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Tzetzes

sound, french, represented, vowel and english

TZETZES, tset'sez, Johannes, a Byzantine author of the 12th century. His 'Chiliades,' a very dull collection of 30,000 apolitical iambics," whose theme is stories drawn from Greek his tory and mythology, has been edited by Kiess ling (Leipzig 1826) ' • his a résumé of Homer's

twenty-first letter and fifth vowel of the English alphabet. Its form in the Latin alphabet was V. In the Greek alphabet the character•"( repre sented a vowel sound different from that represented by the Latin V (the vowel v or u) ; probably this Greek letter stood for a sound like that of u in French, which in German is represented by ii; and the Greeks had no single character in their alphabet to represent the pure and simple vowel sound which u had in Latin and has in modern European lan guages except English and French: this vowel sound the Greeks represented by the digraph ov as it is usually represented in English by the digraph oo; and in French by ott. When a Greek word containing v was to be translated into Latin the v was represented by y, and the same is still done in English: Thoukydides (dovkvdidrie) and rbri become Thucydides and Tyche. In the Latin alphabet the vowel u (oo) and the consonant u (or w, or v) were both represented by V, and not till late in the 16th century was the form V restricted to the consonant element. The sound of u (oo,

not as named in English, yu) is produced • by rounding the lips to the fullest extent consistent with a clear vowel sound and raising the back of the tongue higher than for any other rounded sound. This sound, short, is heard in full, and long in fool; and it is commonly represented in English by that digraph oo; in French it is represented by ou, but in the rest of the Euro pean alphabets by u. The fact that the primitive vowel sound u is expressed in English by oo is an indication that at one time the o-sound had a tendency to pass into the sound of u: thus good, foode, once were Bode, fode. Be sides the related sounds heard in too and full, u represents in English two other sounds, namely, the vowel sound heard in tub, but, and the diph thongal sound heard in use, repute. The sound of u in but, tub is especially common in Eng lish, and in unaccented syllables is represented also by other vowels, as a, e and o; examples every, common, fashion, which might be writ ten every, commun, fashun. U is consonantal after g and in some other places. It is silent in such words as guard, build, etc. Gu in French and in English words derived from the French is often derived from a Germanic w. The letter u in Chaucer's time was pronounced like French u in words derived from the French ; and Sir John Cheke, writing 200 years after Chaucer, declares that in his day the u in duke, lute, rebuke was sounded "like the Greek upsilon;' that is, like the French u. U stands for uranium in chemistry. See ALPHABET.