Sunday, 16 January 2011

excellency of the English tongue

Richard Carew
"And thus, when substantiallnes combyneth with delightfullnes, fullnes with fynenes, seemelynes with portlynes, and courrantnes with staydness, how canne the languadge which consisteth of all these sounde other then most full of sweetnes?"

This verdict was published around 1595 in An Epistle on the Excellency of the English Tongue by a gentleman called Richard Carew.
My phonetic question is: How was his last name pronounced in the 16th century? And how is it pronounced today: /kə ˈruː/ or /ˈkeəri/ or  /ˈkeəruː/?


  1. In 1595, I would guess it was pronounced either




    (using SAMPA because I'm on my iPhone).

  2. I reckon that most present-day native speakers of GB would opt for [kəˈruː].