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Re: Some suggestions
On Thu, 21 Jan 1999, Raymond A. Brown wrote:
> Surely it's the other way round! Welsh is a _Celtic_ language, not a
> neo-Latin language as Brithenig is. One thing we can be certain about is
> that the Celts had a calendar with months well before the Romans took over.
> And we can certainly discount such reconstructions as the "Gravesian"
What is clear is there was a celtic calendar, but the intrepretation of
how widespread its use in Celtic society was, and how it is/was used
remains speculation. If Padraic wishes to preserve the Kernu calendar,
then I would suggest that its legal latin version is universal to the
Kemrese lawcourts, although I would suggest that it would be a historical
construct rather than an 'authentic calendar'. An intellectual game that
appealed to national sentiment would not be beyond the bounds of medieval
> These seem to me the most likely to have gone and Celtic names might have
> replaced them. I know no actual evidence that the Gaulish names were ever
> used in Briton - or indeed that all Gallic Celts used the same names. The
> only safe evidence it seems to me is what the modern Brittonic languages
> actually do:
> WELSH CORNISH BRETON
> Sep. Medi Gwyngala gwengolo
> Oct. Hydref Hedra here
> Nov. Tachwedd mys-Du du (miz du)
> Dec. Rhagfyr Kevardhu kerzu
It was these four months that I have in mind when I started on this
thread, and you have provided more comparative information than I could
discover, mullt reid!
> Welsh 'Medi' is, I'm sure, of the same origin as 'medi' "to reap" - the
> harvest month. In Cornish & Breton it is the month of "White Straw" (gwyn
> + cala, gwenn + kolo). Maybe "White Straw" also in Brithenig?
Straw is ystref (m) and white is blanc; possibly Ystreblanc.
> 'Hydref' also means "autumn" in Welsh, but the words for "autumn are quite
> different in its two sister languages. I don't know the etymology of the
> word, but it does look as though it was an old Celtic month name *Setrem-
> to which the GMP could be applied :)
That would be Sedref as Brithenig does not turn [s] into a fricative.
> Both Cornish and Breton simply call November the "Black Month" (which it
> certainly is up in these islands!) and, indeed, "y Mis Du" is common in
> Welsh also as a name for November. But if the Chomro did the same, I guess
> they'd simply use the Brithenig words for "Black Month". I'm afraid I
> don't know the origin of the Welsh "Tachwedd".
I have not managed to find "Tachwedd" either. "Black Month" would be
Muis-Nir, or ill Muis Nir.
> The Welsh, I assume, is the prefix 'rhag-' = "pre-", "fore-", and 'byr' =
> "short", since the month begins in the days before the shortest day, the
> winter solstice. The Cornish and Breton is "Black Acre" month! Nothing
> doing on the farm.
The word for acre is 'areben' (m), cognate with French arpent, so December
could be "Arebennir", or possibly shortened to "Arbennir"
I think they sound better than Sethembr, Oethembr, Noembr, Decembr. I had
not noticed it was the anacronistic numbered months that were removed.
Andrew Smith, Intheologus firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. Why are there so many Smiths in the Phone Book?
A. Because they all have telephones!
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