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Old Irish vs. Middle Welsh scribal practices (was RE: Introducing Paul Burgess...)

From:Pavel Iosad <edricson@...>
Date:Monday, March 10, 2003, 20:04

> What I find difficult about Old Irish, > as opposed to Middle Welsh, which by comparison is blessedly > phonetic and regular, is that its initial and medial mutations are not
> represented (as > they are in Welsh--"m" is M whether it's /m/ or /v/), and you have to > remember a fairly detailed set of rules to be able pronounce > anything.
I beg to differ. *Modern* Welsh orthography is nice, but Middle Welsh isn't a lot of consistency - but then, which medieval European language is? And Middle Welsh, especially in the earlier manuscripts (or those rather dependent on early sources, such as BT or BA), seldom marks lenition (especially word-internally), and the treatment of the nasal mutation and the h-sandhi leaves a lot to be desired. Well, yes, Old Irish is a nightmare, but _-awt_ for _-awdd_ is hardly better! (I'm fulfilling my dream of yore and reading _Pwyll Pendeuic Dyuet_, which is of course pronounced _Pwyll Pendefig Dyfed_, in the Thomson edition) Pavel -- Pavel Iosad Is mall a mharcaicheas am fear a bheachdaicheas --Scottish proverb


Sally Caves <scaves@...>