Voronof's snowdrop

Kipp McMichael kimcmich@hotmail.com
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:13:48 PDT
 I brought down the linguistic hammer on your confusion mainly in response to your unnecessary swipe at American speech. My point concerned the English phonetics of [k] and made no denial, or claims of any kind really, about linguistic history. 
The "reasons for different letters" are complex. Because english orthography is not a reliable reflection of english phonetics (we could do with both fewer letters, in the case of q/k and x for instance, and more letters:  th, ch, sh  deserve their own single characters), it is dangerous to assume every spelling difference represents a a current or historical phonemic distinction.
The Roman alphabet was not the best fit for the Germanic languages many linguists spoke themselves - much less the Slavik and other languages they attempted to transliterate. In the case of the letters "k" and "q" however, this distinction has nothing to do with pronunciation in any english dialect. It is, rather, a reflection of modern (or at least "more recent") orthographic conventions.
Take "quick" in modern english (UK and American): In Old English it was "cwic"; in Dutch "kwik"; Old High German "quec". The choice of the orthographic 'q' vs 'k' is/was not phonemically significant in *any* of these languages.
You are free to continue to enunciate a distinction in your own idiolect, of course. One's choice to innovate linguistic distinctions where none exist should not be mistaken for good enunciation, however.

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