TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-03 > 1268353684
From: "LBoswell" <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] phonetics of names (was re: BCG Standard #24 - an aside)
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 19:28:04 -0500
Phonetics of names is so fundamental to our work, it's surprising that it
isn't more thoroughly integrated into studies of methods and research 'best
practices'. There's a whole range of important considerations in that area,
and in naming considerations in general, so much so that there should almost
be a sub-set or specialty area within genealogy dealing with it.
Also it can't be emphasized enough that the accents of speaker and recorder
(listener) play directly into how a name or unfamiliar location ends up
being written down. There is such a variety of accents and dialects within
very small geographic ranges in the UK, for example.
I'm wondering if that's how a given name of current interest to me ended up
being so completely altered, way beyond the normal 'anglicization' (spoken
in a heavy French accent, heard by new Irish immigrant). The phonetics
interpretations at play are directly related to the accents and
pronunciations in a given location, at a particular time.
it should be part of methods 101.
Is there a list of nicknames/pet names that you would recommend (print or
Larry Boswell BA, PLCGS
"Historical & Genealogical Research Services"
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
----- Original Message -----
From: Ida Skarson McCormick
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 3:38 PM
Subject: [TGF] phonetics of names (was re: BCG Standard #24 - an aside)
For me, problem solving with the phonetics of given names, nicknames,
and surnames is part of methodology. I have been lecturing on this
for years now, but I find few others who do so. Roger P. Minert on
German names comes to mind. There seems to be little or no attention
paid to phonetics of names at large conferences.
Looking at nicknames through "modern filters" is a good example of a
gap in understanding. Eli was not a nickname for Elijah, Elisha,
Elishama, Eliphelet, or any other Bible name beginning with Eli-. Dan
was not a nickname for Daniel. The rule of thumb is that different
people in the Bible are different people in genealogy.
Many nickname lists in print and online include "modern" nicknames
without differentiating them and seriously degrade the value of such
lists. Some 20th Century common nicknames have been "stolen" from
older etymologically unrelated names.
(This e-mail is using the word "nickname" in the current popular sense.)
--Ida Skarson McCormick, , Seattle
At 04:52 PM 3/7/2010, Larry Boswell wrote:
>That's a whole area of genealogy that could be researched, given the
>importance of understanding phonetic presentations of words and names.
>that's reaching a bit away from this data-datum, but in a way as more
>and languages are cast aside, there is a gap in understanding the full
>meaning of less commonly used words. Datum was a specific set of
>possibly not all of them may have been caught up in extending data to
>the singular case.
>Maybe at some point we'll have a sub-field within genealogy specificially
>addressing questions of a purely linquistic nature, with a focus on older
>dialects and languages. Without that we're looking at many period pieces
>writing purely through modern filters. We tend to think of theory in very
>limited ways, yet as we become more sophisticated as a field, methodology
>(as in 'study of methods') alone won't be enough. <snip>
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|Re: [TGF] phonetics of names (was re: BCG Standard #24 - an aside) by "LBoswell" <>|