Marco Cimarosti wrote:
> I have a few questions about the letter Thorn ("Þ", "þ"), that once upon a
> time was used in English to write the sounds now written "th".
> - When was the letter dropped from the English alphabet?

Gradually fell out of use

> - Why did it happen?

No one else used it?

> - Was is used for the sound in "thin", or for the sound in "this"? Or for
> both? (BTW, were the two sounds distinguished at that time?)

Both, apparently they were distinct (edh was also used for both)

> - How and when did the "th" digraph assume the sound it has now in English?

Along with all the other -h digraphs (ch, sh, ph); influence of Latin
spelling of Greek words; t was conveniently close to [T]

> It doesn't have this sound in any European language (apart Albanian, but I
> guess that its orthography is quite modern).

What other European language has the sound [T]? (Ans: Icelandic, which
uses the old letters) If other languages don't have it, they obviously
don't need to spell it!
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...