In preparation for the third book in this series, Sonnedragon, I’ve been putting together reference material and background information: a new and more expansive map, family trees, dramatis personae. While looking through some very old files to recover what I’d already done in this area, I found the following guide to pronouncing proper names.
The language spoken by the characters in this novel is an Anglo-French amalgamation similar to Chaucerian English; though the language itself is rarely represented, the spelling and pronunciation of proper names reflect its use. There are a few, simple, general guidelines to correct pronunciation:
- Y is usually pronounced like long e: Ah-dee-nah, Oh-leer.
- An initial I is a long i: Eye-gren, Eye-oh-bethe. Exceptions are the Spanish words, in which an initial I is pronounced with a modern y sound: Yar-din-ez.
- The use of U as a consonant is frequently, but not consistently, employed. Names such as Houarde, Eduarde, and Uinmerchant should be pronounced as if the U were a W: Win-merchant.
- When a word ends with a consonant followed by an E, the consonant should be stressed with a slight aspirate afterwards, a sort of uh sound: Da-feeTH-uh, Ed-warD-uh.
- The accent usually falls on the second or middle syllable: Mar-GEER-reet, Kat-HER-Reen, Go-DEF-roi, An-DEM-ee-on.