The Prissy Posh-Yorkshire Accent.

Michael Hendry wrote me as follows:

‘Stephanus Coombs’ (@stephanuscoombs), whom I know from Twitter, posted this question in two tweets. It seems like the kind of thing Languagehat readers (“language freaks” all) could probably answer – I know nothing about British regional and class accents. Here are his tweets:

“Where can I learn more about the prissy posh-Yorkshire accent of
people like Alan Bennett, Alan Titchmarsh and the TV cook Brian
Turner? How did it develop? Has it got a handy label like
“Morningside” for posh-Edinburgh?

“I REALLY WANT TO KNOW! Surely there’s some language freak out there
who knows more than I do about POSH-YORKSHIRE? (Google is for once no
help at all.)”

Seems like an interesting question; anybody know?

Comments

  1. I hadn’t heard of the chef, but Wikipedia tells me that he, like the two Alans, was born in Yorkshire but has spent much of his career in London. I listened to a clip of Alan Titchmarsh and he sounds to me like a northerner who has lost much of his accent and acquired a degree of poshitude from hanging around with the likes of Prince Charles.

    Patrick Stewart is also a Yorkshireman by birth, but his native accent only comes through intermittently.

    I’m not sure ‘posh Yorkshire’ is really a thing, in other words.

  2. One vote for the null hypothesis!

  3. I can’t claim to be a Yorkshireman, but I’ve lived in York and Leeds, worked in Harrogate, travelled extensively.

    There’s a thing about British accents that non-Brits just don’t seem to get: accent depends on social class just as much as on region. Everywhere has more-posh and less-posh variants. Even where I grew up in West London suburbs. My ‘resting’ accent is mid-posh Osterley/Isleworth, although I can do stronger Hounslow. The phenomenon is so ubiquitous we don’t need a specific term for posh Yorkshire vs posh Buckinghamshire.

    Yorkshire’s a big place. The three Ridings are distinct culturally. There’s lots of accents from nearly-Teesside in the far north; gentrified farmers in the North Riding and York; nearly-Lancashire in the NW; the flat ‘ull accent in the East Riding (see previous thread); and shading into the industrial West and South.

    Alan Bennett is from mid-posh NW Leeds (Headingley/Burley, where I lived for 10 years), not as posh as Adel or Harrogate; his father was a butcher (I know where the shop was) and his mother upwardly mobile. He’d have had the thicker parts of his accent pared off at Oxford. His accent is by no means the most-prissy in Leeds, let alone in Yorkshire.

    In South Leeds “the” reduces to “t'”, in caricature Monty Python style. In Sheffield it reduces to glottal stop. In Huddersfield/Holmfirth (Last of the Summer Wine) it’s disappeared altogether. Of course for TV audiences all three characters in LotSW had somewhat moderated accents, but you can hear a shading amongst them.

  4. Fascinating! It was worth asking the question to get those details.

  5. I agree with everything AntC says — but it’s hard to say how much of the current accent of these people is original and how much influenced by later life.

    My father was from a very working class part of Derbyshire but moved south in his twenties, and that’s where I grew up. He sounded like a northerner to the end of his life, but his accent, compared to his brothers who stayed in Derbyshire, was greatly moderated, although never posh.

    Alan Titchmarsh, according to Wiki, was the son of a textile worker and a plumber and left school at 15, so I’d guess his original accent was not far from Monty Python Yorkshire. In his voice today, though, I hear a mix of northern and southern elements. Same with Patrick Stewart.

  6. It was also common, in my parents’ time, to believe that if you wanted to ‘get on in life’ you had to erase a too-strong regional or working-class accent. My brothers and I were strongly reprimanded by teachers and parents if we uttered a glottal stop.

  7. This is great.
    What about Nick from the Up series (63 Up is coming out in a few months,) the Yorkshire farm boy who became a physics professor?

  8. I’m curious to know the details of what any of you call a ‘moderated’ or ‘pared off’ accent. Are these qualitative differences (maintaining some features but not others), or quantitative ones (e.g. moving vowels part way toward some normative target)?

  9. ‘moderated’ or ‘pared off’ accent.

    Oxford/Cambridge Unis are horrible places. The “Public Schoolboy” culture (by which of course I mean private school) is totally mocking of regional accents. Alan Bennett did very well to retain as much as he does.

    Of my peers at school who went to Oxbridge, it affected all of their accents. At first they could revert to a ‘home’ accent when they came down during the vacs, but that eventually disappeared.

    I’m not enough of a phoneticist to portray the effects, but I know it when I hear it. Loss of short/back vowels. Many more dipthongs. You can hear it in Alan Bennett if you can find him on Youtube: compare his Oxford Revue sketch of the sermon “Esau was an hairy man” (very posh, indeed over-exaggerated) vs reading Winnie the Pooh vs speaking more off-the-cuff in interviews.

  10. Stephen Coombs says:

    I’m the Stephen/Stephanus Coombs whose tweet started this discussion. I’m very grateful for all these contributions, but now I’m more, rather than less, convinced that “posh-Yorkshire” really is “a thing”. Perhaps Yorkshire folk, with their tough self-image, are unduly reluctant to admit that such a beast really can exist?
    My own background is that of a Dorsetman who as a child had a very pronounced regional accent, went on to develop an Oxfordish alternative and now uses both according to context, doubtless with several gradations between the two.
    I defy anyone to listen to Bennett, Titchmarsh and Turner and not recognise similar local-genteel tendencies in the speech of all three. If these haven’t been recognised up to now, perhaps my innocent question will have done English studies a modest service.

  11. Jen in Edinburgh says:

    Two different things seem to be getting mixed up here – people who started off with a strong regional accent and lost it either deliberated or accidentally in later life while associating with people who had a different accent, and people who grew up with a less marked variant of a regional accent from the start.

    Also, one of the things that is notable about Morningside/Kelvinside is that they’re relatively prestigious accents which aren’t RP. I don’t know whether this is something which happens in England in the same way, or whether it’s an unusual thing and a reflection of a kind of cultural ‘gravity’ in the central belt of Scotland which pulls against London/Oxford/Cambridge to some extent – a cluster of Scottish institutions which tend to consider themselves national rather than local, alhough London’s might be bigger and stronger, and the effects of that.

  12. Fascinating!

    Oh, there’s much more. Shall I carry on?

    As a correction: I’m using suburb names as a shorthand for the poshness of accent. (A practice that Shaw lampooned in ‘Pygmalion’. Henry Higgins detects that Eliza’s father was a dustman from Hounslow.)

    Osterley is in the Borough of Hounslow and only 2 miles from Hounslow High Street. You’re as likely to meet a Hounslow accent in Osterley as an Osterley on the High Street. But Osterley has a Park (London residence of the Earls of Jersey), Hounslow has a High Street. Isleworth is next door to Osterley and has some genteel pubs on the riverside. Historically it was a rough area where canal boats were offloaded to barges to go down the Thames. I imagine the clientele of ‘The London Apprentice’ would have been very different back then. But Isleworth was not as rough as Brentford, also on the Thames in the Borough, which had a whole Brewery.

    Similarly Headingley is only 3 miles from Adel. But Adel has nicer parks and bigger ‘ouses. Headingley has the cricket/rugby league ground. By ‘Burley’ I mean Burley Road suburb. Named for Burley-in-Wharfedale which is miles away en route to Ilkley.

    The “t'” in the song “On Ilkla’ Moor bar t’at” beloved of all drunken Yorkshiremen is not an Ilkley accent (which is quite posh, like Harrogate: N. Riding, not West). Rather, the song depicts a day’s outing from South Leeds into the countryside. The townie, being not familiar with the outdoors, has ventured on to the windswept moor (ref Brontë novels anon) without appropriate headgear.

  13. I’m more, rather than less, convinced that “posh-Yorkshire” really is “a thing”.

    You’re not following: posh-anywhere is “a thing” in Britain. posh-London, posh-Liverpool, posh-Derbyshire, etc. Yorkshire doesn’t exhibit it any more (or less) than elsewhere. It’s just that Yorkshire being a big place exhibits more local variations and therefore more posh/non-posh clines.

    Perhaps Yorkshire folk, with their tough self-image, are unduly reluctant to admit that such a beast really can exist?

    You’re ‘falling for’ too many caricatures. Go to Betty’s tea shop in Harrogate. Absolutely no-one with that caricature gritty self-image. All very genteel ladies of a ‘certain age’. But still proudly Yorkshire.

    I defy anyone to listen to Bennett, … not recognise similar local-genteel tendencies in the speech of all three.

    But anyone in Britain can ‘put on’ a posh or less-posh accent. Bennett, as an actor and professional observer of life, can codeswitch better than most. I said to look him up on Youtube, because you can hear the different degrees of poshness he uses. BTW in his memoirs, he always refers to his mother as “mam”. That’s not Yorkshire/Leeds. I suspect an Irish influence (there’s a huge Irish community there).

    And as @Jen points out, accents can change over time/under other influences.

    I assume when Hat posed the question, it was some foreigner asking. You’re a Brit already, and with a non-RP accent: I’m astonished you’re not deeply aware of the phenomenon. And no it’s no revelation: English dialectologists are all over it. So much so that Shaw’s Pygmalion could make fun of it.

  14. Jen in Edinburgh says:

    (I don’t mean that the existence of the accents is unusual, but that them being more than purely local phenomena might be.)

  15. a kind of cultural ‘gravity’ in the central belt of Scotland which pulls against London/Oxford/Cambridge to some extent – … London’s might be bigger and stronger, and the effects of that.

    Thank you Jen, that’s a stimulating observation. I haven’t lived in Britain for 25 years, but my impression …

    In the ’60’s/’70’s (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner/Angry Young Men) there was the beginnings of a switch to favouring non-prestige and non-RP accents. (Note that using Nottinghamshire/regional accents is already “a thing” in D.H. Lawrence, but not to make a political point.)

    I don’t think this is a London thing (speaking as a Londoner). There’s plenty of non-prestige London accents: I have one. I’d call it ‘Home Counties’, under strong influence from Public Schools and Oxbridge.

    These days (according to Sociologists) that RP accent is regarded as less trustworthy than ‘genuine’ people with ‘honest’ accents. Let’s think who has that strangulated RP accent: John Major, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, all the ‘wide boys’ in the City with their loud ties who sent the economy down the pan then asked for handouts. I can see why “less trustworthy”. (Gordon Brown was an exception: perhaps you could comment on what sort of Scottish was his accent.)

    Is there a similar phenomenon in the U.S.? Was Hillary Clinton regarded as less trustworthy because she has a bland/non-regional accent. As opposed to Donald Trump having an ‘authentic’ NY accent? After all, who could you trust more than a New York property developer who ran a string of failing casinos and other businesses?

