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[Facts] How would you pronounce Leofwine?
Is Leofwine pronounced phonetically, or more like lev-win?
Tags:  pronunciation
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In Anglo-Saxon it'd be LAY-off wee-na!
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Is it feminine then? o.OI thought for sure that it was masculine.
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It's most emphatically masculine! Er ... why wouldn't it be?
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The "-nah" ending throws me off. Shouldn't it just be LAY-off-win, not LAY-off-wee-na?
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No. As Felie noted, Anglo-Saxon was like Italian in that every vowel was sounded, even the final -e that we are familiar with as a silent -e that lengthens the preceding vowel if it does anything. (OK, there were some blends, like ae, which is often written as æ, but they mostly came later.)I hope this doesn't give you nightmares, but there was a tough old Anglo-Saxon king named Ina. Or, sometimes, Ine, but it would have sounded the same.
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AE ligature does not come later and is not a blend. OE had seven vowels: |a| as in part, |e| as in pet, |æ| as in pat, |o| as in pot, |i| as in pit, |u| as in put, and |y|, the ü in uber and the u in Greek upsilon. Then there are the long versions of each, which are genuine long versions of the short vowels, unlike in modern English. There are dialect variations, and a lot of argument as to exactly which IPA sound is closest. but that's it broadly. Modern English has more vowel sounds but less letters.Medial f and b are pronounced |v| (as in leaves, wolves etc.), but since this is a compound of leof where the f is terminal let's stick with |f|. The eo is a dipthong pronounced similar to the vowels in modern English air (IPA /ɛə(ɹ)/), whereas LayO or LAYo would be a tripthong (IPA Leio) or disyllabic. The entire dipthong is lengthened in Leof, so it's like a drawn out pronunciation of lair without the r. The i is long like the Nintendo Wii, the final e is a short e like Eh, not ah or ey.So close to LairfwEEneh.Of course in Kent it would be said and written Liof, which is where we get the modern spelling and pronunciation "lief", a homophone of "leaf".You need to keep the final e of wine, because otherwise it reads and sounds like Leofwin, the late version of feminine Leofwyn in Wessex and Anglia. Not that a French-speaking Norman scribe would know the difference.
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What? Really?
So simple?I thought that so old names would have strange pronounciations (I suggested leaf-wine that is strange for me)But as you said it is like I would pronounce it in Italian. lol
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Hi !!!I could be LEAF-wine?
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The difficult item is the first syllable LEOF: It is one syllable with a diphthong where the mouth opens (like in Italian #buono# or #niente#.) WINE is two syllables with approximate Italian of Spanish pronounciation. The net result is something likeLayOf-wee-ne--elbowin
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