Ski pronunciation in German

dihydrogen monoxide

Senior Member
Slovene, Serbo-Croat
Why is German Ski pronounced as Schi instead of Ski and not written as Schi. Furthermore, how did German get introduced with Schottland and not Skotland and that is English only having one variant, unless -shet in Shetland is the same source of -scot in Scotland. So, why does German have /ʃ/ and not /k/, while English only has /k/. English has a nice example of shirt:skirt, when it comes to /ʃ/ and /k/.
 
  • berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Why is German Ski pronounced as Schi instead of Ski and not written as Schi.
    Both spellings occur. The pronunciation follows the Norwegian original, irrespective of spelling.

    Schottland is a very old MHG loan and belongs to an entirely era then Ski, which is a 19th century loan. Schottland could mean Scotland or Ireland but mostly Ireland as the main contact was through Irish missionaries who founded many monasteries ("Schottenkloster") like St. Gallen (=of the holy Gauls). The loan happened before /ʃ/ developed in German and <sch> represented /sx/. The word then underwent the regular shift <sch>=[s̺x]>[s̺ç]>[ʃ] at the transition from MHG to early modern German.
     
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    dihydrogen monoxide

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Serbo-Croat
    How do we explain BCS, Slovene, Škotska? It can only come from German because of the initial Š, but neither of them say **Šotska. So BCS and Slovene show /ʃk/ in a loanword, while German doesn't anymore.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Mixture of influences from various Slavic language? No idea. Polish has /ʃk-/ as well while Russian has /ʃ-/ and Czech has /sk-/.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    By the way, Fowler (1926) records “shē” as the only correct pronunciation of the English “ski”. Gowers’s revision of Fowler (Fowler/Gowers 1965) states that “skē” is “now more common”.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Mixture of influences from various Slavic language? No idea. Polish has /ʃk-/ as well while Russian has /ʃ-/ and Czech has /sk-/.
    Russian has /ʃ-/ as a direct loan from Modern German, obviously. /ʃk-/, on the other hand, must reflect OHG /sk-/ (due to the retracted quality of the OHG /s/, which Slavs were interpreting as an equivalent of their /ʃ/; early Latin loans into Polish reflect that too, apparently because the main teachers of Latin were German priests), before even the /sk-/ > /sx-/ shift occured. I see no other possibility to explain /k/, except maybe some analogical back-formation (artificial Latinization?).
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    due to the retracted quality of the OHG /s/, which Slavs were interpreting as an equivalent of their /ʃ/
    Yes, that makes sense. But not OHG but probably rather MLG (OHG or OS would probably be too old) because if is /ʃk-/ and not /ʃx-/. In case of Polish,at that time, a loan from Low German would be more likely than from High German.
     

    karaluszek

    Member
    Polish
    In case of Polish,at that time, a loan from Low German would be more likely than from High German.
    I think you are right. The Scots came to Poland via the Hanseatic city of Danzig. In 1380 the first Scots settled in the city. So the Polish language has certainly borrowed the Low German version of the word.
     
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