 'a' and southern long 'a' is not dealt
with by him but is very distinct and a real class divider. Geordies still
pronounce both vowels in the 'boat' dipthong and the Canadian dipthong is one
I'd noticed before. Think also of the Scots pronunciation of 'house' as 'huis'.
Then of course there is the pronunciation of some place names which are more
resistant to change - 'Darby' for Derby, 'Shrowsbury' for Shrewsbury and so on.
It's like wrestling with fog of course but some very intelligent people, such
as this gentleman, have spent a lot of time working it out. I really enjoyed
trying to learn to recite Chaucer in the original, ohsomany years ago.
The SLR Compendium:
revised edition -
The TLR Compendium
On 21/03/2014, at 10:59 PM, Chris Barker wrote:
> Thanks, Andrew. He agrees that he is guessing; I should have thought that
> present-day Scandinavian languages would be useful. It’s interesting that he
> interprets “kissed” as kissing, not cushion.
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/