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Re: Rromei-Geldyghei lyngvei (Roman-Celtic langs)
On Fri, 17 Apr 1998, Frank George Valoczy wrote:
> > Welcome from one of the other RomanoCeltic conlangers here! Andrew
> > Smith's Britheig and (my) Kernu, a Brithenig dialect, have consonant
> > mutation of various sorts. We haven't yet entirely worked out where the
> > Brithenig stress should fall, but word final seems a likely contender.
> > Your language looks pretty neat! Tell us Celticonlangers more about it!
> > Perhaps we could share ideas, experiences and the like.
> Thanks! Re consonant mutation, my main thing is that I want to make it
> different from Breton, but I want to keep it Celtic.
> I kept the Breton stress pattern (next from last syllable) in Brzhonegh,
> partly because it's simpler than random stress (as in my Slavic lang,
It might be difficult to have different "kinds" of mutation than the
Celtic languages (eg., Breton), but Brzhonegh could certainly find new and
dastardly places for the mutations to happen. ;^)
Brithenig has mutations in the verbs; for example, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd
feminine singular forms are "softened" (c --> g). The 3rd masculine
remains unmutated. The plurals are all "aspirated" (c --> ch). Thus we
get a paradigm like:
eo gant nus chantan
ty gant gw chantath
ys cant ys chantan
sa gant sa chantan
Kernu is similar, but the verb forms show fewer mutations:
eo cantam nus cantamus
ty canz vus cantath
ys cant ys chantont
sa gant sa chantont
(All from cantar, to sing.)
There's also mutations in the nouns, from singular to plural: ill diwrnal,
llo ddiwrnal (newpaper).
I think we're tending towards final stress, a la Fracais. Since Kernu
tends to maintain all those final syllables that Brithenig has lost, the
accent tends to be on the penult, or final when the last syllable be lost:
can 'ta mus, mon 'tant, etc.
> Cases are the six Latin (nom, acc, gen, dat, abl, loc).
> Tenses, moods and aspects I haven't worked very much on, but I'm tending
> to Latin with some Breton forms.
> Personal pronouns I'm keeping from Breton, with forms for nom, acc,
> dat/abl and gen/loc.
Brithenig has no cases. Kernu retains three (nominative, dative and
oblique), with a vestigal fourth (genitive pl.). We find aspiration in
the nom./acc. plural and nasalisation after the acc. singular and, where
applicable, the gen. plural:
nom. la toga dubba y thogou dubh
(gen. lor thogou dubh)
dat. li toggi dubh ys toggiv dubh
obl. la ndoga ndubh y thogges dubh
A toga dubba is what a judge wears in court. Defense attorneys wear a
toga keru (blue), prosecutors wear a toga rudda (red), jurors wear a toga
(Speaking of the legal profession (and although I'm sure there are about
9.3 x 10^423 Lawyer Jokes I could insert here, I won't :) ), the language
they use retains the genitive and ablative (and locative) in full. So,
when the Judge closes the case, she could say, for example, "Vadi-ty de
haic curiad co jodiad" if you win the case. This means "Go thou from this
court with joy", and has the -d of the ablative (from _Old latin_). You
can lose two ways: with decent evidence and with no evidence. In the
case of the former, she would say "co justiciad", with Justice, and for
the latter "co n-infamiad", in utter shame. Kernow courts really like
Other mutations occur in varying places too numerous to properly mention
here (the mutations are unmutate, aspirate, nasal, softened, and
Brithenig and Kernu have Indicative, Subjunctive, Imperative, Conditional
and Infinitive for moods. Kernu is a bit more conservative (and a bit
more Celtic) with its verbal terminations, as you could see above. Kernu
retains the -b- future of the 1st conjugation, the -s- perfect from
several places, the -b- imperfect (though mutated to -v-), a few
reduplicative verbs and a few -r passives.
Our pronouns seem to be mostly, if not entirely, Latin. Kernu, at least,
has accentuated and unaccentuated forms of the pronouns for emphasis.
> I haven't decided what to do with adjectives yet; Both Breton and Latin
> adjectives agree with the noun; but I'm bored with that from Vranian and
> Neo-Dalmatian; undeclining adjectives like Finnish and Hungarian are
> intrinsically boring too. Suggestions?