    In listening to the US news and Senate sessions interviewing Trump associates, so many of them seem to have that hard-nosed NY way of speaking. Giuliani, Scaramucci, Avenatti, the caricature bent Jewish lawyer called Cohen. Do Americans regard that as more ‘genuine’?

  16. AntC: that’s a really interesting question. Here’s my (probably way off the mark) view: there’s no widespread “untrustworthy snobbish accent” in the US these days. Maybe the mythical Harvard accent, which no national politician would dare use since before I started paying attention to that kind of thing. Clinton’s accent, broadcast US English, etc. are bland but socially unmarked. Southern accents are “regular guy”, “authentic”, etc., as is Robert DeNiro’s New York accent. Those could help or hinder, depending on how one markets oneself. A Minnesota accent would make people snicker and mention the movie Fargo, but wouldn’t affect one’s image very much.
    That all goes for white people’s English. African Americans have to walk a tight space between sounding respectable (sounding too street would scare whites) but not sounding white (which would be read as fake and inauthentic.) No politician speaking with a Latino accent of any sort could get anywhere nationally at present (I’ll be glad to hear of exceptions to that.)

  17. David Marjanović says:

    In Sheffield it reduces to glottal stop. In Huddersfield/Holmfirth (Last of the Summer Wine) it’s disappeared altogether.

    The things I learn…!

    The “Public Schoolboy” culture (by which of course I mean private school)

    Schools for all members of the public who can pay the tuition fees – not just nobility!

    Was Hillary Clinton regarded as less trustworthy because she has a bland/non-regional accent.

    Nope – Reagan, Obama.

    As opposed to Donald Trump having an ‘authentic’ NY accent?

    Bernie Sanders has an almost authentic NY accent (authentic for Trump’s generation, that is); I’m actually surprised how little it’s been commented on. All I notice in Trump’s is the lack of [hj], e.g. ‘UGE.

  18. No politician speaking with a Latino accent of any sort could get anywhere nationally at present (I’ll be glad to hear of exceptions to that.)

    Exception: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A ‘light’ Latino accent. Seems to be getting absolutely everywhere nationally and beyond.

    Also, haven’t I hear Marco Rubio with a Latino accent? Although usually he’s bland. (Whether he’s ‘getting anywhere’ I’m not in a position to comment.)

    mythical Harvard accent

    Tom Lehrer? J K Galbraith (in whom I would put huge trust).

    William F Buckley? If it’s not Harvard, what is that camp, preening, extraordinary intonation? (And no I wouldn’t say trustworthy at all: in fact totally false.)

  19. David Marjanović says:

    Southern accents are “regular guy”, “authentic”, etc.

    Jeff Sessions’s has been mocked, though (including by Trump).

  20. David Marjanović says:

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A ‘light’ Latino accent.

    Really? I’m not noticing it. What features do you mean?

  21. Really? I’m not noticing it. What features do you mean?

    Her first remark here from about 1:45. “I theenk” — I’m exaggerating. Her intonation rhythm throughout is more ‘Latin-y’.

    I’m sure she moderates the Latino for her public face.

  22. Dan Milton says:

    William F. Buckley’s first book was “God and Man at Yale” (not Harvard). Can’t say where his intonation is from though.

  23. David Marjanović says:

    Nah. That effect is minuscule, and can be attributed to general American vowel raising before nasals in the same syllable, if not simply to the high pitch.

    No idea about the intonation. I’m barely used to intonations in the first place. 🙂

  24. I don’t think Bill Clinton’s Arkansas accent was ever an issue, even for the people who hated him. Nor was George W. Bush’s. I’m sure some conservative Texans suspected he was a posh New Englander pretending to be Texan, but overlooked it because they liked his politics.

  25. AOC is not a national politician.

  26. I’m not convinced there is a latino accent except for a few mannered and eccentric celebrities, like the presenters on NPR’s Latino USA. In my experience 1st gen+ all speak local.

  27. say what? says:

    William F. Buckley’s accent wasn’t really any sort of standard American accent. Per Wkipedia:
    “Buckley moved as a boy with his family to Mexico,[11] and then to Sharon, Connecticut, before beginning his formal schooling in Paris, where he attended first grade. By age seven, he received his first formal training in English at a day school in London; his first and second languages were Spanish and French.[12] As a boy, Buckley developed a love for music, sailing, horses, hunting, and skiing. All of these interests would be reflected in his later writings. Buckley was homeschooled through the eighth grade using the Calvert School of Baltimore’s Homeschool Curriculum.[13] Just before World War II, at age 12–13, he attended the Jesuit preparatory school St John’s Beaumont in England.”

  28. John Cowan says:

    The current Boswell of Auchinleck speaks pure RP (and is rather apologetic about his lack of verbal Scottishness) despite his ancestor, Alexander Boswell (James’s father), who spoke pure Scots.

  29. All I notice in Trump’s is the lack of [hj], e.g. ‘UGE.

    Trump’s speech is definitely identifiable as New Yorkish without that, based on the somewhat high value of /ɔː/, the short a split, and attenuated rhoticity with some spots of non-rhoticity. But his accent is much less strong than Bernie’s.

  30. AOC is not a national politician.

    ? She’s a Congresswoman. Aren’t all of them ‘national’ as in Federal?

    I’m not saying all of her speech is Latino. More (I suspect) she’s mostly hiding it, but occasionally a little slips out. Compare in that link the first time she says “I think” vs the second, which is more ‘normal’ American.

    And I’m going to dispute with David M. (With trepidation because of my untutored phonetics.)

    General American I hear (again to exaggerate) as ‘thnnnk’: voiced fricative, nasal continuing throughout.

    AOC’s I hear as ‘theeŋk’: voiceless initial, high vowel onset with no nasal, nasal coda.

    In my experience 1st gen+ all speak local.

    ? There’s a ‘Jenny’ on Seth Meyers — catch the segments ‘Jokes Seth can’t tell’. Certainly she can and usually does speak local. Then try to catch her speaking Puerto Rico patois. (Segments from around the time Trump was being a total shit-head after Hurricane Maria.)

    Given the stigma attached to Latinos, as @Y points out, I think most of them will be faking it. That’s just an extreme version of prissy-posh vs thick Yorkshire.

  31. Quite the opposite. In political contexts, such as Latino USA, some people fake an immigrant accent for the ‘authenticity’ it lends them. In Chicago, there’s no stigma to being Hispanic. But kids grow up talking like other kids, not like mom. So they sound more like the czechs that used to live there than they sound like anyone from Texas, Hispanic or no.

  32. Tom Lehrer?

    The “Harvard accent” that Lehrer adopted in several songs was certainly mythical as far as his own idiolect is concerned. He was raised in NYC. I also met him several times while he was teaching at UC Santa Cruz in the 80s and his speech wasn’t actually marked by a strong regional accent at all.

  33. Anybody who can rhyme “Harvard” with “discovered” deserves credit.

  34. AJP Crown says:

    AntC: Let’s think who has that strangulated RP accent: John Major, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Theresa May,

    You who can hear a difference between Osterley & Hounslow (surely this is varying degrees of the same cockney now called Essex or Estuary?) think May & Cameron share an accent? I don’t know if Dave actually says ‘hice’ for ‘house’ but his accent is much more in that vein than May’s is. Blair introduced a glottal stop so he could converse with pop musicians, drug dealers and the like before he decided to be a politician – I recognise that because I’m his contemporary and we all did it.

    a huge Irish community in Leeds
    Peter O’Toole. Irish father, Peter & sister born & brought up in Leeds. Unlike Alan Bennett whose Yorkshire accent has always been strong, or say Albert Finney his Lancs. contemporary, you’d never know O’Toole had a regional accent.

    This prissiness, Stephen Coombs. Do you mean like Sybil Fawlty? What about Alan Bennett’s great friend from Blackburn, Lancs. Russell Harty, is his accent prissy? How about Ernie Wise who’s from Leeds? David Hockney, from Bradford?

  35. Osterley & Hounslow (surely this is varying degrees of the same cockney now called Essex or Estuary?)

    O & H are varying degrees, but not of cockney. West London is not cockney at all. Completely different to Essex/Estuary. Anyway I’d say those are not cockney in the sense of ‘within the sound of Bow Bells’. South London different again.

    May and Cameron both speak strangulated RP. May grew up in Oxfordshire, went to Oxford. Cameron went to Eton then Oxford. You’ve caught Cameron in mufti, relaxed after quitting the bear pit. Take these cadences instead. I grant you Cameron didn’t get to sound so strangulated: he quit before the going got tough.

  36. General American I hear (again to exaggerate) as ‘thnnnk’: voiced fricative, nasal continuing throughout.

    Huh? Are you saying “think” starts with a voiced fricative, i.e. the same sound with which “then” starts? That’s so absurd I have to think you miswrote; I not only have never heard it, when I try saying it it sounds utterly bizarre. I’m pretty confident that no English speaker, American or otherwise, has ever said “think” with a voiced th.

  37. I’m pretty confident that no English speaker, American or otherwise, has ever said “think” with a voiced th.

    I’m trying to contrast AOC’s vs general American, so it’s a case of degree rather than absolute. If you’re nasalising the whole vowel length, how would you avoid voicing the onset fricative?

    No American? I’m pretty sure Lily Tomlin did, in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in, playing Ernestine the telephone operator harassing Gore Vidal. YouTube is giving me plenty of voiced th’s from her, and nasalised vowels where standard English has [i]. But I can’t so far find a ‘think’ under any pronunciation.

    Of course she’s deliberately being “utterly bizarre”. To my Br. Eng. ears she sounds plausibly Americanly bizarre.

  38. David Marjanović says:

    I’m sure some conservative Texans suspected he was a posh New Englander pretending to be Texan

    I’ve encountered liberal Texans insisting his Texan accent is recognizably fake.

    I couldn’t tell, but he famously dissimilates terror to Terra (as in War on); is that a vestige of New England non-rhoticity?

    General American I hear (again to exaggerate) as ‘thnnnk’: voiced fricative, nasal continuing throughout.

    AOC’s I hear as ‘theeŋk’: voiceless initial, high vowel onset with no nasal, nasal coda.

    Oh, it’s about the nasality of the vowel! I thought it was [i] vs. [ɪ]. I think the vowel is simply too short for me to tell how nasal it is.

    And yes, please clarify what you mean by “voiced”.

    I don’t know if Dave actually says ‘hice’ for ‘house’

    In the “strangulated” speech, he says county in the first few seconds, and uses a vowel for it that is definitely not the RP [aʊ̯] or the widespread near-RP [æʊ̯]. It’s something much more… strangulated, possibly [ɘʉ̯]. That’s somewhat similar to a PRICE vowel with Canadian Raising.

