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I'm not sure if Old English counts here, but I can't find the answer to this anywhere.

How would one pronounce gemænscipe? I believe it's Old English for "community".

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The way it's spelled, of course. Old English spelling was rather good, and represented the sounds pretty well. In IPA, that would be, roughly, [yemænʃipe]. G before front vowels palatalized to [y] (IPA [j]), and SC before front vowels palatalized to [ʃ]. Why? –  John Lawler Apr 29 at 17:37
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@mawburn: if somebody like John Lawler is telling you the correct answer, you should listen to him, not argue. If you can't read IPA, ge is pronounced like the start of yes, mæn is pronounced like man, and scipe like she pay. I would guess the accent is on the man, but I could be wrong on that. –  Peter Shor Apr 29 at 18:27
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@PeterShor I was not arguing, I just don't know what he is telling me. Your answer is what I was looking for, thank you. –  mburn7 Apr 29 at 18:28
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It looked like you were arguing; sorry about that. Off-topic ... the word looks suspiciously like yeomanship to me, but aside from the -scipe part, I don't know if there's an etymological connection, and I can't find one in the online resources I briefly looked at. (And certainly the meaning is different than any meaning that yeomanship might have in modern English). –  Peter Shor Apr 29 at 18:30
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No, it's quite different from yeoman (which ultimately has the same root as geography and George, I believe). It's an exact parallel with German Gemeinschaft, and has the same meaning. –  Colin Fine Apr 29 at 19:21

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would pronounce it as gə'mænʃipə. No one is absolutely sure about the pronunciation of Old English. Whether you pronounce g as /g/ or as /j/ is a problem as the change of /g/ to /j/ did not begin with a stroke of the bell in a certain year and in all regions at the same time. So it is a little bit up to you how you pronounce it.

Yes, gemænscipe is the Old English word for Latin communitate(m), nominative communitas meaning community. The Old English word has almost the same form as modern German Gemeinschaft. (I have to look up the word in Low German, it should almost be similar to the Old English form.)

Low German has a lot of slightly different regional variants. The most frequent form is Gemeenschop.

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