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How did Shakespeare pronounce "hour"? Options
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:54:52 AM
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I thought that fans of Shakespeare (of whom I am NOT one) would like this:

"Pronounce 'hour' as a 16th-century actor would have , that is, to rhyme with 'whore,' and ...."


Source: an advertisement for Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation, a British Library audio CD.


James
Arfax
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:12:41 AM
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This pronounciation is indeed closer to the modern french one (heure, [œʀ] or [œ:ʀ] ).

I checked in an on-line french dictionary how "heure" could have been pronounced in the past centuries (http://atilf.atilf.fr), and it makes sense :
from latin "Hora"
XIIth century: "ure" / "ore" ; XIII : heure, eure.


Daveski
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:38:28 AM

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I don't know about 'hour', but Shakespeare would more than likely have pronounced the words 'sea', 'pea' & 'tea' as 'say', 'pay' & 'tay'. This is still very common in the Black Country to this day. The diphthong 'ea' was originally pronounced this way.
excaelis
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 12:23:18 PM

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Depends on how you pronounce ' whore '. Probably something between ' oor ' and ' our '.
thar
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:11:29 PM

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First folio

howers

Richard II

Of whom thy Father Prince of Wales was first,
In warre was neuer Lyon rag'd more fierce:
In peace, was neuer gentle Lambe more milde,
Then was that yong and Princely Gentleman,
His face thou hast, for euen so look'd he
Accomplish'd with the number of thy howers:


but elsewhere
houre, houres

Though thou speakest truth,
Me thinkes thou speak'st not well. How long is't since?
Mes.
Aboue an houre, my Lord.
Com.
'Tis not a mile: briefely we heard their drummes.
How could'st thou in a mile confound an houre,
And bring thy Newes so late?
Mes.
Spies of the Volces
Held me in chace, that I was forc'd to wheele
Three or foure miles about, else had I sir
Halfe an houre since brought my report.

I know pronounciation was very different, but if the 'whore' (haw-wer) sound was ever written as 'howers' ?- that suggests the modern English two syllables to me, rather than the French single syllable.

?????
Daveski
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:15:19 PM

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Whores can often be pronounced as hoo-ers in parts of the Midlands still.
DontCloudMe
Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:10:29 PM

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Or there's this little exchange between Petruchio and Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew.

Pet. Come, come, you wasp; i’ faith you are too angry.
Kath. If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
Pet. My remedy is, then, to pluck it out.
Kath. Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies.
Pet. Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail.
Kath. In his tongue.
Pet. Whose tongue?
Kath. Yours, if you talk of tails; and so farewell.
Pet. What! with my tongue in your tail? nay, come again. Good Kate, I am a gentleman.
Kath. That I’ll try. [Striking him]
Pet. I swear I’ll cuff you if you strike again.

I'm always curious to hear why someone isn't fan of Shakespeare.
TheParser
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 6:58:14 AM
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DontCloudMe wrote:


I'm always curious to hear why someone isn't fan of Shakespeare.


Thank you, everyone, for your informative replies.

*****

DontCloudMe:

My lack of interest in the Bard is due to my lack of intelligence. And maybe to the boring way in which my very nice secondary teacher taught the dramas.
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 9:40:04 AM

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Daveski wrote:
Whores can often be pronounced as hoo-ers in parts of the Midlands still.

It is that way still in parts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.
Think
Daveski
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 10:03:28 AM

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leonAzul wrote:
Daveski wrote:
Whores can often be pronounced as hoo-ers in parts of the Midlands still.

It is that way still in parts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.
Think


Yes, I don't doubt it, but Shakespeare was originally from Stratford, which is in the Midlands. I've been there many a time, it isn't really that far away from where I live now. I'm familiar with the accent & some local dialects.
excaelis
Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 12:28:16 PM

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TheParser wrote:
DontCloudMe wrote:


I'm always curious to hear why someone isn't fan of Shakespeare.


Thank you, everyone, for your informative replies.

*****

DontCloudMe:

My lack of interest in the Bard is due to my lack of intelligence. And maybe to the boring way in which my very nice secondary teacher taught the dramas.




Poor man. It's so hard to engage the attention of clearly sub-par students. Whistle
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