[tied] Dutch "w" (was: Re: Slavic peoples and places)

From: jjmcgr@...
Message: 7664
Date: 2001-06-16

first post after reading for a long time....

I'm of the opinion 9but cannot footnote sources) that all the
continental Germanic languages which use the orthographic symbol W
for the [v] sound originally pronounced that sound [w]. Otherwise the
Latin symbol for the v sound [v] or sometimes [f] wound have been
used as it was in Old English. {Apparently to the German ear in
earlier times Latin or Romance [f] and [v] sounded the same or very
similar. In medieval times there was a sound shift in these
continental languages [and even earlier in Scandanavian-- before
these were written down, ergo no W character!] where [w] became [v].
This is a common sound shift in the history of human languages [also
happened in Latin.... Greek took it even further with [v] becoming
[b]]. I suspect any [w] sounds in Dutch or Swedish/Danish now are
either dialectal differences or allophones of the /v/ phomeme in the
respective language. I had a Russian teach in college who used to
say "work on your vowels" and pronounced vowels [wovelz]so it can
happen even with Russian speakers...

John McGrath