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Why does English still have the “TH” sound?

The interesting thing about this topic is that English is one of two languages of the Germanic family that has retained the feature commonly called the <TH>-sound which stands for the dental fricatives /θ ð/. If you have a look at the map below which highlights the Germanic tongues in red, only Icelandic and British English (from England, Wales, Scotland + Northern Ireland) in darker red sport these sounds. It is also fascinating because there was a time when the ancestors of all these tongues had dental fricatives but lost them over the last centuries.

Then, why did English maintain a sound that was lost in almost all its sister-languages despite centuries of evolution side-by-side?

Grimm’s Law

First, you have to understand that on the whole, Germanic languages phonetically stand out from the rest of the Indo-European languages for a set of processes that made original IE sounds move one step closer towards fricatives. These evolutions were named Grimm’s Law, after Jacob Grimm discovered this phenomenon in 1875. This is a brief summary of what happened during the splitting of Germanic away from common IE:

This translates into these instances:

  • Greek: Podos/ Latin: Pedis/ Sanskrit: Pada vs English: Foot/ Danish: Fod/ Gothic:Fotus.
  • Greek: Tritos/ Welsh: Trydydd/ Russian: Tretij vs English: Third/ Old Saxon:  Thriddio/ Icelandic:  Þriðji.

There are many more examples but the most relevant here is of course the change of alveolar/dental stops /t d/ into the dental fricatives /θ ð/. This is the first steps in explaining the presence of dental fricatives in English. They descend from a millennia-old process that saw these sounds develop in all Germanic languages.

Verner’s Law

When Grimm’s Law was accepted, a new problem arose; some words clearly didn’t fit within the frame hypothesised by Grimm. For example, Proto-Indo-European pa’tēr turned into father instead of the expected fader while PIE ‘brahtēr gave brother like Grimm’s Law predicted. The alternation can also be found in different forms of verbs. So of course, Grimm must have missed something. It turned out that the solution lies in the change of accents in Proto-Germanic. While stress was relatively free (meaning rather unpredictable) in PIE, PG stress shifted and was placed on the root of the word. The evolution of the phonemes did not affect the consonant if it was word-initial or right behind a stressed vowel. The evolution of these consonants are illustrated in the table below:

This is the reason why PIE /t/ became [θ] and then [ð] in PG for *fadēr while *brōþēr remained untouched. This event helped increase the number  of instances of dental fricatives in Proto-Germanic. But it still doesn’t account for English dental fricatives. Be patient.

High German Consonant Shift  

A new phenomenon took place in the southern dialects of German in the 5th century that consisted in a large-scale shift in the consonantal system. By the mid-5th century, Old English had already been brought to Britain and thus remained utterly unaffected by these changes whose relevant features are the following:

  • θ > d
  • β > b
  • ð > d
  • ɣ > g

As you can see, the dental fricatives evolved into stops and were consequently lost in the phonology. The HGCS was not restricted to German as certain elements can be found as well in Dutch, Low German and Scandinavian Germanic. Probably under the influence of German in the following centuries, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish lost their own dental fricatives as there were multiple and intense cultural and linguistic exchanges between German and “Scandinavian”.

While English, isolated geographically from the rest of Europe and from Germanic influence because of Roman and Norman Conquest, kept /θ ð/. It’s interesting to note that Britons did not have as much as Romans and Normans the inclination to write. Manuscripts by monks may have helped bring a certain standardisation to the language.

Two additional and contradictory phenomena took place in Middle English where /d/ changed to [ð] and /ð/ to [d]. This is why fader changed to father and murðer changed to murder. The sequence of /d/ + unstressed ending -er triggered its evolution to [ð].

In short, dental fricatives appeared in Proto-Germanic via Grimm’s Law and Verner’s Law and Old English managed to maintain [θ] and [ð] because it left the continent before the effects of the High German Consonant Shift could be felt. Its geographical isolation (being on an island) certainly helped protect the relic of the Germanic legacy.

I saw once that Welsh may have had an influence on the upholding of these sounds since both languages had them. However, Latin and French were much more powerful influences on English but that did not impact the keeping of the dental fricatives so a foreign language influence is not really believable. However, French might have contributed to the phonemisation of [ð]. Before French came to Britain, /z v ð/ were only the voiced allophones of /s f θ/. By introducing new graphemes for sounds that were not “official” in English, it turned them into unquestionable elements of the phonology of English.

