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Author Topic: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)  (Read 9293 times)

Jayson

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Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« on: December 22, 2011, 05:17:54 PM »
1. there was a discussion elsewhere about 'who was Cerdic' but I was wondering how the name would be pronounced.   We pronounce it Serdik but would it have been 'Cherdich' in A-S?

2. another discussion was about 'mistletoe' which was explained as 'dung on a twig'.   How about 'Mistlethrush'?
Wessex Woman

peter horn

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 05:42:11 PM »
1. there was a discussion elsewhere about 'who was Cerdic' but I was wondering how the name would be pronounced.   We pronounce it Serdik but would it have been 'Cherdich' in A-S?

2. another discussion was about 'mistletoe' which was explained as 'dung on a twig'.   How about 'Mistlethrush'?

According to the Companion's Handbook, page 79,  C before e is pronounced 'Ch' as in Church.

The Mistlethrush is so called because it was believed to be the main bird that ate the berries of the mistletoe.

leofwin

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 10:04:53 AM »
I'm with Peter on 'chair- ditch'

Jayson

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 09:34:01 PM »
Many Thanks.

Glaed Geol and Niw Gear!
Wessex Woman

Horsa

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 10:40:12 PM »
I've always pronounced it Kerdick. Isn't Cerdic from the British name Caradoc? When did the English start palatizing their cs anyway?

Anyway, that's not why I pronounced it Kerdick. Just a mistake on my part when I started learning OE that has since fossilized.

leofwin

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 02:43:39 PM »
Yep, it's a brythonic name alright, so there's some doubt about how the english would have pronounced it. My suggestion is based on the way foreign loan-words are traditionally mangled in the process, but there's no 100% 'correct' pronunciation.

re palatalisation, don't think we'll ever know!

peter horn

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 06:14:27 PM »
I've always pronounced it Kerdick. Isn't Cerdic from the British name Caradoc? When did the English start palatizing their cs anyway?

Anyway, that's not why I pronounced it Kerdick. Just a mistake on my part when I started learning OE that has since fossilized.

I have been led to believe that 'Cerdic' comes from the Old Welsh 'Ceredig"( I write a bit about this in WW160 page 21.)   How it was pronounced in the 5th cent would presumably depend on how the bearer regarded the name.
Eg: did he know it was an Old Welsh name? `if he did, did he nevertheless, being a Saxon, pronounce it as if it was an OE name? etc etc
peter

David Cowley

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 10:29:35 AM »

I also tend to think there's no definitive answer on this; the k or ch question seems hard to get around on other words too: what about ceole/ ceolor (throat), which gave us collar? Also ceald (cold), which at least in some Middle English was written cheald (see Clark Hall). Wheras we can probably put some cases of hard k down to later Norse influence (such as in 'Birkenhead', the Birk being Norse for Birch, and suchlike), we can't be sure how c or other sounds varied over the mixed population of AS England before the Vikings showed up (there seems to have had input from the North Sea rim area pretty much from the Rhine mouth right up to Norway).
Note also cases of Northumbrian 'ih' instead of 'ic', which seems to point to something more akin to modern German (neither k nor ch sounds).

Horsa

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 06:33:40 AM »
For a while now I've been playing with the palatised c sound. I've been pronouncing it actually palatised, with the blade of my tongue against the palate rather than the tip against the alveolar ridge. Logically one can imagine the velar consonant travelling to the alveolar ridge by way of the palate. The fun thing with this pronunciation is that this particular consonant doesn't exist in modern English and as a result if you're listening for ch you hear it, but if you're listening for velar c, you hear that too. This pronunciation makes sense makes sense, but then again language rarely makes sense. The c could just as easily have flipped from a velar to an alveolar consonant.

In terms of borrowing. If the initial borrowing happening after the active sound change then the original sounds would have been preserved. We look at Cerdic and modern English spelling rules suggest the pronunciation Serdick. Pre-conquest spelling rules suggest Chair-ditch. However, these guys weren't reading the name. If you look at something like the drink curacao. Those that have never heard the Portuguese pronounce it cuRAcow. Those that have pronounce it CUraSOW (capitals to show word stress).

In conclusion, we don't know how it was pronounced, but Chair-ditch is probable, although it's certainly fun to muse upon these things.

Jayson

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 06:56:05 PM »
---Chairditch?   I suppose Shoreditch wasn't named after this chap, was it??


Wessex Woman

Horsa

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Re: Cerdic and Mistlethrush (from other sites)
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2012, 06:41:32 AM »
The river Thames was once a lot wider and shallower than it is now. The Strand was at one time well the strand. The beach or the edge of the river. I reckon that there was a ditch on the river shore round about shoreditch. Or maybe it was a flood barrier it was a ditch that was shored up. Complete speculation.

Ah, Sewer Ditch. It's near Hackney marshes right?