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that now attached to F. This is also the power of in Welsh.
V as a spoken consonant, as a sound, came in after the Conquest, with such French words as uirtue, uisage, uaine, ueray, uenerie. But the character v as a sign proper to this consonantal sound, and so distinct from the vowel u, was not established until the seventeenth century.
138. The Dentals are T, D, TH.
T has an affinity to N, and this is why a sermon is apt to be called a sermont. It is also sometimes drawn in by s. In Acts xxvii. 40 we read “hoised up the main-sail,' where we should now say and write ‘hoisted,' not for any etymological reason, but from a purely phonetic cause.
D has a like affinity for N, and is often brought into a word as a sort of shadow to N. In the words impound, expound, from the Latin impono and expono, the D is a pure English addition: so likewise in sound from French son, Latin sonus. Provincial phonetics go still further, and call a gown gownd. See above, 94.
D has also a disposition to slip in between 1 and R. Thus the Saxon ealra, gen. plur. of eal all, became first aller and then alder, as in Mine alder-liefest Sovereign,' 2 Henry VI, i. 1.
TH has been touched on above, 97, in connection with the Rune p; but its more modern relations have to be considered here. It has two sounds: one which nearly approaches the lisp, as in thin; the other, which is more vocal, as in thine. The latter is sometimes represented by dh. Both are pre-eminently English, although the dh is heard in Danish at the end of some words where d is written, as in brod bread, ved with, pronounced brodh, vedh.
There are but three European languages, besides our own, that have a well recognised th-sound, the Welsh, the Spanish, and
the Greek. The latter has both the sounds; the Spanish gives the lisp th-sound to c before e or i; the Welsh has the vocal sound in its strongest form, written as dd. Neither of the sounds is heard in German, though th is written, as in Thier, Thal. In French also it is written, but not heard : as thé, pronounced tay. The th with its twofold value is one of the most characteristic features of our language, and more than
other the Shibboleth of foreigners. 139. The Gutturals are C, K, G, CH, J, H, Q, X.
The Tenues are C and K. The word icicle shews us that c has two powers, the sibilant and the guttural. The sibilant has been noticed, 132. The guttural c has the Ksound before a, o, u, also before 1, r; as call, cob, cut, clew, crop.
K is not properly a Latin, but a Greek letter. In Roman writing it had an undefined position as a superfluous character, a mere duplicate-variety of c. This was also its position through the whole period of Anglo-Saxon literature : it was a mere fancy to write k, and it meant nothing different from the c. But very soon after the Conquest, the greater frequency of k is observable; and it went on increasing just in proportion as the value of c became equivocal through its frenchified employment with the sound of s: 132. Already in the twelfth century, k is found to have a place and function of its own to the entire exclusion of c, namely, before the vowels E and I, the cases in which c had gone
off into the s-sound. Thus the old words cene, cempa warrior, Cent, cepan, cyn, cyng, were in the twelfth century written constantly as kene keen, kempa champion, Kent, keep, kin, king. But when the character had to be doubled, it was by prefixing c, and not by repetition of K, that the doubling was effected: thus, acknowledge, which is only a compound of the particle a with knowledge, the c expressing the reverberation of the resound. So also in lack, crack, Jack, and the old-fashioned spellings of politick, æsthetick, ck may be taken as equivalent to double-K.
140. G has two uses, the first before å, o, u, or a liquid, as gang, gate, good, gold, great, green, grim, gull, gush. This sound is the true medial of the guttural series. The second use is that which it has before e and i, where it sounds the same as our j, as, engine, gentle, giant, gin, ginger, change. The former is the true English G, the latter is Romanesque.
The rule is suspended where some Saxon words are concerned, thus, in get, give, it has the first sound though before e and i.
So that we might say the first is the Saxon G, the second is French or Italian.
CH has three uses :
1. The English use as in church. How far back this tch sound may have been in existence is one of the most interesting questions in Saxon phonology. In Swedish we find this sound attached to k when it is followed by a soft vowel ; thus the initial K of Swedish kyrka sounds as ch in our church.
2. The French use, like sh, as in Charlotte, 134.
3. The Italian use, like k, as in architect, character, chronicle, monarch.
Of these three, only the first and third belong here among the Gutturals, the second belongs to 132.
141. J is the consonant that has grown out of the vowel I. Now the process of making i into a consonant would seem to result most naturally in the product of the y-sound. And so we saw above, 131, that iw became yew.
But we had not developed this consonantal use of i when a different one was imported from France, along with such words as iangler, iealous, iest, iewel, ioin, iolly, journey, joust, joy, iudge, Iuly, iustice. The sound of this French i-consonant was a palato-guttural, like that of G in gít jacet. We
may compare its sound with the sound of G in certain analogous positions in Italian, FRENCH, ITALIAN.
maior and wonder whether in any sense this consonant can be traced back to the Latin. At any rate, we have adopted it from the French, have altered it to a sound of our own, and then we have lent it to the Latin language in our printed texts, transforming maior, peior, iuvare, iam, iuncus, huius, eius, into major, pejor, juvare, jam, juncus, hujus, ejus.
As a character distinct from I, the j dates from the seventeenth century.
142. H has already been spoken of in its living character, as a spirant. But it must also have mention here in the guttural series, because this was its old historic function, and also because it still represents the guttural-aspirate in many English words for the purposes of comparative philology. Thus Latin canis is English hound, according to Grimm's Law.
Q is a Latin letter, which was not recognised in English till the close of the twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century. Previous to this the Anglo-Saxon writers had done very well without it; having expressed the sound of qu by the letters cw; as cwalm qualm, pestilence, death; cwæð quoth, cwen queen, cwic quick. At first the qu was only admitted in writing Latin or French words, while cw kept its place in native words. Among the earliest Latin or French words beginning with qu which were adopted in English are quart, quarter, quarterne prison, quarrel, quarry, quire, quit from quietus quiet. This is the position which e holds at this day in the Dutch language; it is used for spelling certain Latin words, while kw is used for the same sound in the words of native origin. In English, on the contrary, the qu very soon prevailed even in the home-born words; and before the close of the thirteenth century we find quake, qualm, queen, quell, quick.
X has two powers: one its original value, ks; and the other gs, a development common to English and French. It sounds as gs when the syllable following the x is open and accented, as exhaust, exalt, exotic; in other cases it has the original value of ks. This distinction is, however, questioned; and the decision of it is all the more difficult, as we may not trust the report of our own organs in delicate points of pronunciation. Our utterance is warped the moment we set ourselves to observe and examine it.