[Spellyans] the tone of debate here

Owen Cook owen.e.cook at gmail.com
Mon Nov 22 03:39:41 GMT 2010

On 21 November 2010 13:45, Michael Everson <everson at evertype.com> wrote:
> If Dan makes similar claims and does not back them up (as Nicholas does) with reference to
> the texts, then Dan is doing the same sort of thing as Bailey.

For reasons that have already been discussed, the only "texts" that we
can absolutely count on to be relevant is JCH. Dan's given his
arguments based upon that text. The evidence is scanty, one way or the
other, but the L1 interference argument doesn't really account for the
variation we see there.

If you really require a grand theory, how about this: General weakness
of non-prevocalic non-sibilant fricatives left them vulnerable to
devoicing, particularly when final before other voiceless consonants,
as well as to elision and alteration in the place of articulation.
Hence [x] > [h] > 0 and even occasional [x] > [θ]; hence [θ] > [h];
hence final [v] > [f] or 0, and final [ð] > [θ] or 0.

Brugmann notwithstanding, free variation does occur, as does
sociolinguistically conditioned variation. In the Leonard Cohen song
"Hallelujah", the word 'hallelujah' is rhymed with 'do you',
'overthrew you', 'outdrew you' and 'knew you'. Rufus Wainwright
pronounces 'you' in these words as [juː] rather than [jə]. So who's
wrong, Rufus or Leonard?

I'd also like to echo Eddie's concern for decorum.

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