  39. I don’t know if Dave actually says ‘hice’ for ‘house’

    ‘hice’ for ‘house’ is the Royals and Sloane Rangers. In general too stupid for Oxbridge. It’s not RP, and I wouldn’t expect that from Dave.

  40. I’m trying to contrast AOC’s vs general American, so it’s a case of degree rather than absolute. If you’re nasalising the whole vowel length, how would you avoid voicing the onset fricative?

    I guess I’d have to hear a recording of what you’re talking about. To me there’s a clear and immutable difference between voiceless þ and voiced ð, and “think” has the former no matter what accent it’s said with. I’m pretty sure the way you’re talking about whatever you’re talking about is confusing the issue.

  41. David Marjanović says:

    No American? I’m pretty sure Lily Tomlin did

    Here’s Lily Tomlin as Ernestine, saying “I think” at 2:06 in a completely unremarkable way.

    Lots of nasal vowels all over the place, though – not just next to nasal consonants.

  42. AJP Crown says:

    West London is not cockney at all.

    Listen mate, I grew up in west London (Stanmore until 7 & then Notting Hill). Have you heard of Portobello Road? Any stallholder’s accent that isn’t Caribbean is Cockney. Always has been. That Bow Bells tourist nonsense has been irrelevant to accent since the mid-19C.

    cockney [is] completely different to Essex/Estuary

    Tell that to Jamie Oliver.

    Never mind Oxford, can’t you hear the difference between Cameron and May? Dave’s accent is verging on upper-class in the John Cleese sense while Theresa’s is Ronnie Barker. She is middle class. She might as well be wearing a felt trilby.

  43. David Eddyshaw says:

    She might as well be wearing a felt trilby

    That might well have been the key to the success which has eluded her; alas, the titfer tip comes too late now.

  44. Have you heard of Portobello Road?

    Michael Moorcock’s “The Chinese Agent” takes place there (in 1960s). Absolutely amazing. In the novel they speak like this:

    “Oh, ’ello, Jer. Got the crabs, in I? What you doin’ ’ere?”

    Jerry explained how his insurance firm had asked him to check up on an accident that had happened to one of their customers earlier that day. He also hinted that the firm could reward anyone who gave it information that helped them.

    “Nar,” said Deanna sadly. “On’y wisht I did know, dun I?”

    “Nar,” said Hugo. “Cor. Whatta chancet ter miss, eh?”

    “Nar,” said Auntie Norma, wrapping up the baby and putting it on the sideboard while she cast around for the cardboard box she used as its cot. “I ain’t bin art all day, ’ave I?”

  45. This topic is scattering in so many directions, driven by both lay and professional linguists. An important point from the earlier part is that acents are defined by region and “class” – expressed in regional dialects and local sociolect scales (where one end has all/most of the local regional features and the other end is modified to avoid stigmatised local features). It’s not helpful to give accents fancy names, although “RP” has been with us so long it’s at least well-defined and researched. An additional dimension is time. The phonology of a regional accent changes, so that younger generations sound different, and stigmatized features are moved up or down the sociolect scale.

    The examples of who speaks RP today is already answered. John Major, Tony Blair and Theresa May are all examples of regional Home Counties speech at the modified end of the regional sociolect scale. There’s a substantial recent literature on sound change in RP, but nothing there admits these three examples. Their vowels in “mouth” and “goat” and “thought”, for example, are all typically regional home counties and would have given them away immediately 50 years ago as “uneducated” no matter how many university degrees they had earned.The problem today is that so little RP is heard in public that most people have no chance of learning what it sounds like.

    Does anyone, really, say “hice” for “house”? The earliest citation I know of was an anecdote by the late British phonetician David Abercrombie in the 1990s, who had seen it in a comic strip. I suggest what is really going on here is an extreme case of what linguists call “goose fronting”. English regional accents have never had any inhibitions about pronouncing the vowel of “goose” to sound like [y:] in French or German. In their zeal to avoid regionalisms 19th century RP speakers would never have done that, although it’s now accepted in current RP. The only way to attempt to capture that in English spelling is “hice”.

    To bring us back to the Northern British English of Yorkshire, listen to Tony Harrison’s “Them and [uz]” from 1974: http://poetrystation.org.uk/poems/them-and-uz. This was cited by Abercrombie as the beginning of the changing focus from RP back to regional English.

  46. AJP Crown says:

    AntC: ‘hice’ for ‘house’ is the Royals and Sloane Rangers… It’s not RP, and I wouldn’t expect that from Dave.
    Ant – may I call you Ant? – Dave doesn’t sound like the queen, but they’re different generations. Britishers with different non-regional accents (you & me?) and a tin ear assume they share an RP accent, so it’s hard to use the term RP precisely. All I kno is his upper-class contemporaries sound exactly like Dave (and not like Theresa May).

    Michael Moorcock’s “The Chinese Agent” takes place dahn the old Portabella Thanks, SF. I’ll take a look. Blanche Girouard’s Portabello Voices is an excellent book about the lane. It has some great photos.

  47. Charles Perry says:

    David Marjanovic — In southern California, “think” is not raised but broadened: theink. This is a trace of the early Southern influence around here, also noticeable in the diphthongization of e and a before a voiced velar. Beg, bag and bang become beig, bæig and bæiŋ,

  48. AntC: By “national” what I meant was, reflecting the average attitudes of the US as a whole, or at least a large chunk of it. AOC, like any member of congress, needs only to appeal to voters of her district. Minorities (by race, accent, etc.) get elected to Congress all the time, even if they wouldn’t have a chance to be elected president.

  49. Well, she’s a national politician in the sense of being prominent in the national political discourse (see her recent Time cover) and having an unusual amount of popularity outside her district.

    But it’s true that a stricter or more formal definition would probably have to be confined to the President, VP and congressional leadership positions.

  50. Padraic McGaugh says:

    I am reminded of an old jingle on the subject which goes somewhat like this:

    “How pleasant to reside in quaint Morningside
    and to hold high rank
    in the Post Office Bank
    Where your a’s and your e’s coincide”

    Also hice for house sounds a bit invocative of certain northern dialects, viz. “sut dine” meaning “sit down.”

  51. J.W. Brewer says:

    Some regional AmEng accents, including mine, have a noticeably fronted GOOSE vowel, but as best as I can tell that doesn’t seem to flow through to our MOUTH vowel, much less turn it into something that sounds like our PRICE vowel, which I assume is what the “hice” spelling for “house” is supposed to suggest?

  52. John Cowan says:

    Anybody who can rhyme “Harvard” with “discovered” deserves credit.

    When I sing the song (but never otherwise), I pronounce it [dɪskɑɻvɚd], rhyming perfectly with my pronunciation of Harvard.

    If you’re nasalising the whole vowel length, how would you avoid voicing the onset fricative?

    Many-to-most Americans, certainly including me speak with pervasive non-distinctive nasality, what used to be called the “nasal twang” or “adenoidal accent”. That doesn’t mean we voice otherwise unvoiced fricatives just to make them nasal, though.

    national politician

    Indeed, Google and COCA show that there is no current use of this expression in the U.S. other than “nationally prominent politician”. Rudy Giuliani has never held any office higher than mayor of NYC, yet he was a national politician in 2001 already.

  53. @J.W.B.: AmEng can certainly have a fronted nucleus in MOUTH, but the offglide consistently remains back as far as I’m aware. “Hice” represents /aʊ/ > [aɪ̵], a trait which is associated, at least in the public imagination, with royal and other ultra-posh British speech. J.C. Wells thinks it’s largely a myth.

  54. @Lazar, John Cowan: The term “national politician” is being confused with the more technical usage of “national office.” Only the presidency and vice presidency are termed “national [elected] offices.”

  55. AJP Crown says:

    our PRICE vowel, which I assume is what the “hice” spelling for “house” is supposed to suggest?

    Yes, almost. You can hear it from Tim Curry here (“A weakling weighing 98 pindes will get sand in his face when kicked to the grinde.” There’s a certain logic to mouse > mice = house > hice, but that’s not what it’s about.

    J.C. Wells thinks it’s largely a myth

    I think JC Wells is largely a myth. The first of many times that I noticed was in 1968ish when a friend of my mother’s married a young blond solicitor in Somerset who did it. He had bum fluff at the tops of his (facial) cheeks that he didn’t shave, so he resembled a character in a BBC costume drama. He turned out to be a bad lot.

  56. David Marjanović says:

    Yes, almost. You can hear it from Tim Curry here

    That’s [aʉ̯]. Reminds me of Saxony.

  57. AntC: I just found out what the title of the Belle and Sebastian song “The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner” is a reference to! Thank you, I had not even heard of the story.

  58. Elaborate for the rest of us, if you would!

  59. Well, AntC said:

    >In the ’60’s/’70’s (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner/Angry Young Men) there was the beginnings of a switch to favouring non-prestige and non-RP accents. (Note that using Nottinghamshire/regional accents is already “a thing” in D.H. Lawrence, but not to make a political point.)

    I can’t exactly elaborate further right now, since I have not yet read the story, but when I do I will.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Loneliness_of_the_Long-Distance_Runner

    I’m just happy that I have more context for the lyrics. I just thought “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” sounds like the title of that Belle and Sebastian song, and looked it up.

  60. Thanks!

  61. Father Jape says:

    @languagehat
    Some younger Americans have starting saying traditionally /θ/-initial words with an initial /ð/. Personally, I’ve only heard this in ‘thank’, but from more than one actor (e.g. T.J. Miller playing Erlich Bachman in the TV show Silicon Valley), but a phonetician friend of mine who is from the US says she’s heard it in ‘think’ as well from some speakers.

  62. Good lord!! Well, once again I learn that the ship of language is steaming on while I paddle feebly in its wake…

  63. J.W. Brewer says:

    If I were trying to use “eye dialect” spelling to capture the Tim Curry pronunciation of e.g. “ground” I wouldn’t go with “grind” or anything like it. The Frank N Furter MOUTH vowel makes it come out like “greh-oond” (maybe with the “eh” unusually tensed?). But maybe some BrEng dialects have a different PRICE vowel than I do and if I had a different vowel in “grind” the FNF version of “ground” would sound (or “signed”?) closer to it to my ear?

  64. AJP Crown says:

    Sidney Wood: Does anyone, really, say “hice” for “house”? The earliest citation I know of was an anecdote by the late British phonetician David Abercrombie in the 1990s, who had seen it in a comic strip.

    No no no no. At least, that may be the earliest citation in a phonetician’s anecdote that you know of, but it’s irrelevant because (as well as my own anecdote above) hice was recorded in 1975:

    Tim Curry’s idea to play Dr. Frank N. Furter with an English accent came from hearing an English woman say, “Do you have a house in town or a house in the country?” He decided, “Yes, [Furter] should sound like the Queen.” – T. Curry, NPR interview with Terry Gross, 15 Mar 2005. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical-comedy film.

