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Re: Breathanach

On Tue, 28 Jul 1998, Geoff Eddy wrote:

Hi Geoff,

I've been following this thread, but I'm not Irishly competent enough to
give any insights.  But I can say somewhat about the following.

> Finally, one of my main problems with Breathanach has always been
> knowing how much I'm allowed to make up. There are several sound-changes
> (such as final -nt > /nn/) which could have happened but don't reflect
> what actually happened in Irish; however, I don't think that evolving
> Irish from Classical or Vulgar Latin instead of Proto-Celtic would be
> particularly rewarding. Do you happen to know how much of Brithenig is
> invention on Andrew Smith's part, rather than speculation?

As a conlang, it's compleatly up to you how much you "make up" in
Breathanach.  It's one thing to put a Romance language upon the tongues of
Celts; but it's another altogether to expect those same Celts to come up
with the very same sound changes that one knowns and loves in the Celtic
languages.  Indeed that's probably not too rewarding; and would be akin to
relexing one's native tongue. You may find it easier to start with certain
assumptions about Celtic pronunciation (ancient, obviously); and then work
from there using modern Celtic as a rough guide only -- a template if you
will, not an instruction set.  That's what I did with Kernu, at the start: 
I took what I knew of Brithenig phonology (a year ago) and Cornish
phonology, and let it evolve from that point.  But I've never let Cornish
dictate what Kernu will or will not do, in any aspect of the language.

As far as Brithenig; John is right that there is much non-systemicity in
it; but I believe Andrew is trying to mimic Welsh phonology as much as
possible.  He can correct me and ammend, as necessary; as he undoubtedly
knows what he's doing. ;-)


> Regards,
> Geoff
> -- 
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