Escher: pronunciation

Linnets

Senior Member
#1
Hi,
what is the correct pronunciation in Dutch of the surname Escher?
I've found different transcriptions:
(Duden) [ˈɛsər];
(Wikipedia) [ˈɛsjər];
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) [ˈɛsxər]; this would be the expected Dutch pronunciation if Escher was a native Dutch surname, since sch in non-final position should represent /sx/.
Also, the final r should be a tap [ɾ] rather than a trill.
The recordings I've found on the web show a pronuncation similar to [ˈɛʃəɾ].
 
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  • Lopes

    Senior Member
    Dutch (Amsterdam)
    #2
    The recordings I've found on the web show a pronuncation similar to [ˈɛʃəɾ].
    From what I understand of phonetic transcription, that would be the right pronunciation yes. So that means indeed that it's not the "normal" Dutch pronounciation of Escher.
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    #3
    Hi,

    I agree with Lopes on the pronunciation [ˈɛʃəɾ]. The original German pronunciation seems to have survived.
    "Escher: Persoon afkomstig uit Esch, in duitstalig gebied op verschillende plaatsen voorkomende plaatsnaam." (Nederlandse familienamen databank)
    (+/- Person from Esch, German toponym).

    One minor addition, though:
    (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language) [ˈɛsxər]; this would be the expected Dutch pronunciation if Escher was a native Dutch surname, since sch in non-final position should represent /sx/.
    No, not necessarily so. If we'd assume that Escher is a native Dutch name (just for the sake of the debate and regardless the possible history of the word), then this wouldn't automatically mean that -sch- is to be pronounced as /sx/.
    Names are often written in a very obselete way, and word final <-sch> is pronounced as /s/ (already since the Middle Ages). Up to the 1940s, words as mens and mensen were written as mensch, menschen, but normally pronounced as /s/. We still have this abberation in words as fantastisch and Russisch and hence in fantastischer, Russische. Family and other names as De Visscher and Vermeersch are normally pronounced with /s/, though some family traditions demand the pronunciation /-sx-).


    Groetjes,

    Frank

    PS 1. The on line version of the AHDEL also gives /eshər/ (which I guess is to be pronounced as /ˈɛʃəɾ/.
    PS 2. Other Dutch names in the AHDEL are transcribed in very un-Dutch ways :), cf. Van Gogh :).
     
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    Linnets

    Senior Member
    #4
    Hi,

    I agree with Lopes on the pronunciation [ˈɛʃəɾ]. The original German pronunciation seems to have survived.
    "Escher: Persoon afkomstig uit Esch, in duitstalig gebied op verschillende plaatsen voorkomende plaatsnaam." (Nederlandse familienamen databank)
    (+/- Person from Esch, German toponym).
    Thanks a lot, this confirms my idea.

    Other Dutch names in the AHDEL are transcribed in very un-Dutch ways, cf. Van Gogh.
    Should it be "Gogh, Vincent van"?
     
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