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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 >>reflect this? > >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. Padraic.