Episode 100: Decoding English

In this special 100th episode, we review the major consonant sound changes that have impacted English since the Proto-Indo-European language.  These sound changes provide us with a set of general rules that we can use to distinguish loanwords from native Old English words.

16 thoughts on “Episode 100: Decoding English

  1. Well done, Kevin; a remarkable achievement.
    The podcast has changed my understanding of the English language, its history, and its origins, and has been both a help and an inspiration in my teaching job.
    Thank you, congratulations and I look forward to hearing you continue the story.

  2. Happy 100! It’s been an amazing series to this point and I’m eager to hear what’s ahead. One question about Old English sounds: The gn and kn consonant clusters were originally pronounced. What about the wr in write or wright? Was it more of a breathy r or was it a w sound followed by an r?

    • As far as I know, the WR spelling in Old English represent a slight /w/ sound before the R. That /w/ sound has generally disappeared over time.

      • Thanks! I like trying to pronounce Old English words with what we believe was approximately their original sound. I’ve never been quite sure about wr. My interest in that particular consonant cluster stems from my last name partly, but also because of write. So, thanks for that answer.

  3. 100 episodes! Congratulations! I have thoroughly enjoyed the podcast and I am looking forward to the next 100 episodes! Keep up the good work!

  4. Just came across your podcast this week by accident it’s brilliant, I can’t believe you were under my radar. Congratulations.

    • Thanks! Glad you discovered the podcast. Be sure to start from the beginning because the podcast is structured chronologically. I hope you enjoy the entire series!

  5. Pingback: The History of English Podcast – Grammar Logic and Rhetoric

  6. It is wonderful that the language took centre stage again. I enjoy the history of the monarchs but I come here for the development of the language.

    • Thanks! My goal is to provide the historical context for the changing nature of English, but sometimes I like to focus solely on the language.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *