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Re: A few more Breathanach notes
On Mon, 26 Oct 1998, John Cowan wrote:
> > If I'm not mistaken, both Spanish and Portuguese have taken the (Lat.)
> > gerund and have reformed it into a "new" present participle; and have
> > relegated the true participial form to mere nominal status. A sort of
> > role reversal where adj. becomes noun and vice versa.
> Well, the B. gerund ends in "-nte" and the true participle in "-nn",
> but which of these comes from what Latin form (participle is 3rd
> declension in "-ns", "-ntis", gerund is 2nd declension in "-nd-")
> is beyond me. Looks like they got inextricably mixed and then
> later sorted out.
It looks like the Iberian Shuffle fails here. I'd wager -nn derives
ultimately from -nd- while -nte comes from -nt-. Rather than confuse the
two, Breathanach speakers seem to retain the true participle form (-nt-)
as an adjective; while the gerund form (-nd-) remains a noun.
-nte is the gerund?? ' la phaoll dhoirmhinte "the sleeping girl" ', used
as an adjective in la Fhoil.
Kernu retains this pattern as well, having the active participle in -nt,
but has lost the gerund altogether. In Kernu, the gerund's -ndos --> -nds
--> -nts (which was the same as the present active participle) and
eventually the endings drop away from both the active participle and the
gerund, leaving the same form (-ant, -ent, -ient). Not so much a Shuffle
as a Slide.
There's not enough information on Brithenig to form an opinion, as the
participle (sneakily) ends in -n (can't tell if it's from -nd- or -nt-,
though) and there's no mention of a gerund. I could have sworn that last
week they ended in -nn (as evidenced by the Horse story, with participles
in -nn), which would indicate -nd- --> -nn, assuming that n follows the
same pattern as ng. If this is the case, then it's possible that the
Iberian Shuffle has affected Brithenig: -nd- would collapse to -nn-; usage
of the forms in -nn- and -nt- (especially if -nt- --> -nd- --> -nn-) would
be confused, leading to their ultimate coalescence and the dropping of
the gerund as in Kernu.
> > The other possibility is
> > that Old British Vernacular used isse and issa for the pronouns, which
> > were then ground down to the is and sa (your orthography may vary) of the
> > modern tongues.
> That's what I suspect, that Bri, Bre, K all derive their pronouns
> from ipse > isse. In which case no borrowing is involved, only
> a common descent.
Lawks am I ever glad I use Kernu as the common name rather than Bretanecca
(the "correct" name). There'd be way too many abbreviations to confuse!