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Requesting insight on 'gh' sound in pre English languages of British Isles (Homework matter).

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Requesting insight on 'gh' sound in pre English languages of British Isles (Homework matter).

Postby G1 Smoketreader » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:02 am

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Heya.

Was helping someone with English Homework the other day- the question came up as to why Dough and Tough are both spelled with 'gh' but are sounded differently.

I promised I'd try to find out.

My assumption is that they come from differing root languages but the sound was somehow grouped into the same spelling by the academics of the time, tho it occured to me that it's just as likely that they were originally pronounced the same but were changed over time with the evolution of topical dialects.

My guess is that perhaps Gaelic or Celtic play a role in the origins tho my education on these languages is severely stunted, and I realized I wasn't taught at all about Welsh in Australia where I grew up. Of course English also consists of Angle,Saxon and Jute, Norse/Nordic/Northern European Group of Languages (respectfully),Germanic, French...and plenty I don't even know have a seperate identity and history or have forgotten right now (again: Respectfully).

Is there anyone who can provide me with insights based on their own knowledge from their Pre-English native tongue(s)? I'm actually really curious now about the root, now... and there's a group of English Teachers also waiting to learn the result out of curiosity. (LOL)

Thanks to ALL.
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Re: Requesting insight on 'gh' sound in pre English languages of British Isles (Homework matter).

Postby Va'al » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:08 am

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I'm going to cheat (:P) and use my Uni access to the OED Online, which I recommend for any kind of etymological need!

Dough - Etymology: A Common Germanic n.: Old English dáh, genitive dáges, = Old Frisian deeg, Dutch deg, Old High German, Middle High German teic, German teig, Old Norse deig, (Swedish deg, Danish deig, dei), Gothic daigs < Old Germanic *daigoz, < verbal stem dig-, deig-, pre-Germanic *dhigh- to form of clay, to knead: compare Sanskrit dih- to besmear, Latin fig-, fingĕre; compare Greek τεῖχος wall.

Tough - Etymology: Old English tóh < *tǫnh < *tanh, Old Germanic *taŋχu-z; North Frisian toch, tuch. From an Old Germanic stem *taŋχ-, taŋg-, whence Old English ge-tęnge. Compare (with ending of -ja declension) Old Saxon *tâhi (Middle Low German tâ, tei, Low German taa, tage, tau, Dutch taai); Old High German zâhi (Middle Low German zâhe, zæhe, zæch, German zähe, zäh)

The pronunciation for tough seems to remain pretty much unvaried, and looking very close to present-day glottals in Dutch 'g' and Scots 'ch'. The switch to a softer sound appears as of the 17th century in Middle English.
As for dough, again it's arounf C17 that the sound changes to the almost invisible present-day pronunciation. Similar to 'way' and 'day', tough. There is still a U.S. and British regional version of 'duff', meaning backside, which relates back to 'dough'.
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Re: Requesting insight on 'gh' sound in pre English languages of British Isles (Homework matter).

Postby Va'al » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:28 am

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
As an afterthought, I would recommend the amazingly well written Cambridge Encyclopedia of English Language (2nd Edition) by David Crystal, and most of his other books, really.
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Re: Requesting insight on 'gh' sound in pre English languages of British Isles (Homework matter).

Postby G1 Smoketreader » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:02 am

Motto: "Continue building from within,attack your designated target,defend everyone."
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That's phenomenal Va'al! Thank you very, very much! :grin:
"Everyone has a hobby.Even people who say they don't still have one under another name.If we're sick,injured, we still go to it and get down to see how it is.If it needs something, we bring it,make sure the attention is perfect.It exercises our care and protection and gives us back philosophies.It's a living thing to us,and is the most perfect way to teach a young person how to be towards a living thing. It's something that should never be taken away."
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Re: Requesting insight on 'gh' sound in pre English languages of British Isles (Homework matter).

Postby Va'al » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:26 am

Motto: "Till All Are Pun!"
A pleasure!

Nice to see my degree can be used somewhere.
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