Page:Bright's Anglo-Saxon Reader.djvu/17

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xi
PHONOLOGY.

CONSONANTS.

4. (a) The following consonants are pronounced as ìn Modern English: b, d, l, m, n, p, r (trilled), t, w, x. The pronunciation of the remaining consonants requires special attention.

(b) c has always the sound of k (the use of the symbol k is exceptional). The sound of kw or qu is, accordingly, represented by cw (or cu), as in cwēn, cweðan, etc., and cs has the value of x.

Note.—This k-sound has a guttural or a palatal quality (somewhat as in English cold, and kin), according to its pronunciation with guttural or with palatal vowels.

(c) f has two values. (1) In the initial and final positions, in the combinations ff, fs, ft, and in the medial position (cf. the note below), it has the usual (voiceless) sound. (2) In the medial position between vowels and voiced consonants it has the sound of v; e.g., hlāford, ofer, sealfian, ǣfre.

Note.—In compounds like ā-fyrhtan, of-lystan, etc., f is strictly not in the medial position, and has therefore its usual sound.

(d) g has two values. (1) It almost always represents a voiced spirant, which is either guttural, or palatal (like g in German sagen, or like y in English you), according to its pronunciation with guttural or with palatal vowels. (2) It is pronounced like g in English go only when doubled, as in frogga, frog; and in the combination ng, as in English longer.

The combination cg (by origin a geminated g) may be pronounced as dg in English ridge.

(e) h is never silent; it is always to be pronounced as a voiceless spirant either guttural (as in German ach), or palatal (as in German ich) in quality, according to the sounds with which it is combined.