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[Facts] How do you get the pronunciation -lee from -leigh?
Vote on my PNL and my GP list B)“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”sincerely, eva
Tags:  pronunciation
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I would of thought -Leigh would be pronounced LAY. But please, don’t use -Leigh and use Lee, Lie, Lee instead, Leigh is as ugly as hell!

This message was edited by the author 3/30/2021, 9:47 AM

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Same!That's why I made this post lol.
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The same way we got the pronunciation "ate" from "eight." It was a typical English sound shift. In Middle English, the -gh was pronounced; over time, it has become silent and the vowel has also shifted. It's more usual for the sequence -eigh to be pronounced /ei/ (ay) as in "say" (weigh, neighbor), and Leigh can also be pronounced "lay," but the original word, which meant "meadow, clearing," was so common in place names and personal names that it was frequently reduced to /li:/ (lee). English names ending with -ly, -ley, -lee are generally from the same root.

This message was edited by the author 3/30/2021, 6:31 AM

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I've never actually heard, or heard of, Leigh being pronounced like 'lay'. Can you give a source?
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I don't know of instances where Leigh by itself is pronounced as "lay" offhand, but the name Leighton is usually pronounced "Lay-ton" in both the USA and England, so I can see where the "lee" pronunciation would be especially frustrating for those who don't like the inconsistencies in English language spelling. :)
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That's true - good point!
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hmm, actually in Middle English the gh was NOT pronounced. It's purely a scribal convention to replace an earlier, archaic letter "yogh" ȝ, which represented the phonemes /j/ and /h/ when they were formerly represented by "g" in Old English (although there has been some assimilation of original "h" to "g" in the process). In early Old English palatised (front-of-mouth) g became indistinguishable from /j/, but rather than being spelled as /j/, both palatal g and earlier j were spelled as g (in Frisian the same assimilation occurred, but spelling usually became "j"). Final g following a vowel became either palatal /j/ or guttural /h/ (spelling of the latter varied between "h" and "g"). When preceded by an i, final g was sometimes lost and the i later changed to y for clarity when final (day v. daily), but when retained would be written in Middle English as ȝ, later "gh". The "i" in leigh is also a scribal convention, indicating the "gh" is either /j/ or silent, while the /e/ is pronounces i: due to "levelling" (not a diphthong as in eight and weight - ȝ need not be final and would still be usually replaced by "gh", although sometimes s or z are used in names, such as Menzies [menyes] or Dalziel [deeyell]).
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Thanks, but I skipped all of this because it is too technical to be of any use to the original poster.
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People other than the OP do read the responses and often find them interesting and useful. Protecting the OP from complex reality might be OK in a one-to-one discussion, if you think she needs it, but not on a public board.
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