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Språkkrönika: Sj-sound as difficult in the middle ages

It had been wonderful to be able to present mirakellösningar and waterproof tricks – in particular, when Alice, age 8, and Richard, age 7, writes to me with the

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Språkkrönika: Sj-sound as difficult in the middle ages

It had been wonderful to be able to present mirakellösningar and waterproof tricks – in particular, when Alice, age 8, and Richard, age 7, writes to me with the grandmother's help.

the Subject of their letter is one of the many pitfalls: the sj-sound. The call for uniform rules, or a custom letter for the sj-sound: ”you Can't spell it the same way in all words, so it will be easier?” they wonder.

been perfect if there had been a single letter for the sj-sound. Chocolate, perfection, rich, sky, seven, reflection, steal, jasmine, shirt, shampoo and västgöte are just a few examples of spelling variations.

the New letters in English is something very rare. W was seen in the rule as a variant of v until 2006. Then began the Swedish Academy, the dictionary of sort w as a separate letter. We will then go back to the 1500s to find some news. Then it was the å, ä and ö, which took the step to become their own letters, having previously written aa, ae and oe.

One problem is that not only is the sj-sound is tricky. There are a variety of other speech sounds that do not have their own letters. Tj-the sound can, for example, is spelled as in the sheaf, the tar, the skirt and the chips. So, if the principle should be that a speech sounds to be matched by a private letter, there are more candidates knocking on the door to the alphabet.

is that it is not really is no set language. Sweden has no alfabetsminister that can dictate which letters the citizens to use. Sure, politicians, morris and other authorities come up with views and recommendations. But if no one is listening no matter how loud they cry. The power of language is in the end of the speakers.

the Alphabet has not changed much since the oldest extant text in Swedish, äldre Västgötalagen, was written down in the early 1200s. A stable written language acts as a bridge between the generations. We are local language practitioners have for centuries accepted the sj-sound and its peculiarities. Maybe it is a small consolation that the sj-sound was just as tricky to spell in the middle ages.

anders@spraktidningen.se

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