منتدى يهتم بخفايا وطرائف وأسرار اللغة الإنجليزية


    A HISTORY OF ENGLISH SPELLING

    شاطر

    مصطفى منصور
    Admin

    عدد المساهمات : 136
    تاريخ التسجيل : 25/12/2009
    الموقع : فارسكور - دمياط - مصر ( مدرسة فارسكور الاعدادية للبنين )

    A HISTORY OF ENGLISH SPELLING

    مُساهمة  مصطفى منصور في الأربعاء يناير 06, 2010 8:49 pm

    A HISTORY OF ENGLISH SPELLING
    The first alphabet that has been found is from I 13th century B.C., in I small kingdom of Ugarit
    (modern Ras Esh Shamra) on I coast of Syria, 10 miles north of Latakia. That alphabet consisted of
    22 letters, only consonants. From there, alphabets spread in all directions, with numerous variations.
    M Roman or Latin alphabet started in I 7th century B.C., n soon had 21 letters from Etruscan n two
    from Greek. M Anglo-Saxons used "uu" for present "w" until about 900 A.D. By I 11th century,
    "vv" had combined into "w" for this sound. Later "v" was separated from "u". In I 17th century "j",
    which had at first been a variant of "i" became solely a consonant with its present sound. These
    changes brought us from I Latin alphabet of 23 letters to I present English alphabet of 26 letters.
    English
    Old English was spelled fairly phonetically when it first appeared, around 700 A.D. It included
    symbols for voiced n unvoiced "th", which are still used in Icelandic.
    Following I Norman Conquest in 1066, French scribes substituted French "qu" for Anglo-Saxon
    "cw". To avoid handwriting confusions, some "u" sounds were respelled. Thus "ou" replaced I long
    "u", as in "house". When "u" occurred next to "m, n, u (for v sound)" they substituted "o", as in
    "love" (lufa, luua, loua, love). They improvised "gh" for I gutteral "h" as in German "ich".
    Court n parliament were conducted in French, but in 1258 I first royal proclamation in both French
    n English appeared. A century later, parliament n I courts changed to English for their sessions.
    When English reemerged as a literary language, Late Middle English, it had changed considerably.
    In I intervening centuries of clash between French n Germanic systems of speech n writing, English
    had lost most of its genders, n later its inflections. Then n since, about 85% of I original Anglo-
    Saxon vocabulary has been replaced. But a recent study by Roberts (1965) finds I most frequent
    10% of words in use now are 83% of Anglo-Saxon origin, only 12% French. In I next most
    frequent 10%, only 34% are of Anglo-Saxon n 45% of French origin.
    Chaucer
    Chaucer's spellings were phonetic for I pronounciations of his day. M "gh" was pronounced as in
    "loch, Bach". Final -e, -ed, -en, -es, -eth were pronounced as separate syllables. His spellings were
    somewhat inconsistent, but differed from our present written dialect principally in these ways (Dun,
    1952; 222-225):
    1. M Anglo-Saxon thorn symbol was used for both "th" sounds (here rendered by I modern Simpler
    Spelling Association's "I"). These include those now voiced; "Iat, Iee, Iou, Ie, Iouh, Iane
    (then), Iis, Iy, neiIer, Ierefore," n those now unvoiced, usually between vowels: "boIe, eerIe,
    Ianke, wiI."
    2. Final "l" was not doubled: "ful, shal, tel, wel, wil."
    3. "Y" was used for "igh" n "i consonant e" spellings of today: "hye, lyf, wyf."
    4. Our final "y" was spelt "i": "ladi, merci."
    5. Final silent "e" was omitted: "fals."
    6. Some other silent letters: "bilt."
    7. M "&" was sometimes used for "and."

