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History of words

  1. Mar 2, 2006 #1

    wolram

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    How did words get there pronounciation, example, once, is not W,once,
    knew is not K,new, why is vacuum, not vacume, or vakume?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2006 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    vacuum is a proper third declension Latin noun, stem vacu- nominative singular ending -um. Nominative plural ending -a, hence vacua; dative singular ending -o, hence in vacuo. A reification of the adverb vacuus -a -um meaning empty. In school Latin pronunciation it would be vock-ooo-oom, more casually vack-yoo-um, but vowel glides like that are notoriously elidable, so vack-yoom.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2006
  4. Mar 2, 2006 #3

    wolram

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    Thankyou SA, but why is the (k) ie in knowledgeable added to the word,
    it seems to have no meaning?
     
  5. Mar 2, 2006 #4

    selfAdjoint

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    The k used to be pronounced when the word was part of early English (aka Anglo-Saxon). Compare know with Scottish ken and German kennen. The k- I can explain quickly, but the -ow I will have to research. Likewise knife (it was spelled cnif and pronounced k'niff). -ough in so many words was pronounced to rhyme with Scotish loch.
     
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