Isolation may be the biggest driving force on the upholding of these sounds since Icelandic, in a relative similar position, is the only other Germanic language with dental fricatives.

Further reading:

High German Consonant Shift

Grimm’s Law

Verner’s Law

Icelandic Phonology

Funny facts about the Icelandic language

I get A LOT of questions about Iceland and what it’s like living here. So today I have decided to not answer any of the useful things I could tell you and just make a big shitpost about the Icelandic language. 🔆

Pika- Okay. So keep in mind that Pikachu in Pokémon quite commonly says pika. Like a lot. Pokémon is/was on TV here just like most other countries. Okay so, wanna know what píka means in Ielandic. Vagina. Not even kidding a little. ⚡️🐱

Bra- No, bra does not mean anything related to underwear of any kind. According to us, it’s the sound that ducks make 🦆

Hjúkrunarfræðingur- I know you’re probably thinking that this must mean something very smart and complicated. Nope. This unneccessarily long ass word just means nurse. Yep. 👩🏻‍⚕️

Strætóstoppistöð- another unneccasserily long word. Simply means “bus stop” 👐🏻

Leðurblökumaðurinn- In almost every country in the world Batman is just called Batman or something very similar. Yeah.. we didn’t get the note. Leðurblökumaðurinn it is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kind- it does not mean anything related to kindness or any other emotional expression. It means sheep. And according to us it does not tell you “baah” it says “me”. If it happens two times it makes “meme”. Isn’t that just wonderful? 🐑

Geirvarta- it means nipple. The weird thing is that it is made from two words “Geir” which is a pretty common male name here, and “varta” which means “wart”. Imagine if the word for nipple would be “JasonPimple”?! Poor Geir..

Not language related but: we have an app here where you bump your phones together to see if you are related before you have sex with someone. You may have heard this somewhere before but I am here to confirm that this is true. There are only 300.000 people in the entire country so accidental incest is very much a possibility. ⚠️

In Iceland we don’t have just one Santa, no,we have 13. And yes they bring you small gifts each of the thirteen days leading to christmas, but they also are known for stealing hot-dogs and candles, eating all your skyr (fancy yoghurt), slamming doors, and other not so bad but mildly annoying things. But their mom is a hideous troll lady that lives in the mountains and eats children. Yikes.. 🎄💀

We have at least two letters that no other country in the world uses: ð (capital Ð) and þ (capital Þ) and also other rare letters that are only used here and in other Scandinavian countries: ö (Ö) and æ (Æ).

To make the sounds of Ð and Þ put your tongue between your teeth and blow. Softly for ð and hard for Þ (should sound like Th in Thor/thing/thunder/etc)

Hope you enjoyed 🤜🏻🤛🏻

rankings of mcelroy brothers, updated for 2017 sensibilities

griffin: hell yeah! this mcelroy makes so many jokes; he invented joking about vore and piss, as well as the art of let’s play in 1998. don’t like the fact that he founded the alt-right too much but that’s in the past now

justin: justin was cloned from a fragment of griffin’s forehead in 2007, and ever since then has made tremendous progress towards becoming a real human. only thing that bugs me is that sometimes during an episode of mbmbam he starts hacking and gasping into the microphone and one of the boys has to grab a bendy straw out of the filing cabinet and start injecting soft foods into his body, but that’s an uncontrollable problem, i won’t judge.

neil cicierega: hahahahahahhahahhahahaha!!! neil cicierega = meme god. neil cicierega = meme music. neil cicierega = meme sounds. neil cicierega = dank meme. neil cicicerega = meme man. neil cicierega = i invented memes. niel cicierega = king of funny. neil cicierego= mouth memes. neil cicierega = shrek neil cicierega  = lol

nick robinson: ÿØÿà JFIF ` `  ÿá.ÖExif  MM *     &  b    1   &  ˆ2    ®‡i    Âê     V  Fê                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384 Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384 2017:04:12 20:45:24  &#144;    &#144;    0’‘   24  ’’   24      ê        ê                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2017:04:12 20:21:00 2017:04:12 20:21:00            ”    œ(        ¤    *       `     `   ÿØÿÛ C

