Revised Paradigms, was (anciently) Latin loans in Welsh
|From:||Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, September 6, 2001, 18:53|
On Wed, 13 Jun 2001, Padraic Brown wrote:
>On Wed, 13 Jun 2001, Mangiat wrote:
>>> 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...
>I have to work at revising the ancient and medieval paradigms...
>The -a declension has always been the strongest and most resistant
>to loss or change of forms. Even now, you hear -a as the accusative
>ending with frequency - while all the other declensions have levelled
>to silent -e:
>/la kanta i xanti il kants i xanti/
>/la~ ganta i xants le~ gant i xants/
>La canta (f) = song; il cantes (m) = language. In spelling, the 5
>declesnions lasted quite a while, though the pronunciation changed.
>>> 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/
>>> [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
>No. Well, maybe. :) There are approximately 6 semi-official
>orthographies and writing systems in use at this time (and I'm not
>going to bother trying to keep them straight). On the fringe is, in
>fact, a written / grammatical variety that reflects the current state.
OK. I'm settling on the Glastein Orthography, that very fringe element
which of the six most closely reflects the actual modern language.
It's actually more than just an orthography, as it deals with
formalisation of the spoken tongue. [The language as revealed in the
Grammar book was actually the formal written variety of Kerno, and is
something akin to Chaucerian English for us. This particular variety
of the language hasn't been spoken for centuries, though, and what I'm
choosing to do is set that old standard aside and concentrate on the
modern spoken tongue. The Glastein Orthography settles issues of
spelling, grammar and the like; thus creating a new (and more
importantly for the Province) single standard language.]
To answer the question, yes, this written standard reflects the state
of the spoken language fairly well. From the traditional Latin five
declension system, a reorganised four declension system evolved.
Namely: 1. is vowel stems; 2. is consonant stems; 3. is -n stems; and
4. is -s/-z stems. 3 and 4 are separate, because they behave
irregularly, while 2 is quite homogenous in behaviour.
The vowel types are mostly reduced to -a and -o stems, into which the
other types were adsorbed. There are a couple -u stems floating about,
however (notably la manus, palm). [Curiously, Latin palma gave rise to
la llama meaning hand in K.] The declension is fairly unremarkable
except in proper names. Masculine names often retain the stem vowel
-o-, otherwise lost in common nouns: Marcos, etc. Both masc. and fem.
names have acquired an oblique form in -on. Consonant gemination
before final (silent) -e is ubiquitious. When it's pronounced, it's a
kind of chopped off schwa.
nom la canta y xant il cats y xat la manus y van
obl lâ canta y xantas lê catte y xattes lâ mana y vannes
nom Julia Marcos
obl Julion Marcon
The consonant declension is the largest, and includes nouns in r, l,
t, c, k, g, w, d, p, b, f and v. All are declined alike. The only
irregularity is the -f words, whose plurals are in -v. The use of "e"
in the oblique (s. and pl.) is somewhat erratic, often times esthetics
dependant; though is not required like in the -o stems.
nom il bourels y vourel la breyfs y vreyv l' olows ils olow
obl lê bourel y voureles lâ breyfe y vreyves l' olowe ils olows
That leaves the odd -n and -s declensions. Like the Latin and Celtic
antecedants, the nom. singular (usually) lacks the -n of the stem and
never shows a nom. ending [ratio, rationis for ex.]. In Kerno, none of
the other forms show case endings at all. The -s stems are similar in
not having any case endings. Curiously, most -u stems got absorbed by
the -n declension.
nom la logiu y logien la fees y fees il corpos y xorpos
obl lâ logien y logien lâ fees y fees lê corpos y xorpos
nom il muccus -> il muccu y vuckon
obl lê muck -> lê muckon y vuckon
This doesn't mean that there are now no irregular nouns! Off hand,
corpos can also be il corpos / lê corpuroer / y xorpuroer; the plural
of la fovea is y xavurn. It's still quite common for some nouns to
be found in two declensions - the singular might be -a, the plural
might be -r.
>There is talk of actually getting everyone together to come up with
>a balanced Official Formula that will constitute "good" Kerno.
That didn't work (and like the situation in *here*'s Kernow, has been
dragging on for decades). *There*, however, there is actually an
effective government, which finally put its collective foot down,
abolished the literally dozens of Language Boards and chose an
official version. Took the place by surprise, and no mistake. Riots
are by now suppressed - though in honesty, they never had much chance
to build up steam; but school children everywhere (especially the
eastern cantrevs) will be finding school a shitload and a half easier
on account of not having to learn an ancient language (on top of the
three or four modern languages everyone has to learn as a matter of
course). Used to be that everyone learnt Brithenig, Official Kerno,
Spoken Kerno, English and as an elective either Doric or French. Now,
Official and Spoken Kerno are one and the same. The eastern cantrevs
already have a leg up, since they speak Brithenig (after a fashion) at
home from birth. The old Official variety will of course still be
taught as an elective; as proficiency in it (along with Latin and
Brithenig) are required for dealing with civil records administration.