[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Pterodactylus kochi



On 2/7/07, evelyn sobielski <koreke77@yahoo.de> wrote:
Classical names are very hard to pronounce corrctly in
(Am.) English, because phonetically it's very
different.

British English is no different from American in this regard (save for some details). Both descend from early Modern English (Shakespeare era), which passed through the Great Vowel Shift, a transition that permanently altered our long vowels (/i:/ -> /aI/ or /OI/; /e:/ -> /iI/; /E@/ -> /E/ or /eI/ or /iI/; etc.). (Scots is actually slightly more conservative with regard to the Great Vowel Shift, e.g., "house" is still pronounced /hoUs/ or /hu:s/, not /haUs/ [Brit.] or /h&Us/ [Am.]).

But the classical names aren't really hard for English speakers to
*pronounce* (except for some Greek consonant clusters like "pt" and
"phth"); the pronunciations are just hard to *spell* using English
rules. You have to work around Modern English's strange vowel
conventions. For example, the classical pronunciation "Brachiosaurus"
can be approximated as "Brock ee o SOW roos". (Some of those vowels
will get diphthongized by most English speakers, but the end result is
not terribly different.)
--
Mike Keesey