[LMB] Language drift on Barrayar

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Fri Aug 9 15:52:20 BST 2019

> On Aug 9, 2019, at 8:36 AM, WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com> wrote:
> There were many Wenrichs who changed the spelling to Wenrick to match the pronunciation. The name also is associated with Veintraub though I’m not sure when or where that change occurred.
> I’m adopted and my original last name was Haines so the distinction in my case is academic.

My “Brazee” ancestors spelled variations of the name many ways.

We see more words and names that get modified to match the spelling these days.   With a highly literate society, the spelling can slow down how fast pronunciation changes.

In the United States, lots of our ancestors were literate before they knew English.   In England, more ancestors knew English before they were literate.   And in the United States more names and words are pronounced closer to being phonetic as a result of people learning them from reading them instead of hearing them.

So a question is — how literate was Barrayar during its bad times?

Another issue is how isolated people were.   At one time, 20 miles in England was culturally a bigger gap than all the way across America is now, and they could hear the difference in speech.    Mass communication and rapid transit have narrowed that gap considerably.   It is not clear how long isolated villages have been isolated in Barrayar.

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