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More Old English pronunciaton question

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:10 pm
by nest
I saw this on the BBC website last week and wondered how they would be pronounced and If the second word is the origin of modern English "slumber"

Kind regards

nest


Uhtceare

An Old English word meaning to lie awake anxiously before dawn. Literally translated from the Old English it means the 'dawn-care'. It's similar to insomnia'(though more time-specific) in that it is a name (or noun) given to the state of being sleepless.


Sloom

To gently sleep or lightly slumber, from the Middle English slumen and the Old English slūmian.

Re: More Old English pronunciaton question

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:40 pm
by Brother Ranulf
Middle English often provides clues to the earlier pronunciation of words - in this case "dawn" is ūghten in ME, which is said ooKHten (KH is a guttural in the throat). So the Old English uht is ooKHt. Ceare has that same ea diphthong mentioned in another thread, starting with e as in "bed" and gliding to the back of the throat, resulting in something like the vowel in "bared". The final e is also pronounced, but it has a very short value - so the whole word is ooKHt-cear-eh.

OE often has versions of the same verb expressing slightly different meanings - our word slumber comes from the verb slumerian rather than slumian but they can both mean to sleep lightly. Middle English has many examples of words with -mm- which changed to -mb-, probably as a result of lazy speech; these include the verb slǒmberen, to doze or sleep, from OE sluma, a light sleep. This is exactly how we get "number" while German retains "nummer" - ME nǒmbre from the earlier form nummer.

Re: More Old English pronunciaton question

Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:36 am
by nest
Many thanks Brother Ranulf.

Re: More Old English pronunciaton question

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:18 pm
by FionaDowson