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 Betreff des Beitrags: On the pronunciation of “Evesham”
BeitragVerfasst: 10. Okt 2014, 15:49 
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On the pronunciation of “Evesham”

When reading M.C. Beaton's book: "Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham" I wondered how "Evesham" might be pronounced. :)

I looked it up - and found, that many People have asked themselves the same question. :-D

Zitat:

The argument about the ‘correct’ pronunciation of ‘Evesham,’ which has recurred because a broadcaster claiming some sort of inside information spoke the word like an outsider, will never be satisfactorily concluded by a victory for one school of thought over the others. There is no strictly definable authorised version, for the very simple reason that there is no strictly definable authority in the matter. For who is to lay down the law? At the outset it is suggested that the balance of etymological probabilities ought to be weighed as carefully as possible before any consensus of modern usage, if there is one, is considered at all. We shall take notice of what they say on the Badsey bus and in the bar of the Wheelbarrow and Castle, very likely: but not yet.

This is because the ‘accidents of history,’ if one may employ so unscientific a term in the services of brevity, have to be dated before their effects can be measured properly. In other words, events must be got into the right order. Tradition and the work of students combine to indicate an 8th century swineherd located on a well-watered tract of land almost encircled by a river as the basic element of the name Evesham.

After all these centuries, it is hardly surprising that the poor chap’s name is unknown. For the matter of that, it never was. All we do know, and that has been from the start, is that he was a swineherd and that he was a poor chap. There is a short answer to the claim, if one is made, that his name was Eoves. It is that eoves is nobody’s name: it is the genitive singular belonging to the nominative eof which, in Anglo-Saxon (or, as it is more properly known, Old English) means, quite simply, a swine-herd, and nothing more.

The fact that he was a poor chap is really a matter for the ecclesiastical historian, rather than the grammarian, to explore. Pursuing only the etymology of this ancient business, however, we must look at that early form of the town’s name, Eoveshomme (which is recorded in Domesday, 1087) and treat its two components first separately and then together Eoves, of the swineherd. Homme, the meadow land. Whether it is really a ham ending need not detain us at this stage since it is, in any case, of no great consequence. What we have to consider is whether the etymological derivation so far is likely to be correct (and the earliest documents known suggest that it is) and then how the name Eoveshomme was pronounced by the Abbot of Evesham when that dignitary, one Aegelwy, himself an Anglo-Saxon and not a Norman, was asked by William the Conqueror’s inspector of taxes to describe the monastic holdings.

Of course this is a tall order. Unfortunately there are no Anglo-Saxons left to tell us the answer; so we must use a little imagination, though not too much, and consult Henry Sweet. Now here it is only decent to place on record that the interpretation produced is subject to a bit of give and take. But if we take Henry Sweet’s word for it that the Old English diphthongs were pronounced with the stress on the first element, then Eoves would more or less rhyme with ‘Heave us’ as a native of modern Birmingham might say it, except that ‘us’ (to complicate the situation a little further, and, for heaven’s sake, why not, now we’ve got as deeply into it as this?) ‘us’ would sound like ‘uz’, as they say it in Manchester. Eoves, then, sounds like Eva’s. Something that belonged to Eof (Eef) was Eoves (Eva’s). I fervently hope that this is now clear. If it is, we must at once proceed further to the realisation that the original sound of Eoveshomme had four syllables, for the fourth was not silent until relatively recently in the history of English and both m’s were sounded. Eva’s hom-muh.

After that rather dangerous but necessary incursion into the past of a thousand years ago, it will be easier to look at what happened when the language first levelled (in Middle English) and then lost (in Modern English) its inflexions. Professor Wrenn (in Chambers’s Encyclopaedia, vol. V. p.302 b.) puts it simply: ‘… the placing of the stress-accent as near the beginning of the word as possible has tended to blur and often later to eliminate unstressed final syllables, which tend to be lost in rapid speech.’ So we reach, by the time of Shakespeare perhaps, a stage of which Evesham has become Eva’s-hom, with three syllables and the stress on the first. It is still important to remember that the vowel sound in the stress-accent is not a pure, straightforward, modern ee, as in tee-hee, tee-hee, if you should happen to feel like laughing in the old-fashioned manner. It is a sound rather nearer to the ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ of those distinguished young gentlemen from Liverpool, more power to their elbows, for they are doing more for the English language than any of the kitchen sink playwrights. Well, then, it follows that Eva’s-shum possesses at least as respectable an ancestry as Eve-sham; so there is really no justification for being uppish with those who say Ee-vee-shum, for they are only doing their best according to their lights. As for the common usage of the place, the people on the Badsey bus and those in the bar at the Wheelbarrow and Castle know perfectly well, without the help of Henry Sweet, that there is only one acceptable way to pronounce the name Evesham and that is the way all honest swine-herds have, from Eof onwards. Asum. Here, at last, you have the correct vowel qualities, the correct stress-accent, and so much more that is down to earth and unpretentious. Asum.



And:

Zitat:
The distinctive local dialect, now slipping into lesser use but strong still in older generations of the town’s inhabitants, has ‘Asum’ as a contraction of the town’s name. Asum was the name given to the produce of a popular brewery based at the historic Green Dragon public house (built 1510 and boasting fine Tudor architecture) – Asum Ale. The pub has since been relaunched and the brewery closed.

Another quirk of local language gives rise to the debate as to the pronunciation of the town’s name itself. ‘Eve-shum’ is the more common phonetic pronunciation, but the pronunciation ‘Eve-er-shum’ is not uncommon. Younger generations of the town’s inhabitants give the pseudo-affectionate name of The Sham to the town.




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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: On the pronunciation of “Evesham”
BeitragVerfasst: 10. Okt 2014, 18:38 
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So now I know! :) :-D

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Waldbaum = Dundee = Larix = die Lärche in allen 4 Jahreszeiten

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