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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:39 am 
Avisaru
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I've been looking at the Celtic mutation system, and have been trying to find out more about the Cornish hard mutation / fortition, but there seems to be much less information on Cornish than Welsh out there. Does anyone know how the hard mutation came about? I know that fortition is less common than lenition.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:16 am 
Sanno
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dyolf wrote:
I've been looking at the Celtic mutation system, and have been trying to find out more about the Cornish hard mutation / fortition, but there seems to be much less information on Cornish than Welsh out there. Does anyone know how the hard mutation came about? I know that fortition is less common than lenition.

In Cornish, the "hard mutation" and the "mixed mutation" have similar origins: frankly they're murky. Basically, it's the result of where two non-homorganic stops/spirants come up against each other in the parent language (whether this is Proto-Celtic, Proto-Brittonic or simply pre-Old Cornish is a matter of dispute). So, you have something like *writ depr- > ow tebry.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:55 pm 
Lebom
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This may be better for a thread on its own, but does anyone happen to know what the current view is on the initial mutations in Proto-Celtic? i.e. were they present in some form in Proto-Celtic, or were they a parallel development like Germanic ablaut? (If that's even a correct understanding of Germanic ablaut)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:02 pm 
Smeric
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Porphyrogenitos wrote:
This may be better for a thread on its own, but does anyone happen to know what the current view is on the initial mutations in Proto-Celtic? i.e. were they present in some form in Proto-Celtic, or were they a parallel development like Germanic ablaut? (If that's even a correct understanding of Germanic ablaut)

There's no substantial evidence for initial mutations in Gaulish or Celtiberian, which pretty heavily suggests it's an Insular innovation. Since Insular probably isn't a genetic relationship, it's probably safe to say it developed independently in Goidelic and Brythonic--or perhaps in one under the influence of the other.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:35 am 
Smeric
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Zaarin wrote:
Porphyrogenitos wrote:
This may be better for a thread on its own, but does anyone happen to know what the current view is on the initial mutations in Proto-Celtic? i.e. were they present in some form in Proto-Celtic, or were they a parallel development like Germanic ablaut? (If that's even a correct understanding of Germanic ablaut)

There's no substantial evidence for initial mutations in Gaulish or Celtiberian, which pretty heavily suggests it's an Insular innovation. Since Insular probably isn't a genetic relationship, it's probably safe to say it developed independently in Goidelic and Brythonic--or perhaps in one under the influence of the other.


Yes. As you say, the continental Celtic languages appear not to have had any initial mutations, or at least, they don't show up in writing. Also, the mutations in Brythonic and Goidelic are quite different, and even within Brythonic, they are different between Welsh on one hand, and Cornish and Breton on the other. Also, as you say, there doesn't seem to have been a "Proto-Insular Celtic" distinct from Proto-Celtic.

So, at most, there was a tendency in early Insular Celtic to (1) phonetically run together words in certain syntagms and (2) subphonemically weaken medial stops, including the initial stops within the run-together word groups in (1), in some way. This tendency may have been caused by a substratum language, but as long as we cannot say what kind of language that was, this has very little explanatory value. (My main conlang, Old Albic, is an attempt at imagining what such a substratum language may have been like.)

And Germanic ablaut is an entirely different thing - it is inherited from Proto-Indo-European, altered by vowel changes that affected Proto-Germanic, and systematized as a means of inflecting strong verbs.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:26 am 
Avisaru
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WeepingElf wrote:
And Germanic ablaut is an entirely different thing

I think Porphyrogenitos meant umlaut. Now, umlaut is something we also see in Brythonic and, to a small extent, French.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:40 am 
Avisaru
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WeepingElf wrote:
So, at most, there was a tendency in early Insular Celtic to (1) phonetically run together words in certain syntagms and (2) subphonemically weaken medial stops, including the initial stops within the run-together word groups in (1), in some way. This tendency may have been caused by a substratum language, but as long as we cannot say what kind of language that was, this has very little explanatory value. (My main conlang, Old Albic, is an attempt at imagining what such a substratum language may have been like.)

Perhaps the 'substratum' language that started the process is Proto-Celtic. The weakening of medial stops is also notable in Western Romance, and its quite conceivable that some of the consonant shifting in Basque is related. (Basque appears to have a Celtic substrate.)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:52 pm 
Smeric
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Richard W wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
So, at most, there was a tendency in early Insular Celtic to (1) phonetically run together words in certain syntagms and (2) subphonemically weaken medial stops, including the initial stops within the run-together word groups in (1), in some way. This tendency may have been caused by a substratum language, but as long as we cannot say what kind of language that was, this has very little explanatory value. (My main conlang, Old Albic, is an attempt at imagining what such a substratum language may have been like.)

Perhaps the 'substratum' language that started the process is Proto-Celtic. The weakening of medial stops is also notable in Western Romance, and its quite conceivable that some of the consonant shifting in Basque is related. (Basque appears to have a Celtic substrate.)


Sure, the weakening of medial stops is found in Western Romance, too, and very similar to what happened in Brythonic - except that no initial mutations fell out of it.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:03 pm 
Lebom
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Richard W wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
And Germanic ablaut is an entirely different thing

I think Porphyrogenitos meant umlaut. Now, umlaut is something we also see in Brythonic and, to a small extent, French.


Oops, yeah, I meant umlaut. I find it easy to get the terms mixed up...


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