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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: April ::
WordHoard
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0346  Monday, 24 April 2006

[1] 	From: 	Larry Weiss <
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 >
	Date: 	Friday, 21 Apr 2006 16:15:57 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0338 WordHoard

[2] 	From: 	Thomas Le <
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 >
	Date: 	Saturday, 22 Apr 2006 07:57:03 -0700 (PDT)
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0338 WordHoard


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date: 		Friday, 21 Apr 2006 16:15:57 -0400
Subject: 17.0338 WordHoard
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0338 WordHoard

 >'turd', which may be punned on at least once in a brogue
 >pronunciation of 'third' in TN II.iii., and 'drasty'- i.e., shi**y).

In MW/W,III.iii Dr. Caius says "If there be one or two, I shall make-a 
de turd."

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Thomas Le <
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 >
Date: 		Saturday, 22 Apr 2006 07:57:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 17.0338 WordHoard
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0338 WordHoard

Stephanie Kyd's point is well taken.

There is no necessary connection between speech and script. It just so 
happens that all Western languages use the Roman alphabet, which is 
largely phonetic, i.e., approximating the sound of speech, thus giving 
rise to the conception of speech-script correspondence. But it would be 
dangerous to deduce from this imperfect correspondence that the graphic 
symbols on paper faithfully represent the language as it is spoken.

A case in point would be the Chinese characters, which are largely 
ideographic and pictographic. There is no way a Western eye can discern 
any sound at all from looking at these characters. There is a complete 
disconnect between speech and script. On the other hand, any Western 
reader who sees this Vietnamese phrase "thi ca Viet Nam " (Vietnamese 
poetry) can pronounce it without undue trouble, albeit imperfectly, and 
without understanding.

To muddy the water, there are linguistic phenomena such as epenthesis, 
in which an extraneous sound is inserted in a word without a 
corresponding spelling change. For example, some people say 'nuculer' 
but would spell the word 'nuclear'.

Language (speech) change is a constant, unintentional, and inevitable 
process whereas spelling change is a slow, deliberate and conscious 
process. Language change is organic and no one can stop it. The spelling 
difference between British and American English is not a natural 
evolution of language in the same sense as the English vowel shift is.

Thomas Le

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