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Ž˜¨ºŽ«ok#tW“'ô®ÛÃßî¼MðîãS¶Öî!–Œ¦ÝE }+ÅYC9fË9êÌrZö¾¯TÔä·8ý´odÏWð÷ý:î9í×U&#129;¼õÚ$†áw~¢¹?x+\ðŒŒ.dkÛEésm32þ#9•r±€­•ùJôÿ “&#157;Ã8ûÝG¯×½¤l¢9Tº&‡kc€ùë¸f­+ǯ¯Z%ŒqŠœsÚˆœr“$ÝÈëO&#141;ª.àúT‰ÅtÈš:(ŽŠÐÄÄe>”ÎTc­V_öEBÑû~•ÀéXêæ3rq&#157;¦¡ç9Åk2†Æ)†<v™¢‘›ŸcùR'økG>Ãò¦…ÇðŠÏÙ²¹Š<úPE_òý…7oùÅ'M&#143;˜¡øtq¼’¢"—f *Ž¥‰Â&#143;Äãó«»+Ñ> øzÛZø§¦=äB[;äÔ$R8ýÚ&#141;¹ÿ &#129;•ü©{6iÌÏSñõì>
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#?NþôÃ1·]ª>OJ(¤!º¤ì±ªu÷¬Õ;¨¢¢e#WHlI·¨Ïéé[q͵TãÆh¢½zÜG.-{¨z]±úÔËrG;h¢»¢y‹qó}ÑR-áþ袊ԉ-×û¤[ƒœcõ¢ŠÞ&Ëpº(¢ŠÝlfÿÙ

random things i’ve learnt about old english as a complete beginner. 

  • the language was used by germanic inhabitants of england around 5th-11th century
  • also called anglo-saxon; different from the language of the saxons in germany
  • there are 3 dialects of old-english (west saxon, kentish and anglian)
  • the alphabet was adopted from the latin one by christian missionaries 
  • spelling wasn’t really a thing
  • everything was recorded phonetically (by-sound)
  • (this makes translating a bitch but you can legit see the change in dialects and accent through time and region!!!)
  • the sound ‘th’ has two different letters thorn (Þ, þ) and eth (Ð, ð)
  • ash (æ) is used for elongated vowels like the a in fast
  • >80% of the 1000 most used modern english words originate in old engligh but only >50% of the 1000 most used old english words can be found in modern english
  • ‘there’ is one word found in old english but it’s spelt ‘ðǣr’
  • it’s an inflected language
  • meaning sentence structure is very loose and relies on variations of a word to get abstract meaning across
  • there are LOTS of variations for each word (ughhh that’s going to be tough to learn)
  • it’s just as, if not MORE confusing then modern english

A Basic Guide for Pronouncing Icelandic.

This is a subject that I frequently post about, and yet its basics have yet to be properly discussed. This post will help you to achieve familiarity with the Icelandic language, both in terms of written characters and their respective sounds. This guide may also be used as a method for pronouncing Old Norse. It is a lengthy guide, but that is because Icelandic, in all its beauty, is a bit difficult for most people to pronounce. In the end, this quite is only “basic” because it does not delve deeply into the linguistics behind certain sounds involved. Nonetheless, this guide should provide to be very helpful!

When working through this guide, try to avoid becoming overwhelmed. I strongly recommend working through only one section at a time.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Goodbye Mod & thnx for everything. I can no longer support Norman anymore after what he's done but just wanted to thank u for the years spent here reading & commenting on your witty commentary & replies. The gossip was fun until DK came into the picture & now it just sucks balls. It's no longer fun for me to read bc ppl got hurt by this pairing. So I bid you farewell. And thnx again for the good times & the old days when it was fun speculating who N was dating. I miss the "hand"!!!!ðŸ¤£ðŸ˜˜ðŸ‘‹í ¼

Farewell 😭😭😭You better drop some weird in my inbox every now and again…

anonymous asked:

I just had the best fucking night of my life. Me and three friends (three lesbians, one of whom is my girlfriend and another is me, and a pan boy) hit the town and by that I mean a fucking Chili's, and chilis is the gayest restaurant so like we had these epic confessions with our waitress about how we were all mentally ill/gay and it was so relaxing and the waitress was like "y'all stay" so we hung for 2 hours in this fucking chilis, Chilis is the new ally y'all

