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Cambrophilia and Taalen mutations

From:Pavel Iosad <pavel_iosad@...>
Date:Friday, October 18, 2002, 21:48
Heb yr Aidan:

> >No Welsh here at MSU :-( Yeah, I _have_ started Mod. Irish, and I'll > >possibly be taking Old Irish next semester and Breton next year... > > Oooh, Old Irish. The most beautiful, and the most > difficult, lang I have ever studied!
Yeah, I have recently got enamoured by the preverb system... I guess my next conlang will be all-preverb.
> >Though, I have very firmly articulated my desire to have > Welsh, so one > >of the teachers promised to arrage a meeting with one of the faculty > >members (who doesn't teach, sadly) so that we could set up a small MW > >reading class *anxious for that* > > Well, since you've got Modern Welsh, Middle Welsh > shouldn't be that hard.
Well, depends on what you call 'having' Modern Welsh :-) The trouble with Welsh is that most of the research is published *in* Welsh, which makes much of the literature pretty inaccessible in the beginning - hey no academic grammar of literary Welsh in English in print since Morris Jones! :-(
> I've only had a semester of Modern, and Middle is close > enough that > I'm not having any problems at all. We're using Ford's > edition (since Ford > is teaching it!) of the Math fab Mathonwy branch of the Mabinogi (4th > branch, I think). Between that (and Ford's glossary), and > Evans' Grammar ofa > Middle Welsh, it's easy. I can get you copy of Evans, if > you need it. > $20. should cover the book and the shipping, I think.
Wohoo, I at least have half of that list. I was lucky enough to locate a copy of Simon Evans in Oxford! :-) Ironically enough, I have literature on only Old (Falileyev) and Middle (Simon Evans) Welsh at home, but the variety I know the best is Modern :) Anyway, as far as I'm aware, the standard MW reading text (unless your teacher is an authority with a pet text) is the beginning of Pwyll, which can be found on the 'net. [...]
> >Was that only initially, or word-medially too? If it was the latter, > >then wow, the Taalen speakers _are_ Ñoldor! :-) > > To be honest, I'm not sure. I have to get more vocab > figured out before > I'll know. I _think_ that they _are_ Noldor, in that sense, though!
Cool. Are they human anyway?
> > > Hmm... I don't know how to make this unrounded [w], so > > > that's a strike against it. > > > >Try a _heavily_ velarized [l] until it is an approximant. I > think I have > >heard in some pronunciations of 'cold'. I also stand by my > opinion that > >is the sound of the Polish crossed _l_ > > Ah! I believe that's the "dark l"...which is not a > distinctive sound in Taalen, so it would still just be [l].
Well, I was actually talking of an [l] *so* dark it isn't [l] anymore.
> Well, I've already got a very rich system of vowel change > ("slender" > vowels like /a/ becoming "wide" vowels like upturned c (can't > remember the > XSAMPA),
So <a> is the Swedish short [a] here? Otherwise I don't see it is a front vowel (which is my understanding of slender).
> diphthongs are frequent thanks to i-affection, and > so on) , so > even the one more would make it a language of vowels > entirely. I'd have to > get imports of consonants from Serbia to finish the lang! :)
Why not from the Caucasus, then? :-) [...]
> > > On the other hand, the Noldo in me likes the l>n change > > > too, but I think > > > levelling would return it to [l] or remove the [l] > > > altogether. > > > For example, > > > _emeth_ 'shrine' < nemeton, where the [n-] was interpreted as > > > part of the article (i, in before vowels). > > > >Do you mean that this _nn_ could be reinterpreted as part of the > >article? > > Yes, that, or that the word, orginally in _l-_, would be > reinterpreted > as _n-_. That a word like _lonn_ 'homeland' would become > _onn_ or _nonn_, > and if this process continued (likely), eventually there > would be no words which began in _l_.
There is a similar idea in Tolkien's Gnomish Lexicon. Well, the idea is pretty general (you find it in Etym and later), but an explanation is given in GL. It's about the g- prefixion to liquids. It became a productive derivation means precisely because the lenited forms of gl- and gr-initial words coincided with the l- and r-initial words after the article, and the latter could become re-interpreted as being the former. Pavel -- Pavel Iosad Is mall a mharcaicheas am fear a bheachdaicheas --Scottish proverb