  65. Father Jape says:

    Re: Tim Curry, he aims at the aforementioned upper class feature in that clip, but IMHO overshoots the mark, and it just comes out almost Scottish. What he gets wrong, I think, is the nucleus of the diphthong should be longer, and the glide should have less rounding.

  66. AJP Crown says:

    JWB, if you were from Saxony, you’d understand better.

  67. AJP Crown says:

    Father Jape, I agree.

  68. J.W. Brewer says:

    No doubt if I were from Saxony there are any number of things (not only phonological) that I would understand better and perhaps others that I would understand worse. But with my perspective limited as it may be by the circumstances of my own birth and upbringing, I note that somewhat parallel to the point Lazar made upthread about certain AmEng versions of the MOUTH vowel, my notably fronted GOAT vowel (which as I may have mentioned before is the most high-profile regional-variant-from-default-GenAm feature in my idiolect) starts more fronted than a typical AmEng GOAT vowel but then seems to go almost just as far back toward the end (the offglide, I guess) than a typical one. The suggestion here is that certain RPish dipthongs both start and finish in fronter locations, I think?

  69. David Marjanović says:

    The suggestion here is that certain RPish dipthongs both start and finish in fronter locations, I think?

    Beyond RP, I’ve encountered a fully front [œy̑] for GOAT.

    MOUTH before /n/ turns into a triphthong [ẽã̯ʊ̯̃] for many Americans and Canadians, but that’s another story.

  70. J.W. Brewer says:

    David, what was the apparent relevant-to-dialect background (whether geographical/ethnic/social-class/or-other-variable) of the Anglophone(s) you heard with a “fully front [œy̑] for GOAT”? Sounds like that tripthong in MOUTH before /n/ progresses all the way from front to back, fwiw.

  71. Some younger Americans have starting saying traditionally /θ/-initial words with an initial /ð/. … heard it in ‘think’ as well from some speakers.

    the ship of language is steaming on …

    >glows with self-vindication<

    I can’t claim to be riding the bow-wave of said ship. I owe it all to Lily Tomlin.

  72. John Cowan says:

    No doubt if I were from Saxony there are any number of things […] that I would understand better

    “Nay, I come not from heaven, but from Essex.” —the 19C hero of A Dream of John Ball by William Morris

  73. AJP Crown says:

    But with my perspective limited as it may be by the circumstances of my own birth and upbringing

    The trick, JW, to the near diphthong of the eye dialect ‘hice’ pronunciation is, while you say the word, to THINK you’re saying house. It’s no good imitating ‘price’, it’s required to be a believer. For a microsecond, imagine you’re the queen. That’s what I do, at any rate.

  74. Trond Engen says:

    To say “house” with the mouth set for “hice”?

  75. David Marjanović says:

    I can’t claim to be riding the bow-wave of said ship. I owe it all to Lily Tomlin.

    …but, as I linked to, she didn’t? Would I find variation if I watched more of these dreadful videos?

  76. AJP Crown says:

    To say “house” with the mouth set for “hice”?

    That might work too depending on how you set your mouth for ‘hice’. My way is more fun though.

  77. AJP Crown 24 Mar 12:12pm

    Thank you for the new date for the “hice” pronunciation. So we have an actor who hears someone say “hice” and decides to incorporate it into a character he was performing in a 1973 show (and 1975 film). Then some comic strip author, who presumably saw the show, carries it on. It’s amazing how stereotypes get around, and to have it documented like this. The next step is to identify the newspaper that published the strip.

    So this seems to be a very idiosyncratic thing and I’m still happy with my explanation that the end of the “mouth” diphthong can be very [y] or [ʉ]-like, which can’t be easily expressed in terms of English phonological perception or spelling. The nearest you can get is “hice”. Thank you, too, to David Marjanović, for adding that the same is true for the ending of the “goat” diphthong. I have many recordings of both diphthongs, but so far no “hice”. Perhaps I should listen to Her Majesty more often, her name keeps cropping up in these comments.

  78. AJP Crown says:

    I’m still happy with my explanation that the end of the “mouth” diphthong can be very [y] or [ʉ]-like, which can’t be easily expressed in terms of English phonological perception or spelling. The nearest you can get is “hice”.

    So am I. I also think that regardless of its accuracy whoever started the spelling ‘hice’ very much enjoyed the improbability of its being used for ‘house’. In that case it might well have originated in a London newspaper or a Private Eye-like comic strip.

  79. J.W. Brewer says:

    If only I were from Saxony I might find it easier to imagine myself being the Queen?

  80. Well, maybe if you were from Hanover.

  81. John Cowan says:

    Reagan, Obama

    Reagan could talk like an actor because he was an actor, making him an anomaly, and Obama was obviously another anomaly. But no other President at least since the invention of sound recording has spoken with anything but a local accent, if perhaps a bit watered down. Hillary, like my wife and other Southerners of their generation, smoothly moves from a strongly Southern accent for a Southern audience (in Gale’s case, her family) to a much less Southern one otherwise. There simply is no American accent that serves the functions of RP, and the only one that could remotely be called non-localized is AAVE.

  82. Hillary and Obama are actually pretty similar in their speech habits – both having a rather mild NCVS accent as default but modulating toward Southern or AAVE features depending on the audience.

    I agree that the US really has no RP analogue; the old Trans-Atlantic or Brahmin accents are so rare that their oddity would outshine their cachet at this point, and the traditional Cronkite- or Carson-style General American, despite its prominent role in media, never seemed to carry the (often negative) class connotations that RP does.

    and the only one that could remotely be called non-localized is AAVE.

    Well, the “new” General American (basically watered-down Valley Girl) does seem pretty popular among certain social sets throughout the US, and even gets adopted by some New York celebrities like Lady Gaga.

  83. Recent research suggests that even city AAVE alone is more diversified than had been suspected before. I don’t know what the state of the art is on that.

  84. John Cowan says:

    traditional Cronkite- or Carson-style General American, despite its prominent role in media

    And it was specifically a media accent, not a general middle-class accent that you had to acquire in order to be a businessman or doctor or lawyer (much less an Indian chief).

  85. David Marjanović says:

    David, what was the apparent relevant-to-dialect background (whether geographical/ethnic/social-class/or-other-variable) of the Anglophone(s) you heard with a “fully front [œy̑] for GOAT”?

    I have no idea. I heard it in Bristol.

    I don’t think I’ve heard the fully front version ever again, but central ones like [ɵʉ̯] are common in England in accents not far from RP.

    Sounds like that tripthong in MOUTH before /n/ progresses all the way from front to back, fwiw.

    Yep.

    Well, maybe if you were from Hanover.

    Nono, Saxony, not Lower Saxony.

  86. John Cowan says:

    Did you mean that Lower Saxony (and if so, I don’t get the joke) or this Lower Saxony?

    I note that the traditional language of the East Frisian Islands (from Borkum to Wangerooge) is West Frisian (but then again, East Frisian is no longer spoken in East Frisia, but only south of it).

  87. AJP Crown says:

    The joke started with Saxony (“That’s [aʉ̯]. Reminds me of Saxony”), location of a sometimes disparaged (by westerners) eastern accent. Language mentioned Hanover, but Hannover is in Niedersachsen. For €20, I will explain any joke.

  88. David Marjanović says:

    The joke is a person whose name is consistently treated as “Other Rachel”. I tried to find the strip where someone says they got her a birthday cake that said “Other Rachel” in frosting, but couldn’t.

    Wangeroog(e) Frisian was part of Weser Frisian, itself part of East Frisian, says Wikipedia. The German article adds fascinating information like [θ] and [ð] being “in very common use” until at least the 1850s (when the island was flooded, dooming the whole dialect), consonant length being preserved and short vowels after Proto-Germanic short stems being preserved, so that “ships” came out as schüpu.

  89. SFReader says:

    If you didn’t get the “Other Rachel” joke, Lower Saxony is actually the real, original old Saxony, but Saxony is the new Saxony (lands conquered from Slavs in 12th century).

    It’s like calling New England simply England and referring to England itself as Oriental England or something.

  90. AJP Crown says:

    Merrie England.

  91. Language mentioned Hanover, but Hannover is in Niedersachsen.

    I mentioned Hanover because that’s where the current royal family was imported from. Sheesh, doesn’t anyone around here know their history? Wake up, sheeple!

  92. AJP Crown says:

    I thought that point was too obvious even for me to mention. We were never talking about former first lady of NYC Donna Hanover.

  93. January First-of-May says:

    I mentioned Hanover because that’s where the current royal family was imported from.

    Wait, isn’t the current royal family the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha? I mean, I’m not sure where exactly Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is, but the name sounds like it’s probably in Saxony.

    (Yes, I know that this particular branch had been renamed to the House of Windsor.)

  94. Lars (the original one) says:

    Victoria’s father was King of Hanover (and the UK), but that went to her uncle when her father died. Because Salic law.

    She married into the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha family; the current head of the family is Andreas Michael Friedrich Hans Armin Siegfried Hubertus, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Saxony, but he is not the ruler of anything and I’m sure the Queen does not feel she owes him fealty.

  95. @Lars (the original one): Two of her uncles and her grandfather were simultaneously Kings of the United Kingdom and Hannover, but her father was Prince Edward, who died in 1820.

  96. I’m sure the Queen does not feel she owes him fealty.

    I wonder if he feels the same way, though.

  97. SFReader says:

    This Duke Andreas is from New Orleans, of all places! (like that Duke in Huck Finn’s adventures).

    Fled America and settled in Coburg in 1965 to avoid Vietnam war draft.

    The best draft dodging story I’ve ever heard.

    “Tell me Grandpa, how did you evade draft during the Vietnam war?”

    “I went to Germany and became Duke of Saxony!”

  98. That is truly great.

  99. Lars (the original one) says:

    Well, if he hadn’t up and died before his older brothers, Prince Edward would have been king of both places. I think. This succession stuff has me confused, how about some etymological conundra instead?

  100. J.W. Brewer says:

    It seems a bit harsh to call Duke Andreas a draft dodger when, after leaving Louisiana, he did serve for several years in the Bundeswehr. Which admittedly was not deploying troops to Southeast Asia at the time, but was nonetheless a valued NATO ally. His grandfather, the last duke to have an actual political role in Saxe-Coburg etc., was one of those first cousins of George V who ended up serving in the Wehrmacht during the Late Unpleasantness of 1914-18, as a consequence of which he was stripped of his various UK titles of nobility in a rather petty episode of victor’s justice. Had that not happened, Andreas would now be Duke of Albany (and Earl of this and Baron of that etc), might well esteem his British titles more highly than his German ones, and might be more inclined to be deferential to his 3d cousin the queen.

