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#123471 - 02/20/04 10:57 AM Out
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
I just wrote a line of dialogue consisting of the single word "out." Since this is the only word uttered in the scene (making it a monologue, I suppose) I parked on it a minute. And then, I wondered. If I were to write the word phonetically (and, I admit to having an odd accent), I might write 'aut' (short 'a'). Which brings me to my question. To the extent that standard spellings represent pronunciation at all, do they reflect the current pronunciation of words at the time and place they were set, or standardizations of received spellings? I understand, for example (as I believe we once discussed) that (Amer.) Revolutionary War manuscripts contain good information on the pronunciation of Elizabethan English.


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#123472 - 02/20/04 11:08 AM Re: Out
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Well, I'd heard the Elizabethan English still spoken in the Appalachian mountains factoid, but not the Revolutionary War one. I don't buy either. Orthography is just one dangerous swamp into which I try not to go. That having been said: our spelling totters between the phonological and the etymological. Spelling influences pronunciation and vice versa. What bothers you about out? Is it the 'u'? Stressed vowels becoming diphthongs is pretty normal in language change.


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#123473 - 02/20/04 12:32 PM Re: Out
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
<<What bothers you about 'out'?

Well, "bothers" is a bit strong. The spoken dipthong is 'a' (as in, yes, 'an') and 'u' as in 'blue'. But if I were just coming ashore, I'd read it like a Dutchman 'oh-u-t' -- or, pretty close to 'oat'.


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#123474 - 02/20/04 01:00 PM Re: Out
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
ouch?

edit it took me a while to realize what you were saying, but wow. we ought(!) to spell out owt, nowt?
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#123475 - 02/20/04 01:08 PM Re: Out
jheem Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/04
Posts: 1474
Loc: California
Ah, but you're not a Dutchman. How do you feel about the 'o' in one? OTOH, ounce, our, and oust all go with with the {#ou} to /Aw/ mapping. There's really no rhyme or reason to English spelling—pausing to don asbestos suit—just a lot of post hoc rationalization.


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#123476 - 02/20/04 01:50 PM Re: Out
Jenet Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/22/03
Posts: 81
Well, this one is about as regular as English gets (ahem). Long u, respelt ou under French influence, then Great Vowel Shift to au.


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#123477 - 02/20/04 02:31 PM Re: Out
dodyskin Offline
addict

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 475
Loc: manchester uk
we ought(!) to spell out owt, nowt?

but then we could be saying anything


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#123478 - 02/20/04 08:19 PM Re: Out
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
or nothing as the case may be

Bingley
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Bingley

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#123479 - 02/21/04 05:06 AM Re: Out
dodyskin Offline
addict

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 475
Loc: manchester uk
chuckles appreciatively-e as Bingley rounds off nicely


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#123480 - 02/21/04 07:05 AM Re: Owt
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont


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