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Old 12-13-2008, 10:10 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default pronounce "vnreasonable" and "haue."

With this earlier practice in written English, I assume we just reverse the sounds of the v and the u.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:02 AM   #2
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Yes. That's one way of looking at it. The convention was to use the classical V-form of the Roman letter when it came at the start of words, and the new u-form when it did not. (The two forms of the letter were not originally used to distinguish its two different types of sound, 'vuh' and 'uh'. That came later.)
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
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Not me. "V-N-Reasonable" and "haue" - the "vn" in the first word suggests "VN" to me which is the Dutch form of UN (Verenigde Naties); the latter looks like a German word at first sight (in fact, it is: from abhauen) so I'd pronounce it like that. "Practice in written English" doesn't alone determine one's reaction - practice in other written languages makes a big difference! But even after seeing your "reverse the sounds of the v and the u" that still doesn't present itself to my eyes as the most likely pronunciation: "existing words" in one's mind are stronger than non-existent ones!

   
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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Thanks. I see what you are saying. But so I can be more clear, what about the phrase "haue giuen vnto you euery herbe." Do we know if the letter u we pronounced in these words. Was it like the modern v?
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:39 AM   #5
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"hauve giuen vnto you euery herbe" is pronounced exactly as "have given unto you every herb", yes (except that "herbe" would have been pronounced with a silent 'h').

We pronounced the letter letter u in these words above exactly as we pronounce the modern letter v, and vice versa. We only varied the letter form according to position, not according to sound.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:51 AM   #6
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You are correct. I should have given the context.
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Old 12-14-2008, 08:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew B. View Post
Thanks. I see what you are saying. But so I can be more clear, what about the phrase "haue giuen vnto you euery herbe." Do we know if the letter u we pronounced in these words. Was it like the modern v?
What time period do you refer to?? Pronunciations are always changing. And it seems the positions on prior pronunciations are always being debated. I guess linguists take works from a prior time and compare them to translations and derive the pronunciations in that manner, but then other opinions come up over the process and the debate begins.

I was always told the u was pronounced like a v, but look at Tyndale's Bible. This work gives a good feel for how things were pronounced in the 1530's I think, or there abouts -- I'd have to look it up again (which is actually the language of the King James Version, having depended so much on Tyndale's prior work -- and some credit Tyndale with having a greater impact on the English language than Shakespeare) I note in this link to the Gospel of John instances where the u has to be pronounced as a u.

It's an interesting subject, but not one I know very much about. Another interesting question is, at what time was the English language the most beautiful in speech?? The time of Shakespeare?? Perhaps, the time of Tyndale??

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Old 12-14-2008, 08:58 AM   #8
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We only varied the letter form according to position, not according to sound.
Yes, I see. I searched for "verily" and it was spelled as I just typed it.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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Yes, I see. I searched for "verily" and it was spelled as I just typed it.
So only 'v' at the start of a word? interesting!

   
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:57 PM   #10
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What time period do you refer to??
Second half of the 16th century, in the Geneva Bible.
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