    Readoption of these spellings today could shorten writing, n (with "n" for "&") simplify relations of
    sounds to spellings.
    M sample of Chaucer's written dialect, quoted below, uses "I" for I Anglo-Saxon thorn letter he
    used. Remember also that "u, v," had not been differentiated at that time. Thus I third n last lines
    include "loved chivalry; ever":
    A knight Ier was and Iat a worIy man
    That from Ie tyme Iat he ferst bigan
    To ryden out he louede Chyualrye
    Trouthe and honour fredom and curtesie
    Ful worthi was he in his lordes werre
    And Ierto hadde he riden noman ferre
    As wel in Christendom as hethenesse
    And euere honoured for his worIinesse.
    Vowels in Chaucer's day (1340-1400) were pronounced according to what are now called their
    "continental values." These correspond more to I International Phonetic Alphabet than to modern
    English usage. Thus "e, ee" were pronounced "ay," so "be, thee" were pronounced "bay, thay"; "i,
    y" pronounced "ee" as I "i" in "machine"; "ou, ow" pronounced as in modern "soup." (Dun, 1952;
    xxvii)
    ) great vowel shift
    Just after Chaucer, thru I 1400's, came I "great vowel shift" in English pronounciation. Similar
    changes occurred in German n Czech. Some diphthongs became simple vowels. Some long vowels
    became shorter vowels. Many of these changes seem to represent a substitution of relaxed mouth
    positions for tense ones, n unstressed for stressed pronounciations.
    Some of I vowels went thru more than one step of change. Different vowels changed at different
    times. Some students give seven steps for I whole process. M result was that someone speaking as
    Chaucer did would have been almost unintelligible to someone in Shakespeare's day, two centuries
    later.
    Printing
    William Caxton introduced printing into England in 1477. His spellings were irregular, n used
    many more characters than we do now. One of his type styles had 254 characters in a complete set,
    more than twice what modern ones have. These characters included joined or "ligatured" letters
    such as, "we, wo," a long n a short "s," letters "d, g," with n without tail, I letter "l" with a stroke, n
    some contractions: P for en, Q for oi, p for "per", n a symbol for "and."
    These features made for difficult typesetting n difficult reading. Even when transcribed to modern
    type n syntax, his variable spellings were found by Lazerson (1975) to increase reading time of a
    passage from 5 minutes 3 seconds to 5 minutes 42 seconds, an increase of 13%. M comprehenshion
    score declined from 8.7 to 6.5. Variable features included "i" for "y" in "which, with, maister"; final
    "e" or not in "which, shall, fellow," both "prest, preest" for our "priest," n I symbol for "and" used
    about as often as I full spelling. Thus readers must adjust to variations such as "said, sayd; it, hit."
    Modern readers need to remember that, in I sample which follows, "i, j" n "u, v" had not become
    separated in Caxton's time.