(Part 2) But like I love those kids and we are all pretty good friends but I feel like we’re even closer now and my mom let me stay in this chilis until 10, and I’m never out past 7, so I’m so happy she trusted me and she says we can go again to this fucking chilis for hours on end and I was like ð&#159;&#145;&#128;ð&#159;&#145;&#128;ð&#159;&#145;&#128; so we all signed up for rewards cards and we are just gonna light up this chilis with rampant homosexuality in south Texas, I loved watching all these people staring at us cuz we are VISIBLE fuckers and í ½

(Part 3) So I’m just legit shook that I literally got to have the perfect night and NOTHING WENT WRONG like the last time I had this much fun we all almost got killed and had to call the fucking cops to save us and shit so like that night doesn’t exactly count as perfect but man! Tonight was fucking great I’ve never felt so loved and it’s all thanks to chilis, the One True Ally

This sounded like a fun night! I guess I gotta head to Chili’s now 😉 

rex-vandalorum  asked:

If you could compare the Hoppean Covenant to a classical civilization, which one would it be? I'm torn between Carthage and (Camillan era) Rome.

The central figure in the Icelandic system was the chieftain. The Icelandic term was Goði, originally meaning a pagan priest; the first chieftains were apparently entrepreneurs among the settlers who built temples for the use of themselves and their neighbors and so became local leaders. The bundle of rights that made up being a chieftain was called a goðorð. A goðorð was private property; it could be sold, lent, inherited. If you wanted to be a chieftain, you found one who was willing to sell his goðorð, and bought it from him. The term goðorð was also used for the group of men who followed a particular chieftain.

What were the rights that made up the position of being a chieftain? One, perhaps the most important, was the right to be the link by which ordinary people were attached to the legal system. If you wanted to sue someone, one of the first questions you had to ask was who his chieftain was. That would determine what court you ended up suing him in—just as, in the U.S. at present, the court you are sued in may be determined by what state you are a citizen of. Everyone had to be connected with a chieftain in order to be part of the legal system. But the link between the chieftain and his thingmen was a voluntary one—the chieftain, unlike a feudal lord, had no claim over his thingman’s land. The thingman was free to switch his allegiance to any chieftain willing to have him.

Other rights included in the goðorð were a vote in the legislature and a hand in picking the judges (by our standards jurymen— there were 36 on a court) who decided legal cases. The court system had several levels, starting at the thing court and going up through the quarter courts to the fifth court.Under the legal system set up in 930, the ‘government’ of Iceland had one part-time employee. He was called the lawspeaker and was elected (by the inhabitants of one quarter, chosen by lot) for a three-year term. His job was to preside over the legislature, memorize the law, give legal advice, and, during the course of his three years, recite the entire law code aloud once. The recitation took place at the Allthing—an annual assembly, lasting two weeks, of people from all over Iceland. The Allthing was also where the legislature met and where cases in the four quarter courts and the fifth court were tried. At each Allthing the lawspeaker recited a third of the law. If he omitted something and nobody objected, that part of the law was out. Think of it as an early form of sunset legislation.

I have described the legislative and judicial branch of the government established by the Icelandic settlers but have omitted the executive. So did they. Aside from the lawspeaker there were no government employees.

You and I are Icelanders; the year is 1050 ad. You cut wood in my forest. I sue you. The court decides in my favor, and instructs you to pay ten ounces of silver as damages. You ignore the verdict. I go back to the court and present evidence that you have refused to abide by the verdict. The court declares you an outlaw. You have a few weeks to get out of Iceland. When that time is over, I can kill you with no legal consequences. If your friends try to defend you, they are violating the law and can in turn be sued.

In medieval Iceland all law was civil. The victim was responsible for enforcing his claim, individually or with the assistance of others. The victim who transferred his claim to some more powerful individual in exchange for half what he was owed was like a plaintiff who agrees to split the damages with his lawyer instead of paying him a fee.

Because the Icelandic system relied entirely on private enforcement, it can be seen as a system of civil law expanded to include what we think of as criminal offenses. It is similar to our civil law in another sense as well. Under our system, the loser of a civil case typically, although not inevitably, ends up paying money damages to the winner; the loser of a criminal case typically ends up with a non-monetary payment, such as a jail term or, in extreme cases, execution. Under the Icelandic system the typical settlement was a cash payment to the victim or his heirs. The alternative, if you lost your case, was outlawry. The payment for killing someone was called wergeld—man gold.

