[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Some suggestions
At 10:23 am -0500 22/1/99, John Cowan wrote:
>Andrew Smith wrote:
>> I favour felig', gh is very unaesthetic.
>I still think this is too Spanish/Welsh.
....and Italian which, in fact, is more regular than Spanish.
French is a peculiarity. The main, but admittedly not the only, cause of
its "messy" system is that the written language carries over a good 50% or
more _silent_ grammatical endings; the written language perpetuates the
morphology of the 13th century. It's rather as if English still obliged us
to add a silent -e for the dative singlar and for 'weak' adjectives but
dropped the -e when the adjectives were 'strong', wrote all s-plurals with
-es instead of just -s, kept a silent -en on infinitives etc. Andrew,
wisely IMo, has not gone down that road so I think looking to French for
guidance on Brithenig spelling is unhelpful.
>Catalan, Occitan all have "messy" spelling systems,
Portuguese and Catalan are smaller neighbors of 'regular' Spanish (I talk
solely in terms of their European heartlands; I realize the use of
Portuguese in Brazil has altered things a little :) . It maybe they look
upon their "messy" bits as peculiarities which give them a distinctive
identity in contrast to their over-oderly big sister.
Attititudes to neighbors, I think, can have a bearing on one's orthography.
In the alternative world of Brithenig I believe the Saxons are still
conquered by the Normans. Now it was the Normans with their clumsy
orthography applied more clumsily to English that started our language on
its path of very unphonetic spelling. I see no reason to suppose that it'd
be any different in the alternative world.
I've said that one thing the Welsh pride themselves over is that their
spelling is phonetic. True, they tend to exaggerate and overlook the odd
irregularities that persist; but it certainly must rank as one of the more
regular of the European orthographies. Anyway, they do often point to this
as sign of their linguistic superiority over us poor Saxons. I can tell you
from living 22 years in one of the more anglicized parts of Wales, that
even those Welshman who know only a little of the native language of their
Principality, will still point with pride to this aspect of that language.
>is rational only because it is 19th century --- before that,
>Cyrillic was used. I like felig. If we can tolerate silent -t
>in -nt, silent final -f, what's so bad about alternative
>pronunciations of -g?
Final -f is silent also in modern spoken Welsh, but would always be
pronounced on formal occasion like reading from the Bible. The difference
is that a silent -t in -nt or silent -f is _predictable_. A dual
pronunciation of final -g is not predictable - one has to know the words
Whether we like "ffelig", "ffelicg", "ffelitg", "ffelig'" or whatever
(shouldn't the initial consonant be /f/, i.e. ff- ? Or have I missed
something?) is not so relevant as to what the Chomro themselves are likely
to have done. Personally, I would need to be persuaded why they should be
different over these matters from the Cymry of this world. But the final
choice has to be Andrew's.