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

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Thursday, June 14, 2001, 17:01
Padraic 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.
Which makes sense to me. French went through the same passage, with the -a
> -e as the only surviving ending.
>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.
> >> [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. > > For the most part, the literary situation would be about like seeing > "As hyt ys yknowe hou3 meny maner people buth in this ylond, ther buth > also of so meny people longages and tonges; notheles Walschmen and > Scottes, that buth no3t ymelled with other nacions, holdeth wel ny3 > here furste longage and speche, bote 3ete Scottes, that were som tyme > confederat and wonede with the Pictes, drawe somwhat after here > speche." while actually reading "As it is i-known how many manner > people be in this Island, there be also many languages and tongues. > Netheless Walshmen and Scottes that be not meddled with other naciouns > keep yet nigh their first langage and speeche, but yet tho scottes > that were sometimes confederate and dwelled with the Pyctes draw > somwhat after their speche." > > There is talk of actually getting everyone together to come up with > a balanced Official Formula that will constitute "good" Kerno.
Interesting... such things actually happen very often with minor langs. Comes to mind the innumerable ways to write 'Plattdietsch' and... my Lombard (sigh!) Luca