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The not Ye



Wes thu Ron hal! (see below)

Sorry, Its a bit long
I hope the following pics work out....

The Anglo-Saxon Alphabet consisted of the following:

A <Ash> B C D <Eth> E F G H I L M N O <OEs ?> P R S T <Thorn> U W X Y

I think THE NAME "OEs" is correct but I am not sure

Ash was the a-e dipthong and was pronounced 'a' as in "Ash"

Eth was a 'd' with a line through it, and constituted the hard "Zth"
sound :

      *
      *         *****
   *******      *    *
      *         *     *
   ****      *******  *
  *   *         *     *
  *   *         *    *
   ****         *****

Oes was the o-e dipthong and was pronounced 'o' as in "Ox"

Thorn (A carry over from the Runic form of writing) was pronounced "th"
as in "Thing":

   *          **   ***
   *           * **  **
   ****        **     **
   *   *       **     **
   *   *       **     **
   ****        **    **
   *           ** ****
   *           ***      (sorry this is the best I can do for the Cap)
               **
                **
               **
                **

As we progressed into the middle ages, the capital thorn began to look
more and more like a 'Y' with the top joined up, until the generally
illiterate typesetters (who could not appreciate the phonetic difference
confused the two) could not tell the difference, thus producing some books
with "Ye" instead of "<thorn>e".

'S' was drawn two ways:

     ***        ***
    *   *      *
    *           ***
    *              *
    *           ***

'W' was sometimes drawn:

    ****
    *   *
    *   *
    *  *
    * *
    **
    *
    *
    *     (again from the runic)

The runic 'W' was dropped about the time printing came along because of
its being confused with 'P'

There was no 'Q', this sound was produced by combining 'C' and 'W'
thus "Queen" was "Cwen"

the "SH" sound was spelt "SC", thus "Scyld Sceving" in Beowulf should be
pronounced "Shuld Sheeving"

'Y' had a sound like the "U" in the French "Tu", so could not be used to
pronounce "Yee"

'G' had two sounds, the hard 'G' of "Gun" and the 'y' sound of "Year"

------

That's about it for the letters.

The Anglo-Saxons worked in threes, they had three Genders: Masculine,
Feminine and Neuter, but more fascinating is that they had three defined
quantities: one, two and lots. So:

the A-S greeting "Be complete" was dependant upon the quantity:

Wes thu hal = Be you complete

Wes Git hal = Be the two of you complete

Wes Ge hal  = Be all of you complete (this is the nearest to "ye" and was
                                      pronounced more like "Yay")

This eventually became confusing to the Viking settlers, and so it was
reduced to "Wes hal" from where we get Wassailing, an the ritual of
"Wassailing the apple trees".

I think thats it, hope it is of use.

Jon


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