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Coffee House => Coffee House Boards => CH / General => Topic started by: Argo on August 17, 2005, 04:06:23 AM

Title: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Argo on August 17, 2005, 04:06:23 AM
Okay, the membership here looks to be a worldly bunch. So, I have a question.
How does one pronounce Æ?
My sister is planning to name her soon to be born son "Æson". From the Greek story of Jason and the Argonauts. Æson was Jason's father.
I'm questioning her pronuciation, the long A.
I've found this page:
http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=718621
I guess it really depends on the language. Either what you speak or the language origin of the word/name.
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Cyberus on August 17, 2005, 04:10:54 AM
That's a dipthong. It is used in English a fair bit, but no one ever bothers writing it properly. Examples I can think of (don't quote me on these) Encylopædia, pædophile, err, I can't think....perhaps æther.

It's when two vowel sounds appear together - often it results in elision (correct word?) where they combine together.
In French they have an oe dipthong, e.g. oeuf
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Methuselas on August 17, 2005, 04:14:59 AM
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Cyberus on August 17, 2005, 04:17:20 AM
Not sure if its relevant, but that symbol is also used to represent a phoneme. I used to know the phonemic alphabet, but it would be foreign to me now :-(
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: X-ray on August 17, 2005, 08:26:10 AM
@ Cyberus

Surely the 'ae' combination is not the same as the symbol Argo is talking about? As far as I know the ae combination is pronounced differently depending on emphasis as befits its position in the word.

For example paediatric : is pronounced 'pee'. The phonetic guide in the dictionary is the same for paediatric and pea: (I:)

But that doesn't happen with anaesthetic. That is pronounced like animal. But if you anaesthetise someone, then you go back to the I: 'ee' pronounciation.

I would say Argo's friend would have to pronounce the Æ the same way you do with the Æsop (he of the fables fame).
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Dan on August 17, 2005, 09:49:15 AM
 Ähh, this is to linguistic stuff is to hard for me...
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: odin on August 17, 2005, 01:13:49 PM
I'd say the English 'a' in 'ash' comes pretty close. Although in my pronunciation that 'a' is more rounded than the Norwegian 'æ' as in 'æsj' vs 'ash'.

I'd say Æson is pretty much Jason without the consonant J.

Clickety (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-open_front_unrounded_vowel) and click. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AE_ligature)
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: blobrana on August 17, 2005, 04:24:12 PM
eh?
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: X-ray on August 17, 2005, 04:38:06 PM
@ Blobzie

"Eh?"
------------------------------------------------------

Nah, a bit longer, methinks...eeeeeeeehh maybe.

 :-P
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: blobrana on August 17, 2005, 04:53:10 PM
Hum,

eeeeeeeehh - gee - an?

Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: X-ray on August 17, 2005, 05:06:53 PM
Ja, but then we got a problem with these:

1) aetiology
2) aestivate
3) aegis
4) aeon

Those are pronounced like 'eagle'.

But I agree your eh makes sense with aerodrome, aeroplane, aerosol.

So let's see our options:

1) Æson, pronounced eeson
2) Æson, pronounced ason
3) Æson, pronounced ehson

And lastly the wildcard: ayson. (I think that's what the ordinary Joe will think it is.)
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: bloodline on August 18, 2005, 08:31:33 AM
Why don't they just call him Dave and be done with it?
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Doobrey on August 18, 2005, 05:13:54 PM
Don't you mean Daeve ? ;-)
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: X-ray on August 18, 2005, 06:47:39 PM
 :lol:

Actually, Blobzie's 'eh' definitely fits Dave (at least I suspect it does, if she says that name). Okay, maybe it is a slightly longer eeh.  :-P
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Speelgoedmannetje on August 18, 2005, 07:49:39 PM
In old Dutch ae is often used, nowadays that's 'aa'.

When I was tought handwriting, the 'x' was written like 'æ'. I always wondered why :-?
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: Wain on August 19, 2005, 04:00:06 AM
æ is not always a dipthong, depends on the language in which it is being used, in old english it represents a specific vowel that is "between" a and e, not a dipthong that merges them.

this vowel is called "ash" in english (in reference to the tree, not the sound of the vowel which in modern english sounds like ee)

in classical latin usage it IS a dipthong pronounced the way a long I is pronounced in modern English aaah-eeee (or more accurately [ai], sounds like 'eye')



I've been studying the IPA for awhile now (working as a classical vocalist), went and looked it up in my books.

EDIT - wanted to add that the greek and latin usages are the same.  The latin lifted it from the greek (IIRC, it may be the other way around).
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: blobrana on August 19, 2005, 04:55:39 PM
Doh!
"Æson" is all Greek to me....

(Ignoring the Trojan connection)
Title: Re: Linguistic Question: Æ
Post by: whabang on August 20, 2005, 05:39:10 PM
In the Scandinavian countries, æ (or ä) is treated as separate vowels, just as ø and ö.

æ is pronounced kinda like ai in hair. ø is pronounced somewhat like u in hurt.