  101. I think that’s what he says himself in his memoirs. People who read his book have this to say:

    Andreas returned to New Orleans and enrolled at Louisiana State University. He was not a good student, was more interested in GIRLS than his studies, and after one semester, he decided to re-examine his life. He spent the summer in Coburg with his grandmother, and he soon came to a decision: developing the link between his heritage and his land. It was only after he returned to the United States that the decision became imperative. It was the draft notice that would send him to Vietnam that led to Andreas making the decision to renounce his American citizenship, although he made it clear in his renouncement that he was not anti-American. He was choosing his German heritage.

  102. John Cowan says:

    Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

    Technically it’s Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Coburg is in Bavaria now, but was historically part of Thuringia; Gotha always has been in Thuringia. The two towns were joint capitals of the Dukes, so the family + entourage had to move house every six months.

    When Hannover and the U.K. split in 1820, the law in Hannover was changed to secundogeniture: the second son became King so as to prevent the lines from re-merging.

    The house of S-C-G is in fact a cadet branch of the House of Wettin, but I trust that everyone can see why “Harry Wettin” would be a really bad name for the present Duke of Sussex. (He’s an Oldenburg by birth, and only a Windsor by letters patent dated 1960.) To clarify an often-confused point, the House is Windsor still, whereas the family, those of them who are not royals, bears the surname “Mountbatten-Windsor”, though by the ordinary rules the House should now be “Mountbatten”.

  103. The Queen’s youngest son goes by the name “Edward Wessex,” at least is his professional career as a documentary filmmaker. (His children do not use that surname.) He was once considered the least responsible member of the family, but thanks to the bozoic behavior of his three older siblings in the 1990s, he is now probably the most respectable. His lower status is indicated by his only being made an earl (of Wessex, naturally) when he married, the kind of occasion on which his brother and nephew, already earls, were created dukes. However, he has more recently taken on the duties of the retired Prince Philip, and is apparently intended to be made Duke of Edinburgh upon his parents’ deaths

  104. SFReader says:

    A few days ago, I had a dream that I’ve had a concussion and was brought to hospital and the doctor asked me all the usual questions: “Can you remember your name, what day is today, who is the king of England?”

    Realized something was wrong only after replying “Charles the Third”

  105. January First-of-May says:

    Realized something was wrong only after replying “Charles the Third”

    He’s almost certain to be George the Seventh, anyway (though the Canadian island named for him would probably remain Prince Charles Island).

  106. Assuming the monarchy lasts that long. (Which I guess is more likely now that the politicians have shown their worthlessness.)

  107. Trond Engen says:

    Assuming the monarchy lasts that long.

    How can anyone imagine such a change being made in a country where they still put pipes on the outside of external walls to have easy access when they freeze.

    Dagbladet’s commentator (I forget which one) sometime around 1990 when there was some talk about ending the monarchy with the current queen. (My paraphranslation.)

  108. @January First-of-May: I have a hunch that modern tabloid media culture may have killed off distinct regnal names. People are so intimately aquainted with the royals (in their minds) that the idea of a late-in-life name change might seem off-putting and – God forbid – out of touch.

    Of course, I’m kinda just hoping for the prime number sequence of Elizabeth II, Charles III, William V and George VII.

  109. AJP Crown says:

    “He’s almost certain to be George the Seventh”
    Golly. Do you have any evidence for this being prepared or are you planning on making it happen yourself?

    Wessex isn’t his surname. That would be Mountbatten-Windsor, as John said. It’s when his father dies that he’s supposed to be made duke of Edinburgh. As she’s duke of Lancaster and the wife of the duke of Edinburgh, the queen is currently in the trendy position of being both a duke and a duchess at the same time.

    The Saxe Coburg name was the very wonderful Prince Albert’s. Americans have reason to be grateful to him. I can’t remember all the details, but it was something like Palmerston, the British Taoiseach, wanted to send gunboats to assist the south in the American civil war. It was only because Albert on his deathbed persuaded him that it was a jolly bad idea to get involved that an even bigger mess was averted. I’m sure John can clear up the details of this story.

    Why can’t they spell it Mountbattan like Manhattan? So much less to remember. It’s only a made-up name, it was Battenberg up until c. 1917.

  110. January First-of-May says:

    I have a hunch that modern tabloid media culture may have killed off distinct regnal names. People are so intimately aquainted with the royals (in their minds) that the idea of a late-in-life name change might seem off-putting and – God forbid – out of touch.

    That might have resulted in a bit of a problem if Prince Harry ever became king, because “Harry IX” is just out, “Harry I” is not much better, and “Henry IX” might get confusing.

    Fortunately, William’s three kids are now ahead of Harry in the line, so Harry is unlikely to ever reign.

     
    EDIT:

    Golly. Do you have any evidence for this being prepared or are you planning on making it happen yourself?

    …After looking it up, I might have overestimated the certainty, but it had definitely been a serious proposal.
    TL/DR is that Charles I and II are some of the most unpopular British monarchs, so there’s some suspicion that a Charles III might get associated with them, and there’s no way he’s going to become Philip II or Arthur whatever-numeral (not sure if I or II is applicable), so George VII it is.

    Of course, the proposal was originally made back in 2006 or thereabouts, and modern internet media means that people are even more used to “Prince Charles” being his name, while modern education means that most people probably have very little idea who Charles I and/or II were.

  111. January First-of-May says:

    Why can’t they spell it Mountbattan like Manhattan? So much less to remember.

    I think they spell it Mountbatten like such common English words as “fatten” and “flatten”. If anything, it’s Manhattan that should be Manhatten.

  112. David Marjanović says:

    Manhatten

    3.04 megaghits. Admittedly many of them in German, where -an for syllabic [n] is completely unexpected.

  113. John Cowan says:

    What Albert did was to help deflate the Trent affair, by which an American warship forcibly removed two Confederate diplomats bound for London on the transparent pretext that they were “dispatches of war”, which traditionally may be seized if found being carried by neutral vessels. (There were in fact dispatches on board, a clear violation of neutrality, but they were not found by the Americans.) This was considered an outrage by the British government and people, and might have led to war between Britain and the Union (though not likely, because the Union was supplying some 40% of Britain’s grain, whereas the loss of Confederate cotton was easily made up from India.)

    I’ll quote in extenso from John Stuart Mill’s article “The Contest in America” on the subject, because (a) I love John Stuart Mill, (b) it shows how governments, and American governments in particular, ought to behave, (c) it makes a good point about democracies and their problems with external relations, and (d) it lets us reflect how much the Republican Party has declined from Mr. Lincoln’s day.

    It is almost superfluous to remark that a democratic Government always shows worst where other Governments generally show best, on its outside; that unreasonable people are much more noisy than the reasonable; that the froth and scum are the part of a violently fermenting liquid that meets the eyes, but are not its body and substance. Without insisting on these things, I contend that all previous cause of offence should be considered as cancelled, by the reparation which the American Government has so amply made; not so much the reparation itself, which might have been so made as to leave still greater cause of permanent resentment behind it; but the manner and spirit in which they have made it.

    These have been such as most of us, I venture to say, did not by any means expect. If reparation were made at all, of which few of us felt more than a hope, we thought that it would have been made obviously as a concession to prudence, not to principle. We thought that there would have been truckling to the newspaper editors and supposed fire-eaters who were crying out for retaining the prisoners at all hazards. We expected that the atonement, if atonement there were, would have been made with reservations, perhaps under protest. We expected that the correspondence would have been spun out, and a trial made to induce England to be satisfied with less; or that there would have been a proposal of arbitration; or that England would have been asked to make concessions in return for justice; or that if submission was made, it would have been made, ostensibly, to the opinions and wishes of Continental Europe. We expected anything, in short, which would have been weak and timid and paltry. The only thing which no one seemed to expect, is what has actually happened.

    Mr. Lincoln’s Government have done none of these things. Like honest men, they have said in direct terms, that our demand was right; that they yielded to it because it was just; that if they themselves had received the same treatment, they would have demanded the same reparation; and that if what seemed to be the American side of a question was not the just side, they would be on the side of justice; happy as they were to find after their resolution had been taken, that it was also the side which America had formerly defended. Is there any one, capable of a moral judgment or feeling, who will say that his opinion of America and American statesmen, is not raised by such an act, done on such grounds? The act itself may have been imposed by the necessity of the circumstances; but the reasons given, the principles of action professed, were their own choice.

    Putting the worst hypothesis possible, which it would be the height of injustice to entertain seriously, that the concession was really made solely to convenience, and that the profession of regard for justice was hypocrisy, even so, the ground taken, even if insincerely, is the most hopeful sign of the moral state of the American mind which has appeared for many years. That a sense of justice should be the motive which the rulers of a country rely on, to reconcile the public to an unpopular, and what might seem a humiliating act; that the journalists, the orators, many lawyers, the Lower House of Congress, and Mr. Lincoln’s own naval secretary, should be told in the face of the world, by their own Government, that they have been giving public thanks, presents of swords, freedom of cities, all manner of heroic honors to the author of an act which, though not so intended, was lawless and wrong, and for which the proper remedy is confession and atonement; that this should be the accepted policy (supposing it to be nothing higher) of a Democratic Republic, shows even unlimited democracy to be a better thing than many Englishmen have lately been in the habit of considering it, and goes some way towards proving that the aberrations even of a ruling multitude are only fatal when the better instructed have not the virtue or the courage to front them boldly.

    Nor ought it to be forgotten, to the honor of Mr. Lincoln’s Government, that in doing what was in itself right, they have done also what was best fitted to allay the animosity which was daily becoming more bitter between the two nations so long as the question remained open. They have put the brand of confessed injustice upon that rankling and vindictive resentment with which the profligate and passionate part of the American press has been threatening us in the event of concession, and which is to be manifested by some dire revenge, to be taken, as they pretend, after the nation is extricated from its present difficulties.

    The diplomats resumed their interrupted journey to London, but were not in the end accredited to the Court of St. James, and the American Civil War was allowed to proceed to its (absent intervention from the Powers) inevitable, if unreasonably delayed, conclusion.

  114. John Cowan says:

    Quoth WP s.v. “Manhattan”:

    The name Manhattan derives from the Munsee dialect of the Lenape language manaháhtaan (where manah- means “gather”, -aht- means “bow” and -aan is an abstract element used to form verb stems). The Lenape word has been translated as ‘the place where we get bows’ or ‘place for gathering the (wood to make) bows’. According to a Munsee tradition recorded in the 19th century, the island was named so for a grove of hickory trees at the lower end that was considered ideal for the making of bows. It was first recorded in writing as Manna-hata, in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson’s yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon).’

