Voiced affricatives in English dialects [was: re [tied] Animate Dua

From: Gordon Selway
Message: 25518
Date: 2003-09-04

A discursive contribution, only to point out that the voiced
affricatives [z for standard s, v for f, the 'th' in eg 'thumb' as in
'the', not as std. 'throat'] which it is suggested occur in Somerset
(and I suppose they may still do so in out-of-the-way parts of the
county) were once very much more widespread in south-western/western
English, but have been receding at perhaps five km a decade for the
past couple of centuries.

I do not recall it occurring in the speech of my father, or of my
uncles fifty years ago, though some
archaic features were present. Text books suggest iirc that it
stopped being the usual pronunciation in the Forest of Dean and south
Herefordshire about 150 years ago, and in Worcestershire a century
earlier, though as I have none to hand I cannot verify my references.

The phenomenon may occur with the initial consonant of a component of
a word: 'Zummerzet'.

With kind regards,

Gordon Selway

At 1:49 pm +0000 27/08/2003, tgpedersen wrote:
>--- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Wordingham"
><richard.wordingham@...> wrote:
>> --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Miguel Carrasquer <mcv@...> wrote:
>> > On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 15:37:26 +0000, elmeras2000 <jer@...> wrote:
>> > Why would asyllabic endings like *-s, *-t become voiced *-z, *-d
>>(at least
>> > when not sentence final)? I did not address that issue in message 21817,
>> > but it's not terribly difficult to come up with a possible explanation.
>> > The phenomenon occurs at a morpheme boundary (e.g. *pod-z, *to- d). If
>> > morpheme boundaries were previously word-boundaries (that's the principle
>> > of agglutination), then perhaps there was some overt prosodical marking of
> > > the word/morpheme boundary, such as a rise in pitch, or a glottal stød.
> > Do you need word boundaries? I can't help think there was something
>> similar with the plural -s in English. There are several examples
>> of fossil /s/ - 'bodice' as opposed to 'bodies', 'pence' as opposed
>> to 'pennies', 'dice' as opposed to 'dies'. Similarly, the Scottish
> > pronunciations of 'teas' and 'tease' are reported to be different.
>Some Germanic dialects (German, Dutch, Kent, Somerset) have initial
>z-, v- etc, some (North Germanic, Friesian (and Noordhollands under
>the influence of an old Friesian substrate?) and the rest of English
>have s-, f- etc. If we explain the difference by positing a
>some type of H, English had dialects with and without. Which might
>explain Richard's observations.
>BTW Caesar notes that the Germani had the 'murmur fractum' as an
>ideal. Which we might interpret to mean that some used it and some
>didn't. We might even tentatively identify it with that internal
>reorganisation of the Elbe-Germani Rischl speaks, who later expanded
>to the Rhine-Weser Germani (and without mentioning further names).
>Note that the z-, v- dialects of English are Saxon, thus coming from
>south of the origin of the other dialects.
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