Edward Sapir > Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech > Subject Index > Page 192
Edward Sapir (1884–1939).  Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech.  1921.

Page 192
  1. fot: foti; mus: musi (West Germanic)
  2. foss: fossi; mus: musi
  3. fuoss: fuossi; mus: musi (Old High German)
  4. fuoss: füessi; mus: müsi
  5. fuoss: füesse; mus: müse (Middle High German)
  6. fuoss: füesse; mus: müze
  7. fuos: füese; mus: müze
  8. fuos: füese; mous: möüze
  9. fus: füse; mous: möüze (Luther)
  10. fus: füse; maus: moize (German of 1900)
  We cannot even begin to ferret out and discuss all the psychological problems that are concealed behind these bland tables. Their general parallelism is obvious. Indeed we might say that to-day the English and German forms resemble each other more than does either set the West Germanic prototypes from which each is independently derived. Each table illustrates the tendency to reduction of unaccented syllables, the vocalic modification of the radical element under the influence of the following vowel, the rise in tongue position of the long middle vowels (English o to u, e to i; German o to uo to u, üe to ü), the diphthongizing of the old high vowels (English i to ei to ai; English and German u to
Note 12.  I use ss to indicate a peculiar long, voiceless s-sound that was etymologically and phonetically distinct from the old Germanic s. It always goes back to an old t. In the old sources it is generally written as a variant of z, though it is not to be confused with the modern German z (=ts). It was probably a dental (lisped) s. [back]
Note 13.  Z is to be understood as French or English z, not in its German use. Strictly speaking, this “z” (intervocalic -s-) was not voiced but was a soft voiceless sound, a sibilant intermediate between our s and z. In modern North German it has become voiced to z. It is important not to confound this s–z with the voiceless intervocalic s that soon arose from the older lisped ss. In Modern German (aside from certain dialects), old s and ss are not now differentiated when final (Maus and Fuss have identical sibilants), but can still be distinguished as voiced and voiceless s between vowels (Mäuse and Füsse). [back]


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