    (It All Started with Columbus, the American 1066 And All That, tells us that Hudson was a part-owner of the vessel, which is why he named it the Half Mine.)

    I wish we had stuck with Mannahatta, as Walt Whitman spelled it in his poetry.

    The letter ending the Trent affair, sent by William Seward, U.S. Secretary of War, to Lord Lyons, the British ambassador to the U.S. The whole thing is rather rudely put, but we can see in it the very points that Mill praised.

  115. AJP Crown says:

    Thank you! The Trent, now I remember.
    because (a), (b), (c) & (d)
    Yes. “If reparation were made at all… we thought that it would have been made obviously as a concession to prudence, not to principle.” – 150 years later and this is taken for granted.

  116. AJP Crown says:

    in German, where -an for syllabic [n] is completely unexpected

    Now that I think about it, as an overheard English version of a native word, Manhatt_n could have been with a,e,i,o,u or even y.

    If anything, it’s Manhattan that should be Manhatten.
    Although Mountbatten came several centuries later.

    no way he’s going to become Philip II or Arthur whatever-numeral (not sure if I or II is applicable)

    The numbering of English kings starts at 1066, so there’s no Arthur I. And certainly no Philip; you might be thinking of the father of Alexander the Gt who also had vague Greek connections. The queen’s husband Philip is not a king.

    “Prince Charles”… modern education means that most people probably have very little idea who Charles I and/or II were.

    My guess is, esp. considering his dad Prince Philip’s background, that he was named after Prince Charles of Hesse.

    There was incidentally an odd title chosen for the top Battenberg after he renounced being German or Styrian or whatever it was. Prince Louis became… the marquess of Milford Haven? MH estuary in Wales was “the base for several military operations, such as Richard de Clare’s invasion of Leinster in 1167, Henry II’s invasion of Ireland in 1171, John’s continued subjugation of the Irish in 1185 and in 1210 and Oliver Cromwell’s 1649 invasion of Ireland” – so wow, that must have been a popular name with the Irish in 1917.

  117. David Marjanović says:

    to reconcile the public to an unpopular, and what might seem a humiliating act

    There’s the idea that only democratic governments can do truly unpopular things – because they are the only ones whose members can be sure they’ll leave office alive.

  118. January First-of-May says:

    There’s the idea that only democratic governments can do truly unpopular things – because they are the only ones whose members can be sure they’ll leave office alive.

    Or, at least, the usual ways for them to leave office don’t involve them dying in the process. Assassinations are still an option for when things get really unpopular – they’re just no longer the only option, and might not necessarily ever be the best one, which makes them much rarer.

  119. John Cowan says:

    “If reparation were made at all… we thought that it would have been made obviously as a concession to prudence, not to principle.” – 150 years later and this is taken for granted.

    It was taken for granted then too, which is one of Mill’s points. A shining example of principle in a huge wasteland of expediency.

    The numbering of English kings starts at 1066

    True. But it has been decided that Scottish kings count too, and they go back to 843, so the next David or James on the throne will be David III or James VIII (not to be confused with the Old Pretender, the father of Bonnie Prince Charlie) respectively.

    Assassinations are still an option for when things get really unpopular (in democracies)

    I wouldn’t call even the assassination of Lincoln political (the war was over and Lincoln was the furthest thing from revenge-minded), and after that the U.S. mostly has killings by crazies. A few politicians were assassinated by their opponents around a contested election, and Elisha G. Johnson was shot in 1875 to break a 12-12 tie in the Florida Senate.

  120. January First-of-May says:

    And certainly no Philip; you might be thinking of the father of Alexander the Gt who also had vague Greek connections. The queen’s husband Philip is not a king.

    I was in fact thinking of the other queen’s husband Philip, whose Wikipedia article is under “Philip II of Spain”. He is fairly commonly listed among English monarchs (even on Wikipedia), next to his wife Mary Tudor.
    I assumed that he would count for the regnal number, but in retrospect I’m not really sure either. (He was apparently never officially crowned as King of England.)

    In other words, “Philip II or Arthur whatever-numeral (not sure if I or II is applicable)” should probably have been “Philip whatever-numeral (not sure if I or II is applicable) or Arthur I”.

  121. AJP Crown says:

    Oh, him. Good God, no. Do you know about the incident with the storm and Sir Francis Drake playing bowls at Plymouth and the Spanish armada, in 1588? That is (or was) as dramatised in English primary schools as the Boston Tea Party probably is in the US. I hated the Spaniards when I was a nine-year-old. They had Sir Walter Raleigh killed a few years later, according to my primary school teacher. Bastards. Anyway, the Armada killed off Phil’s chances of ever being remembered in England as anything other than a failed invader and a sly devil, as close to being counted as king of England as Napoleon or Hitler are. As for the infallibility of Wikipedia try asking the next English person you meet whether they consider Philip of Spain to have been king of England.

    But it has been decided that Scottish kings count too
    Nah, not in England it hasn’t. Although there was the incident with the Queen Elizabeth passenger ship being built at John Brown’s shipyard on Clydebank in the 1960s, when the Scots point-blank refused to put a “II” after the queen’s name. The ship had to be called Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), after the previous Cunard Queen Elizabeth ship, because the Scots don’t recognise the rule of Elizabeth Tudor, so to them the current queen is still “Elizabeth I”. Within a couple of years there was a similar fight with the French over whether the supersonic plane Concord should be spelt “Concorde”. Turned out it should.

  122. January First-of-May says:

    Nah, not in England it hasn’t.

    The rule, I believe, is that both now count, and that the regnal number is the larger of the English and Scottish ones.

    It so happened that since 1707 the Scottish number was never the larger one – specifically, either the English number was larger (William, Edward, Elizabeth), or the numbers were automatically equal due to there being no pre-1707 monarchs of that name on either side (Anne*, George, Victoria) – so the rule has had exactly the same effect as just choosing the English number (as had been the case until sometime in the 20th century)… which is presumably a major part of why it got adopted (relatively recently).
    However, the next king named James would presumably be James VIII (and similarly for Robert, David, Alexander, Donald, and several other less common names).

    I wonder what would happen in the case of a Queen Margaret…

     
    *) …OK, no previous pre-1707 monarchs of that name

  123. David Eddyshaw says:

    proving that the aberrations even of a ruling multitude are only fatal when the better instructed have not the virtue or the courage to front them boldly.

    Couldn’t happen. No danger at all.

  124. David Eddyshaw says:

    The thing that throws me (as one educated in Scotland) is not the numbering of the current monarch (Gawd bless ‘er) but the renumbering of the Jameses (not least because I have a sort of professional connection with James IV, or as the English call him, James the Minus Second.)

  125. John Cowan says:

    As an impartial American I insist on writing “James II and VII”. In Ill Bethisad there were no Tudors on the English throne (they were busy being king-makers in Kemr), so it was James IV of Scotland who became James I of England. There was a full union of the three crowns when Costenhin XII of Kemr married Mary, the only daughter of Henry VII (the last Stuart, Duke of York and then King Henry IX in pretense in our timeline) and became Constantine I of England and Scotland.

    He was hated throughout the Federated Kingdoms, however: the Scots mistrusted him because he was a Catholic, the English because he was a Cambrian, and the Kemrese because he had married and Englishwoman. After the Nineteen Years’ Tyranny (1803-1822), he and Mary were forced to abdicate by their various Parliaments, which then made the older daughter Victoria Queen of England and Scotland, whereas the younger son Gereint became King of Kemr. They and their heirs forever were barred from the succession of the other kingdom(s).

    However, cooperation between the Federated Kingdoms was and still is quite thoroughgoing. The three Privy Councils regularly exchange members (including members of that most important committee, the Cabinet), and a system of Committees of Correspondence maintains routine administrative contacts.

    The present Queen of England and Scotland is the much-loved Diana I (born 1975), who came to the throne on the abdication of her mother Elizabeth I in 1997. Her style is “DIANA, First of that Name, by the grace of God QUEEN of England, Queen of Scotland, Queen of America, Queen of Australasia, Te Kuini Te Aotearoa, Defender of the Faith, and Protector of the Weak.” By contrast, the current King of Kemr, Pedr V ffeil Padern (born 1976) is merely “Ill Terruin”. The borders of his country are the Avon, a line of demarcation known as “La Ffens”, the Pennines, and the River Ribble. The province of Dûnein (south of the Severn estuary) is also included in Kemr, and its closely related Romano-British language Kerno is the second official language there, though it survives as a living langauge only in the western third of the province.

  126. AJP Crown says:

    JC & 1 May:
    the regnal number is (henceforward) the larger of the English and Scottish ones

    I didn’t know. Things will get really interesting when Scotland leaves the UK in say 100 years and England & Whales revert to the English numbering. But leave the intervening numbers so it runs: James I, James II, James VIII, James IX, James III, James IV… usw. Will they repeat James VIII as James VIII 2.0, perhaps? This is thrilling and I can’t wait to see it in action. Does the DUP have plans to add Irish numbers? It ought at least to be a brexit negotiating tactic.

    The alternative is to start afresh with goats, birds and or fish as head of state. The public could pick the name and number.*

    *In a referendum.

  127. January First-of-May says:

    As an impartial American I insist on writing “James II and VII”.

    In my opinion, James VI and I was very clearly James VI and I, in that order (as he was already James VI before he became James I), and by extension I would use “James VII and II”.
    But either works, I guess (IIRC he’s much better known as James II than as James VII, anyway).

  128. Does anyone, really, say “hice” for “house”?

    Such informal respellings don’t necessarily imply that the speaker has merged two lexical sets, or even that the writer believes the speaker has merged two lexical sets; rather they mean that the speaker’s realisation of phoneme #1 sounds to the writer more like the writer’s realisation of phoneme #2 than like the writer’s realisation of phoneme #1.

    he was stripped of his various UK titles of nobility in a rather petty episode of victor’s justice

    The Titles Deprivation Act 1917 was passed before the war was won, though after the US had joined in; if it was victor’s justice it was a little premature.

    the Canadian island named for him would probably remain Prince Charles Island

    Just as New York is not New James II and VII.

  129. Trond Engen says:

    AJP: Does the DUP have plans to add Irish numbers?

    I think their position is that royal succession started with William of Orange.

  130. John Cowan says:

    Does the DUP have plans to add Irish numbers?

    The last High King of all Ireland was before the Norman Conquest of Ireland in 1169-75, so presumably they don’t count, for the same reason that the pre-Conquest English kings don’t.

