Someone just sent me a reproduction of the 375-year old "Venice Haggadah."
It is very attractive, with many illustrations, but that's not the point.
It has many instructions and explanations in Judaeo-German. What struck me
was the use of the Vav (which we'd transliterate as a W today) as
transliterations for the Germanic "F" sound, as in F, V or Ph
I don't know how common that was at the time. Venice, like much of Northern
Italy, was then a largely German-Jewish community.
I'm alerting those who are puzzling over 17th century documents (or later)
that a Vav may represent the German letters/sounds F, V or Ph.
If anyone has additional information on this, please let us know.
Michael Bernet, New York MBernet@aol.com