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Re: General RFI
Jeuff Eddy yscreus:
> On Thu, 14 May 1998, I wrote:
> > don't think it'd be very easy to derive a Q-Celtic language from
> > Brithenig without taking a substantial amount directly from
> > Latin/Romance as well.
> and Padraic Brown wrote:
> > I'm not entirely certain what you mean by this. I shouldn't think it were
> > at all possible to derive _any_ Celtic language from B.
> I wasn't very clear, was I?!
> What I meant was that deriving Breathanach purely from Brithenig, rather
> than from Latin/Romance, would mean the language going through two sets
> of Celtic evolutionary rules rather than one, which is probably
> overdoing things a bit (not to say making it unnecessarily complicated,
> rather like this sentence!).
> Breathanach thus derives mostly from Latin/Romance, so it's more of a
> cousin to Brithenig than a dialect, although there's obviously room for
> considerable Brithenig influence.
Since there's really no (known) historical matter for B., I don't know if
a satisfactory answer could be made. I'll ask anyway: is Breathanach
evolved from the same continuum of, say, 4th-5th century Romanobritish
speakers as is Brithenig, or are you postulating a separate gang of
> Here's a thought which has just popped into my head, regarding a
> hypothetical situation which may well be pertinent: How would
> *mutations* be borrowed from P-Celtic into Q-Celtic? If a P-Celtic word
> causes, say, nasal mutation, how would the voiceless consonants /p t c/
> be affected, since Q-Celtic does not have the resulting voiceless nasals
> /mh nh ngh/ ? Would the Q-Celtic "eclipsis" (voicing, as in P-Celtic
> soft mutation) be used for these, resulting in /b d g/? Similarly, if
> eclipsis were borrowed into P-Celtic, what would happen?
> [Sound changes caused by eclipsis: /p t c f b d g/ become /b d g v m n
If you mean a mutationless Q-Celtic language; I would think that Mutation
(as a grammatical entity) would not likely be borrowed. Ray (rightfully)
dressed me down regarding the borrowing of the neuter article from Spanish
to Brithenig; I think the two scenarios are not unrelated -- whole
grammatical 'categories' are not likely to travel across boundaries.
If you mean a mutationfull Q-Celtic language; I think the P-Celtic word
that caused the mutation could certainly be borrowed, but probably would
do one of the following: 1) leave off the P mutation and _not_ cause a
mutation in the Q language; or 2) cause some native Q mutation based on
analogy with similar words in the Q language.
To make an example: let's consider borrowing the Gaelic word 'ar' into our
British dialects. Having just completed two minutes of exhaustive and in
depth research at Focal an Lae, one use of 'ar' is as a preposition
(meaning amongst) and causes what looks like lenition: Tá sé ar shlua na
marbh. (He is amongst the host of the dead.) Unfortuately, B. doesn't
already have a word for 'amongst', but 'intr' might be a good bet. Kernu
uses a double preposition, inco, which causes nasalisation. If we
substitute 'ar' for 'intr' and 'inco', I think we would get:
ys es intr la ysserchid di llo forth --> ys es ar la ysserchid di
ys at incol sluch lor mmorus --> ys at ary sluch lor mmorus.
The mutation is not borrowed because there is no clear signal that 'ar'
should cause a mutation in any British dialect.
If English 'from' were borrowed into K., it would certainly trigger nasal
mutation, on account of the -m. This wouldn't be too obvious because
there is also the problem of our various articles causing mutation. Kernu
is not always consistent as to which mutation should supercede, that of
the article or that of the preposition. The oblique singular is already
nasalised by the article, so 'from' would have little noticable effect.
The plural is aspirated by the article, but could be nasalised by 'from'.
A better example might be 'inco mhu' in Kernu, which means amongst you.
The results with 'ar' would be 'ar vu'. Both, by the way, are pronounced
the same, but Kernu has a lot of "orthographic" mutations; a sort of place
holding phenomenon by which we know that a mutation occurs even if there
is no noticable effect.
Just my penny-hapenny.
>  Anna laughed with delight <> Geoff Eddy, somewhere in
> Edinburgh.. 
>  And my future was suddenly bright <>
> --++--++--++--++--++--++--++--++--++ 
>  So full of plans <> "The more it stays the same,
> the 
>  - Pal Shazar <> less it changes" - Nigel
> Tufnell