Well, you may certainly do with your adjectives as you see fit. :-) If
you're trying for a "likely" Romano-Celtic tongue (the overall goal of the
Brithenig Bunch), then you most likely will settle for boring Neolatin
adjectives. In Brithenig (and in Kernu), the adjectives of fem. nouns take
the mutation of the noun. Kernu has a very few irregular adjectives that
differentiate masculine from feminine: il varru beccos / la gwena becca.
> Numbers: I kept the Breton numbers, with a vigesimal system like French,
> so I guess that'll make it base-20; 18 is "three sixes".
I kept a number of Celtic forms, and judging from Andrew's Brithenig Page,
he did as well. Brithenig seems to have some base 15 (?) forms, and also
15 kindig, 16 yn e ghindig, 17 dew e ghindig
20 gweint, 30 deg e weint, 40 dew weint
Kernu seems to retain a couple more of these base 15 forms, as well as
many base twenty forms:
15 cyntheck, 16 yenicyntheck, 17 dawicyntheck, 18 trawicyntheck,
20 wyghaint, 30 dechiwyghaint, 40 dawhwyghaint
There are a few "irregularities" reminiscent of your "three sixes": 18
traw-ys-sey; 27 traw-ys-naw; etc. None of which are "standard".
> Breton has "inflecting prepositions". Do Brithenig and Kemru? I'm still
> figuring those out, whether to include it or not; I'm leaning towards the
As far as I know, Brithenig has lost these. Kernu has kept a few: in,
de/di, do, a and co may all inflect. We call it Conjugated Prepositions:
1. dom don
2. dos daw
3.m. da da
3.f. da da
3.n. dond da
The first person of such forms causes nasalisation, as does the 3rd. masc.
The 3rd fem. causes aspiration.
By far, do and co are the most frequently used forms. Do is used with
aver (to have/there is) to indicate possession, and the inflected do tells
us who owns what: dom ay yn ngu (to me there is a dog); da ngu le me ay yn
ngenamh (my dog has an old bone); com-wheni-ty comic (with me come [with
Does Brzhonegh have them?
> Last for now: Any idiomatic dictionaries for Celtic langs that could be
> of use?
None that I know of. Andrew seems to have one for Welsh, as he comes up
with transmogrified Welsh idiom every now and then. I sometimes import
Spanish idiom, or better yet, make up something neat!
Some Kernu idioms:
llompi l'altoer, saes casseyns. "knock the other [leg], it's wood." You
say this when someone lies to you.
dom-olia col ngat e le mbroch. "that puts me in the bag with the cat and
the badger." You say this when you're surprised or stumped.
e ma mhaydhoer atsa la rigu francor. "and me mum's the Queen o' France."
You say this when someone tells you a whopping fish story.
> Salwt, Ferrens
> > Benwenid, Verenc, di lla principtad di Gemr! /
> > Benweneth, a Fherench, dela prenciptat le Komrow (e la prowencea le
> > Kernow)!
> Diplomatic Relations between Gemr, Komrow and Brzhona? =)
A distinct possibility indeed, if the rumour buzzing around Sessiwn Kemres
be true. ;^) By the way, Gemr and Komrow are the same thing, but in
different dialects. Kemr is Cambria in Brithenig while Komrow is Kemr in
Kernu. Anyway, it's all sorted out on the map! The Kemres speak
Brithenig, and the Kernow speak Kernu.
Also, if the Brzhona and the Kemr find themselves inhabiting the same
universe, the Brzhona will find some very nice neighbours who speak
Breotu, a dialect of Kernu spoken by Kernow colonists in Bretten Beq
(Brittany) after the 11th century, or so. Legend has it that there may
also be a few Armorican speakers (descended from 5th cen. Dumnonian
Brythonic emmigrees, during the Ravagement of the Saxons) there as well,
but no one seems to be able to confirm this.
I expect we'd also have to figure out how the Brzhona came to be where
they are and how.
> Ferenc Gy. Valoczy
> personal page: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Museum/7482/
> railways page: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/3976/
> conlang page: http://members.tripod.com/~tuonela/
> -Oblast je morda nesimpaticna, a edina nesmrtne pot miru in stabilizacije.