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Allen Johnson





Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Reading list: 29 books

Posts: 198

PostPosted: Tue 09 Apr, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Anglo/Saxon & German pronunciation help         Reply with quote

Helping a friend out with pronunciations for a book on tape that he's reading. Does anyone know the correct pronunciation for these terms?

Fyrd: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyrd

and

Wambais: the German term for Gambeson

Thanks smart people!
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Greg Bowen




Location: Indiana
Joined: 04 May 2012

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed 10 Apr, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For fyrd: The <y> is a high front rounded vowel, like modern German <ü> or French <u>. It's not a sound we have in English anymore. The <r> is possibly rolled, as in Scottish, but no one knows for sure. The <f> and <d> are as in modern English. In IPA it comes out as [fyrd], interestingly enough.

I have less experience with ancient German, but I'll give you what I can. It looks like the spelling wambais is actually the French form, with the term borrowed from German into French, and then later from French into English. The Middle High German form seems to be wambeis. As near as I can tell, the first vowel should be a central low vowel, close to the vowel in English pot, and the second should be the vowel in fail. The change of [w] to [v] in German doesn't occur till the 17th century, so the <w> is pronounced as in English, not as in modern German. IPA: [wambe͜ɪs]. It seems the word accent in MHG would fall on the first syllable of the root, as in native words in modern German, so I expect that [wam] would be the stressed syllable.

I've even less experience with older French, but if it matches the stress patterns of modern French, I'd expect the final syllable to be stressed in the French version, in contrast to the German. Also, it looks like the realization of the final vowel in the French version would depend on how far back we're talking, with it being the vowel in pipe up to around the mid-12th century, but then changing to the vowel in set.

Hope that helps, and if any scholars in the history of French or German want to correct my mistakes, go ahead.
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Stephane Rabier




Location: Brittany
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu 11 Apr, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

HI,
I'm not a linguist but I imagine there was an intermediate "guambeis, gwambeis, guambise" in Franquish or old French, the -on ending sounds like the "cas régime" (oblique case?) of the ancient French. Gambeson may have been borrowed to the French/norman rather than to a Germanic language.
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Allen Johnson





Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Reading list: 29 books

Posts: 198

PostPosted: Thu 11 Apr, 2013 6:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wonderful! Thank you so much folks!
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Greg Bowen




Location: Indiana
Joined: 04 May 2012

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 11 Apr, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephane Rabier wrote:
HI,
I'm not a linguist but I imagine there was an intermediate "guambeis, gwambeis, guambise" in Franquish or old French, the -on ending sounds like the "cas régime" (oblique case?) of the ancient French. Gambeson may have been borrowed to the French/norman rather than to a Germanic language.


Spot on recognizing the French source. In fact, it looks like I had one detail backward, and it actually passed from French to German rather than the other way round, so French was the common source for both the English and German terms. Here's the OED's entry for the etymology of gambeson:
Quote:
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman gambesoun, gambesun, gambisoun, gaumbesoun, Anglo-Norman and Middle French gambeson, Old French, Middle French gambison (c1200) < Old French, Middle French gambais , wambeis , in similar meaning (11th cent.: see below) + -on -oon suffix.

Compare Old Occitan gambaison , post-classical Latin gambeson- , gambeso (frequently from 13th cent. in British and continental sources; also as gambiso , wambiso ). Compare wambais n., wamus n., gamboised adj.

Old French, Middle French gambais is of uncertain origin; it may reflect a blend of a borrowing of a Germanic cognate of womb n. with post-classical Latin bambax , variant of bombax (see bombyx n.).

Middle Dutch wambuess (Dutch wambuis) and Middle High German wambeis (German Wams) show borrowings < French; compare similarly Old Occitan gambais, Spanish gambaj (13th cent. as gambax), post-classical Latin gambesum (13th cent.), wambasium, wanbasium (11th cent.; from 12th cent. in British sources).
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