I started reading 「ライオンと魔女」 (“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”) two days ago, and was curious as to why Lucy’s name has been transliterated as 「ルーシィ」 and not 「ルーシ」 or 「ルーシー」. As far as I can tell, the way in which the book transcribes it is pronounced the same as 「ルーシ」, so why the small イ? I thought the small カタカナ vowels were only used to give a vowel sound to the preceding consonant which never follows that consonant in pure Japanese, but the syllable 「シ」/“she” is clearly Japanese and can be perfectly represented using normal kana?
It’s just another way of doing vowel lengthening. Also, that’s the same way I’ve often seen Lucy spelled out in katakana in other things. For example, in Fairy Tail Lucy Heartfilia is written by the author as ルーシィ・ハートフィリア. It could also be ルーシー.
ビィ or シィ are sometimes used to emphazise that the English equivalent is spelled with y. For example, Kirby in Japanese is カービィ. It’s not necessarily a 100% rule though.
I’m no expert, but it does make the lengthening feel shorter to me, which seems appropriate with name like Lucy.
I don’t know why.
But ルーシ feels too short, ルーシー feels too long, and ルーシィ is baby bear’s porridge.
Aye, that’s my feel too. Lengthening the vowel with a small kana feels like the vowel sound trailing off a bit.
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