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Frylock
05-23-2010, 11:33 AM
Here (http://www.absp.org.uk/words/2lw.htm) it says that the word "ch" means "I". It prefaces this with the abbreviated phrase "obs. dial." which I take it means obscure dialect?

What dialect is this? And is "ch" a word in this dialect, or more like a prefix?

robert_columbia
05-23-2010, 12:17 PM
Here (http://www.absp.org.uk/words/2lw.htm) it says that the word "ch" means "I". It prefaces this with the abbreviated phrase "obs. dial." which I take it means obscure dialect?

What dialect is this? And is "ch" a word in this dialect, or more like a prefix?

First of all, the referenced page 404's on me.

In a linguistic sense, I believe that "obs." normally means "obsolete", rather than "obscure". "Obscure" is a very vague term and implies the question "Obscure to whom?" Obsolete words are no longer considered part of the language proper, as opposed to archaic words like "wherefore" which are not normally used in speech or writing today but remain part of the Modern English language and an educated speaker is expected to recognize them.

I think "ch" is a Quebecois French dialect form of the French "j'" as it is pronounced as an elision, as in "j'adore" being pronounced as "ch'adore", but I certainly wouldn't call it either obscure or obsolete.

SmackFu
05-23-2010, 12:46 PM
Fixed link:
http://www.absp.org.uk/words/2lw.html

Found this reference:

CH is one such - it's a form of the first person pronoun. Although it ceased to be standard in the fifteenth century, some dialect speakers in south west England used ich instead of I for the first person pronoun into the nineteenth century, and it was often abbreviated as ch or 'ch. 'chill (I will) is noted as late as 1875 in Somerset.

"Ich" is I in German so that makes some sense.

Incidentally, this is only valid in UK Scrabble, not US.

Wendell Wagner
05-23-2010, 12:54 PM
This is the correct link:

http://www.absp.org.uk/words/2lw.html

If you're going to be using a dictionary a lot for rare words, it would be useful to memorize the important abbreviations used in dictionary entries. The fact that "obs." means "obsolete" in dictionary entries is one of those important abbrevations.

Something like "ch" could be used for "I" in certain dialects of English. The OED (i.e., The Oxford English Dictionary, another abbreviation you should know) can't find any examples in print later than the early 18th century. It's cognate to the word "ich" in German that also means "I." Certain dialects of English always used "ich" for "I." The "ch" sound often got absorbed by the word following "I" (which was usually the verb in the sentence). This is sort of like the process of liaison in French where a sound at the end of one word will get absorbed by the next word. By the end of the 18th century, the use of "ich" or just "ch" had died out even in these dialects.

Wendell Wagner
05-23-2010, 12:55 PM
Hm, that's interesting. SmackFu's reference says that it lasted into the 19th century.

Fretful Porpentine
05-23-2010, 02:02 PM
I hadn't realized that this construction was still in use as late as the nineteenth century, but it's pretty common in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drama -- Somerset seems to be the standard dialect for stage rustics. Here, for example, is Edgar in King Lear doing his best impression of a peasant:
Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. An chud
ha' bin zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' bin zo long as
'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th' old man. Keep out,
che vore ye, or I'se try whether your costard or my ballow be the
harder. Chill be plain with you.
"An chud ha' bin" = "if I should have been"; "che vore ye" = "I warn you"; "chill" = I'll. (And "your costard or my ballow" = "your head or my cudgel," surely one of the best threats in Shakespeare.)

Frylock
05-23-2010, 02:20 PM
Oh yeah, for some reason the german connection didn't come to mind. I was fixated on the standard English pronunciation of the roman characters "ch".

Also, sorry about missing the fact that obs. == obsolete. If it's any comfort to you, Wendell Wagner, no, I won't be using dictionaries a lot for rare words.

I thought "obscure" seemed pretty vague, but I figured, I'm looking at a dictionary for a game, where the matter of where the word came from isn't particularly important to the game, so how precise can I expect them to be about that? "Obselete" just didn't cross my mind.

Hypnagogic Jerk
05-23-2010, 02:35 PM
I think "ch" is a Quebecois French dialect form of the French "j'" as it is pronounced as an elision, as in "j'adore" being pronounced as "ch'adore", but I certainly wouldn't call it either obscure or obsolete.
I don't believe your example is correct, but "je suis" can be said as "chuis" or even "chu" (/ʃɥi/ or /ʃy/ instead of /ʒəsɥi/) in informal Quebec French, and possibly other dialects of French as well. But it's only a different pronunciation, not a different word.

clairobscur
05-23-2010, 04:06 PM
I don't believe your example is correct, but "je suis" can be said as "chuis" or even "chu" (/ʃɥi/ or /ʃy/ instead of /ʒəsɥi/) in informal Quebec French, and possibly other dialects of French as well. But it's only a different pronunciation, not a different word.

"chuis" can be heard in France too. It's just a lazy and quick way to pronounce "je suis" (e.g. "je ne suis pas sūr"---> je suis pas sur ---> j'suis pas sur ---> chuis pas sur). I probably pronounce it that way myself quite often.

There are other similar instance, I think. Like "chaipa" instead of "je ne sais pas"

Hypnagogic Jerk
05-24-2010, 01:22 AM
"chuis" can be heard in France too. It's just a lazy and quick way to pronounce "je suis" (e.g. "je ne suis pas sūr"---> je suis pas sur ---> j'suis pas sur ---> chuis pas sur). I probably pronounce it that way myself quite often.
Yes, I thought so, although "chu" may be more specific to Quebec. I wouldn't call it "lazy" though as it implies that it's morally condemnable. It's not, it's just an informal level of speech.