# Theoretical phonetics. Study guide for second year students. Борискина О.О - 53 стр.

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53
and so on. Until about the time of Shakespeare all such words were stressed on
the second syllable. But then three exceptions arose - outlaw, rebel, and record -
in which the stress moved to the first syllable when they were used as nouns
(e.g. we re'bel against a 'rebel; we re'ject a 'reject). As time went on, according to
one authority,the number of words of this type was doubling every hundred
years or so, going from 35 in 1700 to 70 in 1800 and to 150 by this century,
spreading to include such words as object, subject, convict, and addict. Yet there
are still a thousand words which remain unaffected by this 400-year trend,
among them disdain, display, mistake, hollow, bother, and practice. Why should
this be? No one can say.
What is certain is that just as English spellings often tell us something
about the history of our words, so do some of our pronunciations, at least where
French terms are concerned. Words adopted from France before the seventeenth
century have almost invariably been anglicized, while those coming into the
language later usually retain a hint of Frenchness. Thus older ch- words have
developed a distinct 'tch' sound as in change, charge, and chimney, while the
newer words retain the softer 'sh' sound of champagne, chevron, chivalry, and
chaperone. Chef was borrowed twice into English, originally as chief with a hard
ch and later as chef with a soft ch. A similar tendency is seen in -age, the older
forms of which have been thoroughly anglicized into an 'idge' sound (bandage,
cabbage, language) while the newer imports keep a Gallic 'azh' flavour
(badinage, camouflage). There has equally been a clear tendency to move the
stress to the first syllable of older adopted words, as with mutton, button, and
baron, but not with newer words such as balloon and cartoon. Presumably
because of their proximity to France (or, just as probably, because of their long
disdain for things French) the British have a somewhat greater tendency to
disguise French pronunciations, pronouncing garage as 'gar-ridge', fillet as 'fill-
ut', and putting a clear first-syllable stress on café, buffet, ballet, and pâté (Some
Britons go so far as to say 'buffy' and 'bally').
Spelling and pronunciation in English are very much like trains on
parallel tracks, one sometimes racing ahead of the other before being caught
up. An arresting example of this can be seen in the slow evolution of verb forms
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that turned hath into has and doth
into does. Originally -th verbs were pronounced as spelled. But for a generation
or two during the period from (roughly) 1600 to 1650 they became pronounced
as if spelled in the modern way, even when the spelling was unaltered. So, for
example, when Oliver Cromwell saw hath or chooseth, he almost certainly read
them as 'has' or 'chooses' despite their spellings. Only later did the spellings
catch up.
3
Often, however, the process has worked the other way around, with
pronunciation following spelling. Many people today pronounce that t in often
because it's there (even though they would never think to do it with soften,
fasten, or hasten) and I suspect that a majority of people in the English-speaking
world would be surprised to learn that the correct (or at least historic) pronun-
ciation of waistcoat is 'wess-kit', of victuals is 'vittles', of forehead is forrid', and
                                           53
and so on. Until about the time of Shakespeare all such words were stressed on
the second syllable. But then three exceptions arose - outlaw, rebel, and record -
in which the stress moved to the first syllable when they were used as nouns
(e.g. we re'bel against a 'rebel; we re'ject a 'reject). As time went on, according to
one authority,the number of words of this type was doubling every hundred
years or so, going from 35 in 1700 to 70 in 1800 and to 150 by this century,
spreading to include such words as object, subject, convict, and addict. Yet there
are still a thousand words which remain unaffected by this 400-year trend,
among them disdain, display, mistake, hollow, bother, and practice. Why should
this be? No one can say.
What is certain is that just as English spellings often tell us something
about the history of our words, so do some of our pronunciations, at least where
French terms are concerned. Words adopted from France before the seventeenth
century have almost invariably been anglicized, while those coming into the
language later usually retain a hint of Frenchness. Thus older ch- words have
developed a distinct 'tch' sound as in change, charge, and chimney, while the
newer words retain the softer 'sh' sound of champagne, chevron, chivalry, and
chaperone. Chef was borrowed twice into English, originally as chief with a hard
ch and later as chef with a soft ch. A similar tendency is seen in -age, the older
forms of which have been thoroughly anglicized into an 'idge' sound (bandage,
cabbage, language) while the newer imports keep a Gallic 'azh' flavour
(badinage, camouflage). There has equally been a clear tendency to move the
stress to the first syllable of older adopted words, as with mutton, button, and
baron, but not with newer words such as balloon and cartoon. Presumably
because of their proximity to France (or, just as probably, because of their long
disdain for things French) the British have a somewhat greater tendency to
disguise French pronunciations, pronouncing garage as 'gar-ridge', fillet as 'fill-
ut', and putting a clear first-syllable stress on café, buffet, ballet, and pâté (Some
Britons go so far as to say 'buffy' and 'bally').
Spelling and pronunciation in English are very much like trains on
parallel tracks, one sometimes racing ahead of the other before being caught
up. An arresting example of this can be seen in the slow evolution of verb forms
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that turned hath into has and doth
into does. Originally -th verbs were pronounced as spelled. But for a generation
or two during the period from (roughly) 1600 to 1650 they became pronounced
as if spelled in the modern way, even when the spelling was unaltered. So, for
example, when Oliver Cromwell saw hath or chooseth, he almost certainly read
them as 'has' or 'chooses' despite their spellings. Only later did the spellings
catch up.3
Often, however, the process has worked the other way around, with
pronunciation following spelling. Many people today pronounce that t in often
because it's there (even though they would never think to do it with soften,
fasten, or hasten) and I suspect that a majority of people in the English-speaking
world would be surprised to learn that the correct (or at least historic) pronun-
ciation of waistcoat is 'wess-kit', of victuals is 'vittles', of forehead is forrid', and