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R: Re: R: Re: Latin loans in Welsh

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Wednesday, June 13, 2001, 7:51
Padraic wrote:

> >> More grist please! > >> > >> I thought I'd put in the Kerno list while I'm at it. Lots of nice > >> irregulars here - usually of the split declension sort which is > >> very common in Kerno. I-mutation plural nominatives are heard > >> less frequently than the full (correct) form. [coll. = collective > >> noun] > >> > >> ascendere ascender > >> barba la barba y varbàn (also la barbá) > > > >Does this barba mean 'beard' or 'uncle' (as in many Gallo-Italic
> >The plural -àn suggests the latter hypothesis. -ani is a quite common
> >suffix in some characteristic alpine dialects; in some valleys it is
> >used with surnames. > > Means beard. Though the meaning "uncle" is quite interesting! How > did (presumably) Latin barba come to mean uncle? Did all uncles > have beards or something?
My Italian vocabulary lists it so: _barba_, male noun, invariable, archaic and septentrionalism (does this word exist in English?): 1. uncle 2. in the valdese (and this? the vocabulary is not at hand, at the moment!) communities of Piedmont, priest; every member of this religious community. [etym.: _barba_ meant 'adult male member of the family different from the father']
> Especially in the last couple centuries, Kerno has exhibited the > curious phenomenon of nominal declension shifting based on the > final consonant of the root; after which, other similar nouns > sometimes follow by analogy even if that consonant isn't part of > the word in question. > > For example, the K word "la Couba" means Cuba, the country. One > majour export of the place is "y cigarillas coubanas" (< Span.); > which got shortened in K to "y choubannes", literally 'Cubans'. > The -n element gets reanalysed as the stem, and this word migrates > from the -a declension to the -n declension. At times other words > get reanalysed as well, even if there was never an -n in there > (like barba), and it also ends up as an -n stem. As you can see, > la barba is halfway in the -a declension (the singular) and halfway > in the -n declension (the plural).
The -n(i/e) plural is a typical trait of some alpine dialects, and as I said above, it's generally used with surnames. The AIS (Atlante Italo Svizzero, an important resource about many dialects) mentions il Capra - i Caprani, AFAIR. I'm not sure, but I think that the common plur. form of Lombard _tusa_ (trad. spell.: tosa; /'tuza/), which is tusann (t.s.: tosann; /tu'zan/) has the same source (/to'zane/ > (-e gets always lost word-finally) > /tu'zan/). Porta, one of the greatest Milanese poets ever, has also sorellann /sure'lan/ as the plur. of sorella /su'rEla/ 'sister'.
> Kerno seems to be in the middle of a great process of shift away > from the old "Latin" declension system and into something new. As > the language stood in the mid to late 19th century (the Revival), > the process was well underway; currently its travelling at full > steam and the best efforts of the various Language Bureaux can't > seem to stop it. > > The process is this: In the oldest levels of the language, there were > the same five vowel declensions Latin had plus three special consonant > declensions (-n, -t, -r/-s) which were largely declined like -i stems. > By the 15th century or so, the -o and -u stems are largely coalescent; > by the late 19th, the current state of affairs is found where there's > essentially one declension. What's happening is that -r, -n, -s, and > -t are becomming reanalysed into (official) plural terminations.
Were the five decl. still alive in the 15th cent.? Interesting...
> It should be noted that what facilitates this is the loss of the case > endings in casual speech: > > WRITTEN SPOKEN > > il murs y vurores /Il murs i vUror/ > li muri lis murib > le mmurre y vurores /le~ mur i vUrors/
It is nom/dat/acc, isn't it?
> [You don't get the dative in daily speech. I'm also sure that [o] > isn't the right IPA for the second vowel in the plural, but you > get the idea.] > > Probably what's going to happen is _all_ nouns will end up in one of > these four new declensions, with reworking of the case endings.
This is a great idea. And does the present stage of the written language reflect this?
> Not quite the answer you were looking for, but it does explain why and > how la barba gets its -n!
That was very interesting, though.
> Ah... by the way: in Kerno, uncle is "patrecko (al laddes la mmatre)" > for maternal uncle; and "brater peitron" for paternal uncle. >


Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>