Our main sources of information on the Icelandic system are the sagas, a group of histories and historical novels written in Iceland, mostly in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. On first reading, they seem to describe quite a violent society. That is hardly surprising. At least since Homer, the spectacle of people killing each other has been one of the principal ways in which writers entertain their audience. The chief innovation of the saga writers was to spend as much time on law suits as on the violent conflicts that generated them. The one error in the quotation from Bryce with which I started this chapter is the claim that the chief occupation of Icelanders was killing each other. The chief occupation of the characters of the sagas appears to be suing each other; the killings merely provide something to litigate about.

-David Friedman, “Private Law Enforcement, Medieval Iceland, and Libertarianism”, The Machinery of Freedom

I had to heavily abridge this excerpt, btw. The whole chapter (and indeed, the whole book) is worth a read.

anonymous asked:

I was a bit sceptic about getting your plan but I decided to give it a go and in 20 days (did your plan twice!) I managed to lose 15 lbs going from 142 to 127!!! When I stepped on the scale this morning I almost cried, I couldn't believe my eyes! I didn't want to weigh myself before because I was afraid the numbers would demotivate me, but I did see a difference in the mirror and I actually bought shorts that were a size smaller than usual and they fit me perfectly! Thank xou so much Petra ðŸ’—ðŸ’—í ½

Babe, You just made my day!! 😍 I am so proud of you for reaching your goal, for doing your best and for succeeding! I am amazed by your results, losing 15lbs in so little time?! I bet you’re jumping with joy right now!! 😁😁 email me your progress pics if you want, I bet you look amazing 😏 ily too sweetie, i couldn’t be happier than I am right now 🤗💕 wooooooooooo 🎉🎉

flickr

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, 1903 by Olga
Via Flickr:
Ея Императорское Высочество Великая Княгиня Ксенiя Александровна (Боярыня временъ Царя Алексѣя Михаиловича)

creativexdreamer  asked:

Oh my gosh! The Balcony Scene. The flipping BALCONY SCENE! This may be my favorite scene in this story so far. It's just so good. And the adorableness of drunk Bucky is just too much. 😂👏🏼 I can't believe he actually recited Shakespeare to her, on the stairs no less. And Romeo and Juliet. Just perfection! Also Steve coming to get him at the end was a very nice touch. Love that Bucky had to have snuck out of his room. And also lastly Wanda and Natasha's reactions were the best. And the texts! í ½

Originally posted by sum1greater

Drunk Bucky is an absolute dream come true, especially the fact that he can perfectly recite Shakespeare, but had to be dragged away by Steve. His texts were great, but Nat and Wanda’s reactions were even better 😂

Balcony Scene (ALiL Deleted Scene)

anonymous asked:

The same d!ckheads asking for Patty to come back would be the same ones 😡 if Bart didn't show up 🙄 Patty was a placeholder, nothing more. If she comes back, she'd be aboard the WA train too (like Linda). They need to let that go. Eddie too. The SBers wanted CS with a ⚡️ so bad the writers hooked her up with Zoom. Maybe when Barry comes back out of the speed force he+Iris can go to E2 to meet E2 WA, find out their preggers and Peddie are a couple on E2. Imagine their facesí ½ ðŸ˜³í ½í ½ 😳 😳

I really need Iris to meet E2 WA. 😂

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PRONUNCIATION

The modern Icelandic alphabet has thirty-two letters, compared with twenty-six in modern English. There are two extra consonants (ð and þ), and an additional diphthong (æ). Readers may find a note on the pronounciations of specifically Icelandic letters helpful:

  • ð (Ð), known as “eth” or “crossed d,” is pronounced like the (voiced) th in breathe.
  •  þ (Þ), known as “thorn,” is pronounced like the (unvoiced) th in breaths.
  • æ is pronounced like the i in life.

 The pronunciation of the vowels is conditioned by the accents:

  •  á like the ow in owl
  •  é like the ye in yet
  •  í like the ee in seen
  •  ó like the o in note
  •  ö like the eu in French fleur
  •  ú like the oo in soon
  •  ýlike the ee in seen
  • au like the œi in French œil
  •  ei and ey like the ay in tray

(Iceland’s Bell )