Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm currently studying a dozen or so archaic languages for a "special project" I'm working on. Currently, I'm on Old Norse/Old Icelandic (essentially the same). A little while ago, I read this paragraph (several times), trying to voice some of the pronunciations. Oy! That's a tough one:

Doubled consonants, as in the classical pronunciation, are usually held longer than their individual counterparts. The doubled consonants kk, pp, tt are pre-aspirated in Modern Icelandic. This means that the same puff of air which follows p in American English 'pot' actually precedes kk, pp, or tt in the modern pronunciation. The consonants k, p, and t are also preaspirated when they immediately precede l, m, or n. The double consonant ll has a peculiar pronunciation. Many speakers articulate this as the cluster tl, but where the l is unvoiced. Thus there is a dental or alveolar tap followed by lateral expulsion of air around the tongue, but without any of the vocal chord vibration an English speaker normally associates with l. When consonant clusters exceed two, alteration or deletion may occur, so that, e.g., rigndi is pronounced more like "rindi", barns more like "bass".

Hmm...seems a bit long for someone not "into" this like I am. I wonder if anyone will a) read that paragraph, let alone b) attempt it like i did! =)