    And knowe ye not said he what it is
    worth/ it shold seme a good benefyce/
    No forsothe sayd he/ but J wote wel
    what it shalle be worthe to me/
    why sayd he/ what shalle hit be worth/
    Forsothe sayd he/ yf J doo my trewe
    dylygence in the cure of my parysshens
    in prechyng and techynge/ and doo my
    parte longynge to my cure/ I shalle
    haue heuen therfore/ And yf theyre sowles
    ben lost or ony of them by my defawte/
    J shall be punysshed therfore/
    And herof am J sure/
    Later printers standardized n simplified their typesetting, usually using models from writers well
    known at I time. Many used I King James version of I Bible as a model. It was published in 1611,
    shortly before Shakespeare's death.
    Shakespeare
    By Shakespeare's day, pronounciations of letters n words had become quite similar to what they are
    today. Shakespeare's spellings also illustrate I period before "j" was separated from "i," n before "u,
    v, w" were in consistent, modern usage. Only a few of his spellings would produce savings today.
    These were I main features of his spellings:
    l. Our present "-ed" was spelled "-d, -t" as in "curld, disposd, performd, perishd; wrackt."
    2. Other short forms were "wil," n I contraction "i'th" for "in the."
    3. "VV" was sometimes used instead of "w": "vvell, vvhat, vvould, vvith."
    4. "V" was used for short "u" in "vp, vnder, vndue."
    5. "U" was used for "v" before vowels: "arriu'd, diue, diuill, diuide, euer, euery, graue, haue,
    heuens, inuisible, neuer, seruant, serues, seruice, slaue, twelue, waues, wolues."
    6. "I" was used where we now have "j": "enioned, ioyne, proiect, subiect."
    7. He n his printers used long Germanic "s" for some "s." Modern readers unused to this see it as
    printed "f" which it very closely resembles: "ferves, poyfonous, miffe, bufines."
    8. He used I "-st" ending, then pronounced, but since shortened to "s" or other form: "hast" now
    "have"; "canst, remembrest, liest."
    9. Endings in "-ie" where we now use "-y": "daies, denie, libertie, marrie, qualitie."
    10. Where we now use "i" he sometimes used "y": "cabyn, lyes, poysonous, raysing, toyle."
    11. More fina1 "-e" than we use now, often after consonants: "againe, deepe, finde, feare, misse,
    painefully, winde, worke." Also "-oe" where we now use "-o": "doe, goe."
    12. Some other differences, such as "I'ld, cheefely"; "then" for "than"; "cride" for "cried."
    Two passages from "The Tempest" follow:
    … I do not know
    One of my fexe; no woman's face remember,
    Saue from my glaffe, mine owne:
    Nor haue i feene
    More that I may call men, then you good friend.
    And my deere Father: how features are abroad
    I am skilleffe of; but by my modestie

    (The iewell in my dower) I would not wifh
    Any Companion in the world but you.
    O heauen; O earth, beare witnes to this found,
    And crowne what I profeffe with kinde euent
    If I fpeake true; if hollowly, inuert
    VVhat beft is boaded me, to mifchiefe; I,
    Beyond all limit of what elfe i'th world
    Do loue, prize, honor you.
    Correctness, n dictionaries
    English borrowed much from other languages in I centuries following Chaucer, but by I middle
    1500's a counter movement of "purists" began to criticize this process. Dictionaries before 1600
    were solely designed for translation to or from some other language. In 1604, Robert Caudrey's
    "Table Alphabetical" was I first dictionary solely in English. It included about 3,000 words. Many
    early dictionaries confined their efforts to "hard words," n omitted I common ones. With I "purist"
    movement, I appearance of I King James version of Bible in 1611, n I flood of words from other
    languages, I "doctrine of correctness" in spelling, speech, n word usage gained ground, becoming
    dominant in I 1700's. In France n Italy, Academies were established to improve n make uniform
    their languages.
    Samuel Johnson developed his dictionary with this aim in mind, using in part a list of writers,
    prepared by Alexander Pope, from whom to draw examples. Johnson's dictionary appeared in 1755,
    after nearly seven years of work. It dominated I field for a century thereafter. It contained better
    definitions, than previous dictionaries had.
    M prestige of Johnson's dictionary gave "doctrine of correctness" a firm n uniform source of
    authority, n I rising middle class used it in acquiring "cultivated speech." It was further
    strengthened by grammarians such as Lindley Murray who (in 1795) published grammar books for
    schools which tried to make English follow I rules for Latin.
    This doctrine has only recently begun to be modified. Contributing to this modification are I
    growth of linguistic knowledge, shock of Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961), n
    such publications as Labov's (1970) "The Study of Non-standard English" n Wells' (1973)
    "Dictionaries and the Authoritarian Tradition."
    A handy source for further perspective on these topics is I anthology by Rycenga n Schwartz
    (1968). It includes articles opposing n favoring "Webster's Third," which appeared in 1962 in I
    Atlantic Monthly, "Sabotage in Springfield; Webster's Third Edition," n "But What's a Dictionary
    For?" Also articles on "Usage," on "Cultural Levels and Functional Varieties of English," n "Social
    Aspects, Class, Taboos, Politics."
    Phases
    In summary, I history of English spelling can be divided into six phases:
    1. M Anglo-Saxon period, 700-1066 A.D. Phonetic at I start, it drifted away from that as time
    passed.
    2. M merger of Anglo-Saxon n Norman French, 1066-1350.
    3. Late Middle English: Chaucer's era, 1350-1450, when spelling was again phonetic.
    4. A period of transition, 1450-1700, involving these trends:
    a. M great vowel shift;