  131. But it would be great to see kings named Tigernmas, Eochu Mumu, Ollom Fotla, and Congalach Cnogba.

  132. AJP Crown says:

    Now we’re talking. An African Grey parrot called Ollom Fotla IX. It makes the pope sound like Rev. John Smith. It wouldn’t even need red shoes.

  133. January First-of-May says:

    Does the DUP have plans to add Irish numbers? It ought at least to be a brexit negotiating tactic.

    They might as well; as far as I can tell, the only name still in common use outside Ireland that it could possibly matter for is Brian.

    I think their position is that royal succession started with William of Orange.

    Or that.

  134. For many years, Irish names were anglicised by being matched to English names, whether cognate or merely vaguely similar. There are certainly English sources which talk of high kings Conor, Hugh, or Roderick; conceivably also Neil, Daniel, Jeremiah, Terence. But since the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 made the Irish crown subordinate to the English one, there was never a question of separate ordinals.

  135. David Eddyshaw says:

    I’ve noticed that Terence is a distinctively Irish name, but never really thought about how that might have come about. What actual Irish name is it doing duty for?

  136. Stu Clayton says:

    # From the Roman family name Terentius which is of unknown meaning. Famous bearers include Publius Terentius Afer, a Roman playwright, and Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman scholar. It was also borne by several early saints. The name was used in Ireland as an Anglicized form of TOIRDHEALBHACH, but it was not in use as an English name until the late 19th century #

  137. John Cowan says:

    I can find no legitimate references to a St. Toirdhealbhach or even a St. Turlough (a rather better Anglicization), so I would assume that people called Toirdhealbhach were in fact baptised as Terentius. The first St. Terentius, according to a legend that the Church accepts, was a Roman soldier who saw the executions of SS. Peter and Paul, became a convert, and was martyred himself. There have been quite a few St. Terence’s since then.

    Toirdhealbhach means ‘instigator’, by the way.

  138. Or so Wikipedia says; there’s no toirdhealbh or anything similar in eDIL, so I can’t verify that. Another Anglicized form is Charles: “Charles Morison can be further identified, for his name, as it appears in the summons, is the accepted Scoticised form of the Gaelic Toirdhealbhach Ó Muirgheasáin.” (Studia Celtica, 1980)

    [Mark Z points out in a later comment that the eDIL headword is tairdelb, “vn. of *do-airdelba. promoting, furthering.”]

  139. For what it’s worth, it looks ilke the closest heir who would upset the English reign numbers is James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn, currently 11 years old and 11th in line to the throne.

    I expect they’ll just avoid giving names like James, Robert, David, Macbeth, etc. to any babies likely to become king.

  140. AJP Crown says:

    Also Malcolm of which there have been four so far. But if Britain really concentrated by the end of this century it could crown a monarch Malcolm X.

  141. J.W. Brewer says:

    For my money, the regnal name used previously in Scotland but not England that could stand to be revived in royal boy baby is Constantine, said to have been medievally spelled in Gaelic as Causantín but more recently elided to Còiseam.

  142. I don’t think Prince Louis picked Milford Haven to be Marquess of because of any of the armies that embarked there. It must have been the army that landed there, led by Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, who marched from there to Bosworth Field, killed Richard III, ended the War of the Roses, and was crowned Henry VII. The place is also mentioned in Cymbeline – Imogen (or Innogen, as argued by recent scholars) is on her way there when she meets her long-lost brothers living in a cave. But that seems a less likely inspiration for the choice. Then again, maybe Prince Louis had been to Milford Haven and really liked it. Was he a yachtsman? That seems to be its main attraction today.

  143. David Marjanović says:

    I watched most of the Brexit debate last Wednesday. No two honourable members or right honourable members seem to have the same accent, and at least two triphthongize DOWN with [ɛ ~ e].

  144. David Marjanović says:

    Now that I think about it, as an overheard English version of a native word, Manhatt_n could have been with a,e,i,o,u or even y.

    Case in point: Megyn Kelly.

  145. @languagehat: the headword you are looking for in eDIL is tairdelb, long a-stem, f. vn. of a supposed *do-airdelba. ‘promoting, furthering’, which turns up with the sense “instigating” a few times in the law tracts.

  146. AJP Crown says:

    I see that Megyn Kelly named her daughter Thatcher.

  147. @languagehat: the headword you are looking for in eDIL is tairdelb, long a-stem, f. vn. of a supposed *do-airdelba. ‘promoting, furthering’, which turns up with the sense “instigating” a few times in the law tracts.

    Thanks very much indeed — that was bothering me! I’ll add the information to my earlier comment so as not to mislead anyone who reads it.

  148. Stephen Coombs says:

    To get back to “Prissy Yorkshire”: Hardly anyone has tried to answer my questions. I was very clearly NOT referring to a mid-way stage between “broad Yorkshire” and RP, but to an accent (as I perceive it) with a character all its own. I wish someone used to studying such things would do us all the courtesy of looking into the matter afresh and without prejudgement.

    Someone asked: “This prissiness, Stephen Coombs. Do you mean like Sybil Fawlty? What about Alan Bennett’s great friend from Blackburn, Lancs. Russell Harty, is his accent prissy? How about Ernie Wise who’s from Leeds? David Hockney, from Bradford?”

    No, I meant “like Alan Bennett, Alan Titchmarsh and Brian Turner”, strangely enough. I did once hear David Hockney in Balliol College’s Junior Common Room and a gold lamé jacket defend a painting of his which hung there, but that was in the early 60s and I can’t remember how he spoke. But as I failed to notice anything remarkable about his speech in a recent TV documentary about the window in Westminster Abbey I assume it must have lacked the crucial Bennett-Titchmarsh-Turner traits, which by the way I think stand out particularly in the case of intonation rather than vowel-colour etc.

    What on earth has Sybil Fawlty got to do with anything?

  149. Trond Engen says:

    My son, who is home for the holidays, has been practising ejectives and implosives, and he says he’s noticed that some English Englishes have ejectives. Unvoiced stops are glottalized word-finally and often released sentence-finally.

  150. AJP Crown says:

    Someone asks What on earth has Sybil Fawlty got to do with anything?

    Wow, you’re a sarcastic cunt, Stephen Coombe! It was to find out if Yorkshire is the only accent you consider to have “prissiness,” whatever that is.

    Hardly anyone has tried to answer my questions. I was very clearly
    We do what we like. You’re here for our entertainment not the other way round.

    What on earth has “David Hockney in Balliol College’s Junior Common Room and a gold lamé jacket defend a painting” got to do with anything? Besides a truly pitiful attempt at name-dropping.

    “I REALLY WANT TO KNOW!”
    Yeah.

  151. David Marjanović says:

    some English Englishes have ejectives. Unvoiced stops are glottalized word-finally and often released sentence-finally.

    Yep. Prepausal like routinely gets one, and so does Blackadder’s smug “Nnnnnope!” announcing he’s not going to pay his debt.

  152. AJP Crown says:

    Only English ones?

  153. Trond Engen says:

    David M.: Prepausal like routinely gets one, and so does Blackadder’s smug “Nnnnnope!” announcing he’s not going to pay his debt.

    I can do it for emphasis in Norwegian too. I’ve just not thought much about it, . I think he meant that it happens even in regular speech, and especially with -k — which I guess is what you say about like.

    AJP: Only English ones

    Edinburgh Scottish Standard English, apparently. Olga Gordeeva’s and James Scobbie’s Academia pages have more.

    My son didn’t make any claims for the Unenglish Englishes, and he wasn’t all sure about which of the English ones. He’d been thinking of it as Northern rather than Estuary, but he had heard it in faux Cockney too. I would think it would happen easier in dialects with glottal reinforcement rather than full glottal replacement, but the observation is about ejective release of glottalized stops in final position, which may have a different distribution. Word final stops aren’t usually described as affected by glottal replacement.

  154. Stephen Coombe: Don’t mind AJP, he’s cranky but lovable.

  155. Trond Engen says:

    Me: He’d been thinking of it as Northern rather than Estuary

    … as Western rather than Estuary. I don’t even know how to recognize Western English.

  156. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    Stephen Coombe: Don’t mind AJP, he’s cranky but lovable.

    I’m with AJP on this (possibly because of our somewhat similar backgrounds). No one should have the right to demand an answer (except, perhaps, Mr Hat himself) to a question that people don’t wish to answer.

  157. @TE: West Country English provides the stereotypical country bumpkin or – in its most extreme forms – pirate accent. Classically it’s rhotic, has a highish [ʌɪ] in PRICE, keeps STRUT distinct with a backish [ʌ], and uses an intermediate vowel like [aː] in BATH. Stephen Merchant is a decent contemporary example.

  158. @David Marjanović: Making a final plosive (especially a /p/) into an ejective seems like a pretty standard way of adding emphasis in English. However, all of Rowan Atkinson’s plosives tend toward that, since he learned to over-enunciate them to overcome a childhood speech impediment.

  159. David Eddyshaw says:

    My son, who is home for the holidays, has been practising ejectives and implosives

    That will stand him in good stead in Africa (always assuming that’s not where he is anyway when not on holiday.) Now for tones …

  160. David Eddyshaw says:

    They are also attractive to women, as we all know (and no wonder)

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/phonemes

  161. Trond Engen says:

    I’ll let him know.

    He’s safely in Norway, studying physics, but he’s apparently doing weird stuff in his spare time.

  162. David Eddyshaw says:

    weird stuff

    Not (shudder) phonology?
    Is it not your duty as a parent to intervene? I mean, I know you Scandinavians are kinda … liberal … but surely …? You realise it could lead to MORPHOLOGY?

    I blame Peter Ladefoged. The Timothy Leary of linguistics.

  163. David Marjanović says:

    However, all of Rowan Atkinson’s plosives tend toward that, since he learned to over-enunciate them to overcome a childhood speech impediment.

    *lightbulb moment*

  164. AJP Crown says:

    Thank you, Athel. That’s good to know.

  165. John Cowan says:

    Peter Ladefoged

    Who tells you everything you want to know about the subject except how to pronounce his last name. (Danes, you’re getting it wrong.)

  166. I presume Danes say something that sounds like “Laafo.”

  167. Lars (the original one) says:

    For values of, yes. But since he was born in England, we don’t get to decide.

  168. John Cowan says:

    Pretty much: it’s [ˈlæːðfowð]. But our guy was born in Surrey, and his name was [ˈlædɪfoʊgɪdˈlædɪfǝʊgɪd] (sorry, I used the American diphthong, which I’m sure his American students used as well). He had a son named Thegn, though how his name is pronounced I don’t know, hopefully Thain.

  169. Trond Engen says:

    Lars: For values of, yes. But since he was born in England, we don’t get to decide.

    You do get to decide what to call him in Danish.

