Mariana Oleniak


The paper deals with the controversial issue of the proper vocalic quality assigned to the consonant sound in the Old English words gelice, licest, licedest, licede, licen, liceden, licende, geliced, lician, where the c symbol occurs in the intervocalic position. The specific literature is thoroughly analysed, on the grounds of which the scholars’ standpoints have been organised into four groups providing four different opinions as to the pronunciation of the Old English c in the intervocalic position, which contribute to inconsistencies and unavoidable mistakes in teaching the History of English in universities. To eliminate the discrepancies the author expounds on certain justification for the hypothesis, according to which c in gelice, licest, licedest, licede, licen, liceden, licende, geliced, lician possesses the vocalic quality of the velar stop [k], contrary to the majority of opinions which seem to be insufficient and rather misleading. The conclusion is crucial in terms of correct reading of the Old English texts as well as their proper pronunciation while creating different digital recordings and teaching Old English. Some of the words in question are a compulsory structural part of the Old English simile, a popular stylistic devise that quite often becomes the focus of linguistic analysis, which is another reason to stress the necessity of its correct pronunciation.


Old English; sound; velar stop; affricate; vocalic quality; gelice

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ISSN 2410-8286 (Online), ISSN 2409-3351 (Print)