    b. M rise of printing, n its efforts for standardized spellings;
    c. A flood of foreign words; n
    d. A resulting chaos in vocabulary n spelling.
    5. M doctrine of correctness, n I rise dictionaries n grammars as authorities, 1700-1800. This was a
    reaction to I trends n confusions of phase 4.
    6. Scattered, unsystematic efforts at spelling reform, 1800 to I present, starting with Noah Webster.
    Standardization, 0 first reform
    One indication of I confusions to which I drive for standardization was a reaction, is that I
    Shakespeare family spelled their name in 34 different ways, I Raleigh's in 73 ways. I Mainwaring
    family name was spelled 131 ways. How would you find a member of these families in a large
    alphabetic listing if you were not sure which spelling I person used? By contrast, a modern urban
    phone directory gives only one spelling for Shakespeare, perhaps six for Raleigh (Rahilly, Railey,
    Raley, Ralyea, Rowley), a major simplification.
    One difficulty which had to be overcome was I tendency to spell phonetically, rather than
    phonemically. Linguist Henry Sweet claimed he could distinguish 11,000 different sounds in
    English speech by various people. Yet only about 40 symbols are needed to convey differences in
    meaning. This difference between a phonetic basis which distinguishes all sounds, n a phonemic
    basis, was one factor in I development of I alphabet, tho its original omission of vowels was
    probably not phonemic.
    A phonetic alphabet, diagrams of nose, mouth, n throat positions, n a sound chart, had been
    developed by John Williams (1614-1672). But I basis for a phonemic approach apparently was not
    clearly described until 1876. Then Max Mueller stressed that Pitman's Fonotypy showed only those
    differences in sound which conveyed differences in meaning.
    A phonemic basis makes all, n only, those distinctions in sound n symbols which accompany
    differences in meaning. Thus "bath, both" are phonetically n phonemically different, with different
    meanings, but "bath, baath" are only phonetically different. Here I different sounds signal differing
    dialect pronounciations for I same meaning. Some present day advocates for, n objectors to spelling
    reform have not absorbed I significance of this distinction. A phonemic basis permits a standard
    spelling despite dialect differences in pronunciation. Different dialects use differing sound-tosymbol
    rules, but I same standard symbols for a word.
    Partly because this distinction had not yet been made clear, Samuel Johnson rejected phonetic
    reform of spellings as a goal when he wrote his dictionary. He argued that speech was changing, n
    that I needed phonetic reforms were too numerous to be accepted.
    One view of I uniformity which resulted rests on I factor in studies of I history of science known
    as "prematurity." This is an explanation of why some published advances in a field are ignored or
    unused, perhaps for decades, before being revived n accepted. M reason is that I studies which
    could bridge I gap from I new discovery to I knowledge of I day have not yet been done. Hence I
    viewpoint presented cannot be tied in, by simple, logical steps, with other ideas n facts then known.
    A second view is that I uniformity achieved was based on a simple underlying structure, to be
    described in Chapter 2. This is apparently where people tend to start when they try to organize I
    writing of a language.
    Another reason preventing Johnson from adopting a more phonemic spelling, such as Chaucer n
    Shakespeare had used, was I feeling that English had "improved" since then, n only more recent
    8
    writers should be used as examples. For these reasons, it appears that I "correctness" drive
    culminating in I development n use of Johnson's dictionary can be viewed as I first great modern
    spelling reform. It may have been about as good as could have been accepted at I time. N it may
    have been a necessary first step toward further reforms, now long overdue.

      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو الأحد ديسمبر 04, 2016 3:23 pm