  170. Lars (the original one) says:

    Well, Danish people of that surname will be [ˈlæ̘:ð̠̩ˌfoð̠̩] in the Standard, more or less — don’t trust Wikipedia in this case. I’m not a connoiseur of the dialects, but I do think some of them would have [ˈlæ̘.æ̘.fo] or [ˈlæ̘:.fo] as Hat said.

    (The ð̠̩ is an alveolar laminal velarized (non-sibilant) (close) approximant; since ð is a dental fricative in the IPA I might stack four diacritics on it, but I stayed with “retracted” because it’s most salient to me — and Wikipedia uses the other three in its (generally excellent) article on Danish Phonology. Also I want to quibble with the velarized feature — it is at least variable, and when enunciating ‘clearly’ I don’t think it’s there).

    This is an occupational surname, the ladefoged was the functionary in charge of agricultural operations on an estate. His colleague the ridefoged would oversee corvée and taxation and archetypically use a whip on the peasants, so no families ever took that name. I made my mother laugh when I asked if she’d ever heard of it.

  171. Interesting! So how does ladefoged work etymologically, morpheme by morpheme? I’m having no luck googling because Peter L. swamps the results.

  172. A Vogt (German: [foːkt], from the Old High German, also Voigt or Fauth; plural Vögte; Dutch: (land-) voogd; Danish: foged; Norwegian: fogd; Swedish: fogde; Polish: wójt; Finnish: vouti; Lithuanian: vaitas; Romanian: voit; ultimately from Latin: [ad]vocatus) in the Holy Roman Empire was a title of a reeve or advocate, an overlord (mostly of nobility) exerting guardianship or military protection as well as secular justice (Blutgericht) over a certain territory (Landgericht). The territory or area of responsibility of a Vogt is called a Vogtei (from [ad]vocatia). The term also denotes a mayor of a village.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogt

  173. (while I’m still here)
    Unrelated, but again of interest to some, I guess:

    Pasifika language learning

    Kia orana. Fakaalofa lahi atu. Mālō e lelei. Tālofa lava. Talofa ni.

    Learning languages in a school setting involves developing learners’ capabilities for both learning language and using language to communicate across cultural boundaries.

    Students come to appreciate the deep connections between language and culture and how they work together to express values and meaning in particular ways.
    (+some ebooks)

    http://pasifika.tki.org.nz/Pasifika-languages

  174. A Vogt … ultimately from Latin: [ad]vocatus

    Thanks very much! And I presume the first part is lade ‘barn’ (= Eng. laith).

  175. David Marjanović says:

    Vogt (German: [foːkt]

    This is one of those cases where I distinguish /kt/, /gt/ and /gd/ as in Jagd “hunt” when there’s not too much background noise. But the actual purpose of the dubiously etymological g, I bet, is to let the vowel be long in spite of the fact that a consonant cluster follows.

    And I presume the first part is lade ‘barn’ (= Eng. laith).

    That’s what the man said on the book page Y linked to.

    (It can’t be the German Lade, which means “drawer” just for the fun of it.)

  176. Oh, I didn’t even go to the book page — I assumed it was just a reference for the pronunciation.

  177. Lars (the original one) says:

    In Danish foged is not only a high functionary of the realm — though Kongens Foged is still the name of the legal office that carries out repossessions and the like — it was also used for overseers in private employ, with no legal expertise.

    Lade (noun and verb) is from the same root as the English verb lade, now mostly replaced by (unrelated) load except in specialized uses like bill of lading. In Danish, we lade (charge) our guns and mobile phones, but we don’t lade ships any more — that’s laste now — and speakers are not aware of the connection between the noun and the verb until they check the dictionary.

    So “barn steward” as the man said in Y’s link, except that he claims cognacy between Da lade and E larder — interdum dormitat bonus Homerus.

    @David, it actually is the same as in German — the basic meaning is a box for putting something in, a barn is just a bigger box. The smaller box or drawer meaning is now obsolete in Danish, but Swedish has låda — and a truck bed is lad in Danish.

  178. John Cowan says:

    To close the drawer after the (very small) horse escapes….

  179. AJP Crown says:

    Incidentally A.E. Housman wrote a fairly amusing analysis of Horace and bonus Homerus here.

  180. Thanks, that’s great. It starts:

    The misquotation ‘aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus’ has become a household word, so it never occurs to us to marvel at the insolence of the epithet ‘bonus’ coming from Horace to Homer; but if an English critic wrote about ‘the good Milton’ I think we should ask him to keep his condescension for Dr Watts: the word in fact is the technical term by which in literary matters we express tolerance for mediocrity.

  181. AJP Crown says:

    Isaac Watts wrote hymns including O God, Our Help in Ages Past and Joy To The World. Also,
    How doth the little busy bee
    Improve each shining hour,
    And gather honey all the day,
    From ev’ry op’ning flower.
    – Against Idleness and Mischief, parodied by Lewis Carroll as How Doth the Little Crocodile.

  182. AJP Crown says:

    As a barn owner I’ve never heard lade for barn in Norwegian only låve, and låvebru for the bridge up to the hayloft.

  183. Trond Engen says:

    The Norwegian cognate is løe “separate hayloft”.

  184. Trond Engen says:

    I think the form løe f. is from the genitive hlöðu used in compounds. The form la(d)e < hlaða f. / hlaði m. exists too, though mostly in Dano-Norwegian — and in the placename Lade, an important Viking Age centre in Trondheim. Both La- and Lø- are common in compound placenames.

  185. AJP Crown says:

    Lade (gammelnorsk: Hlaðir, ladested) – “charging place”.

  186. Trond Engen says:

    Yes. -ir is the feminine plural that is so common in Old Norse dwelling names of all genders (and the reason why so many Norwegian placenames end in -e). It’s been suggested (by e.g. Bjorvand) that the Iron Age farmstead was seen as a collective entity and that the feminine plural was used to form collectives, a remarkably archaic feature if it’s correct.

  187. Trond Engen says:

    I might add that Hlaðir was the residence of the earls of Lade, one of the most powerful positions in Viking Age Norway. The earls were mostly vassals and allies of the king of Denmark and the most important rivals of the king of Norway. It’s always been supposed that the name of the farm has been related to the trade that made them rich and powerful — or that they seized control over when they became powerful. An archaeological/geological study published last year located the source of a large portion of the Iron Age/Medieval whetstones found in Ribe in Denmark to a certain quarry in the hills southeast of modern Trondheim, and another large portion probably came from another still unknown quarry in the same geological formation. Until Trondheim was established just before 1000 CE Hlaðir would have been a likely export harbour and center for the operation.

  188. AJP Crown says:

    the Iron Age farmstead was seen as a collective entity and that the feminine plural was used to form collectives, a remarkably archaic feature if it’s correct.

    Trond, what do you mean by this?

    On the Trondheim & Nidaros name in the English lang. Wiki:

    Trondheim was for a long time called Nidaros (English: Mouth of the river Nid), or Niðaróss in the Old Norse spelling. But it was also just called kaupangr (“city”) or, more specifically, kaupangr í Þróndheimi (“the city in the district Þróndheimr”, i.e. Trøndelag). In the late Middle Ages people started to call the city just Þróndheimr. In the Dano-Norwegian period, during the years as a provincial town in the united kingdoms of Denmark–Norway, the city name was spelled Trondhjem.

    Following the example set by the renaming of the capital Kristiania to Oslo, Nidaros was reintroduced as the official name of the city for a brief period from 1 January 1930 until 6 March 1931. The name was restored in order to reaffirm the city’s link with its glorious past, despite the fact that a 1928 referendum on the name of the city had resulted in 17,163 votes in favour of Trondhjem and only 1,508 votes in favour of Nidaros.[6] Public outrage later in the same year, even taking the form of riots, forced the Storting to settle for the medieval city name Trondheim. The name of the diocese was, however, changed from Trondhjem stift to Nidaros bispedømme (English: Diocese of Nidaros) in 1918.

    Trondheim was briefly named Drontheim during the Second World War, as a German exonym.

    Historically, Trondheimen indicates the area around Trondheim Fjord. The spelling Trondhjem was officially rejected, but many still prefer that spelling of the city’s name.

    – I like ‘Trondhjem’ better too. I’m intrigued by this character Grimketel

  189. David Marjanović says:

    Trondheim was briefly named Drontheim during the Second World War, as a German exonym.

    So that’s what’s going on with these two versions that I’ve seen without clarifying context! Full-on etymological nativization. 🙂

  190. AJP Crown says:

    David, where did you see Drontheim? In something written during the War?

  191. Trond Engen says:

    AJP: Trond, what do you mean by this?

    If the feminine plural ending (or this specific f.pl. ending) could be attached to any noun to create a collective, it would seem to point back to the very origin of the feminine gender in Indo-European.

    On the Trondheim & Nidaros name in the English lang. Wiki:

    Yes, that’s a thorough account. I chose not to go into the onomastic history of Trondheim, but it’s true that the city was generally just called Kaupangr “(the) City”, and if necessary with the geographic specifier í Þróndheimi “in (the) Trondheim”. Eventually, the specifier came to be perceived as the name. The district was now called Trøndelag, a parallel formation to “Danelaw”. I don’t know if using the more officialese term for the region was felt necessary to avoid ambiguity or if the name stuck to the city because it was already obsolete for the region.

    I think my own hometown of Skien is a similar case, with the rivername Skiða first being used as a specifier and then transfered to the town.

    I’m intrigued by this character Grimketel…

    Yes. The political process around the deposing and subsequent beatification of Saint Olaf isn’t that well understood, but I think it’s safe to say that king Knut’s need for an orderly system in what he probably saw as his northern provinces played a major role. When the last earl of Lade died in a shipwrecking before returning to Norway and (re)assuming his role as king Knut’s governor, king Knut instead tried to instate his young son Svein as king of Norway. The account of the beatification tells that Svein and his mother Alfiva attended bishop Grimketill’s inquiries into the saintity. Alfiva is given the role of contrarian and sceptic, but it’s hard to imagine her allowing the show, and indeed Grimketill later returning to England on Knut’s orders, without this being part of a plan to bring the country together in a national cult controlled by the royal court. Anyway, Sweyn and Alfifa seem to have fallen out with their main local supporters, and the country soon united behind king Olav’s even younger son Magnus. King Cnut died in 1035, and so did his son Sweyn, and Cnut’s successor Sweyn seems to have come to an agreement with the Norwegians.

  192. David Marjanović says:

    David, where did you see Drontheim? In something written during the War?

    No, but in random sources written in German later.

  193. This is a reference to earlier discussions of an American parallel to RP. There isn’t an precise or official equivalent, but newscasters and other media personalities often use a neutral accent that bears resemblance to the overall Midwestern accent (and yes, I know there are several), except somewhat more polished or “posh”.

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