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Re: R: Re: Latin loans in Welsh

From:Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>
Date:Monday, June 11, 2001, 22:10
On Mon, 11 Jun 2001, Mangiat wrote:

>Padraic wrote: > >> More grist please! >> >> I thought I'd put in the Kerno list while I'm at it. Lots of nice >> irregulars here - usually of the split declension sort which is >> very common in Kerno. I-mutation plural nominatives are heard >> less frequently than the full (correct) form. [coll. = collective >> noun] >> >> ascendere ascender >> barba la barba y varbàn (also la barbá) > >Does this barba mean 'beard' or 'uncle' (as in many Gallo-Italic varieties)? >The plural -àn suggests the latter hypothesis. -ani is a quite common plural >suffix in some characteristic alpine dialects; in some valleys it is always >used with surnames.
Means beard. Though the meaning "uncle" is quite interesting! How did (presumably) Latin barba come to mean uncle? Did all uncles have beards or something? Especially in the last couple centuries, Kerno has exhibited the curious phenomenon of nominal declension shifting based on the final consonant of the root; after which, other similar nouns sometimes follow by analogy even if that consonant isn't part of the word in question. For example, the K word "la Couba" means Cuba, the country. One majour export of the place is "y cigarillas coubanas" (< Span.); which got shortened in K to "y choubannes", literally 'Cubans'. The -n element gets reanalysed as the stem, and this word migrates from the -a declension to the -n declension. At times other words get reanalysed as well, even if there was never an -n in there (like barba), and it also ends up as an -n stem. As you can see, la barba is halfway in the -a declension (the singular) and halfway in the -n declension (the plural). Kerno seems to be in the middle of a great process of shift away from the old "Latin" declension system and into something new. As the language stood in the mid to late 19th century (the Revival), the process was well underway; currently its travelling at full steam and the best efforts of the various Language Bureaux can't seem to stop it. 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. 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. Not quite the answer you were looking for, but it does explain why and how la barba gets its -n! Ah... by the way: in Kerno, uncle is "patrecko (al laddes la mmatre)" for maternal uncle; and "brater peitron" for paternal uncle. Padraic.


Mangiat <mangiat@...>R: Re: R: Re: Latin loans in Welsh