A Conversation for The Development of the Western Alphabet


Post 1

And Introducing... A Leg

It's quite interesting, the secret influence the runes have had on our language.

Consider the TV series Dalziel and Pascoe. Dalziel is pronounced Dee-el. Equally, there's a British politician called Menzies Campbell -- Menzies being pronounced as something like 'Mengyies'

How can Z have picked up such an odd sound? The link has to be the 'rune' (not a true rune, it was an Anglo-Saxon invention) called yogh, which looked a bit like a 3 with the bottom as a tail -- in other words a joined-up Z.

Also, if you look at some old documents, you might find phrases like 'His fader surrenthered', meaning 'His father surrendered'. So how did the th and the d swap places?

The answer is eth, a rune that looked like a d, but which was crossed like a t if you see what I mean, and made the soft 'th' sound like in 'breath' (as opposed to the hard 'th' in 'that', which was thorn's job.) Actually, eth was probably a close relative of d as its capital was D with a line through the back.

I try to put runes into my writing whenever I can.


Post 2

Lemon Blossom (aka Athena Albatross)



Post 3


also pertaining to runes... The eldar futhark alphabet was originally 24 characters long, three sets of eight. A further eight, at least I think it was only eight, letters were introduced as a way of writing down foreign sounds that weren't originally part of their language. Just for anyone interested.

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