Andrey (azangru) wrote,

David Crystal, on pronunciation of the terminal -y in William Blake’s The Tyger:

"Some commentators say it is simply an eye rhyme. That, to my mind, is the lazy solution," writes Crystal. I don’t remember whether I’ve heard him argue this point about this chronological period. I certainly heard him say this about pronunciation of Shakespeare’s time; but I don’t think I heard him extend this argument to the late 18th - early 19th century. Because, back in the day, when I read Byron, I was very curious about his frequent rhymes of clearly /-ai/-sounding words with words that ended in -y. When I asked some Byron scholars for their opinion, they were confident that those were just eye rhymes. I wonder what Crystal would say about them (on the one hand, similar time period; on the other hand, no archaic or mystical undertones to Byron’s lines).

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