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Re: New Brithenig words (2)

Date:Wednesday, May 23, 2001, 22:13
On Tue, May 22, 2001 at 05:33:52PM -0400, John Cowan wrote:
> wrote: > > >>hog, porch < porcus > >> > > With the plural "pyrch" maybe? > > > In Brithenig, plural nouns are the same as the singular, > except for the spirant mutation: > ill pobl < ILLE POP(U)LU, llo phobl < ILLOS POP(U)LI. > There are also about 10 nouns that are masc. in sg., > fem. in pl.: ill corn, lla gorn. >
I find this remarkably boring. Given that the noun declensions of British and Latin were quite similar, as were the phonologies, I'd have expected a least a handful of common masculine o-stems to have developed vowel change plurals, and perhaps a few of the more interesting consonant stems to have survived as plural affixes. eg singular : caran(t)s >> car plural : carantes >> caran(n) or caren or ceren What WCB did was to extend both these mechanisms by analogy, share them around generously if you like, so that nearly every noun ended up with one or more plural forms, even those (like neuter o-stems) in which regular development of their British forms would give a plural identical to the singular. ILLE POP(U)LU by my reckoning should give _ill Bobl_ since the initial p is intervocal. In fact there would have been quite a variety of potential mutation patterns for the plural following the article, depending on case, number and gender, and perhaps the use of more than one article. Natlangs aren't that different from conlangs really, in that out of the material available, the speakers select what they like (just a few more folk get to do the selecting and it takes *ages*). So The Welsh agreed on no mutations in the plural; The Cornish went in for lenition of plurals denoting male persons; The Bretons went in for the above also, together with /k/ > /x/ in all other cases. I've just naively assumed that Brithenig is what would have happened if the British, instead of just borrowing a whole heap of loan words, had "borrowed" the entire Latin language, but presumably kept most of their native phonology and syntax. ----------------------------- "Ach y fi" means "yuck!"(US) or "ugh!"(UK) The "ach" is just an interjection like "Oh!", German "Ach!" etc. "y fi" is from myfi [m@'vi] << /mi-mi:/ the 1st sing. pronoun reduplicated for emphasis. I suppose the nearest literal English translation would be "Oh my!", but that's far too gentile to render the sense of the Cymraeg! ------------------------------- The Cornish and Welsh words for Lepus/Hare, are skovarnek, ysgyfarnog and mean "eary" "having (big) ears". I've no idea which Latin suffix best corresponds to Celtic -a:kos Keith