[Spellyans] gawas 'to get'

Deiniol Jones deiniolabioan at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 00:16:50 IST 2011


On 7 Sep 2011, at 22:31, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

> That is strange regarding the pre-occlusion in Manx.  Only one  
> British tongue has it, only one Gaelic tongue has it.  It's hard to  
> see whether one influenced the other.  Sea-trading might be one  
> possibility, but that trade would also have called into Wales,  
> Ireland, Scotland and Brittany.  They have no trace of it.  Maybe  
> those languages had so many speakers that they were beyond minor  
> external influences - but Manx would not have been, having perhaps  
> as few speakers as Cornish did.  And vice-versa, of course.  From  
> whence came the influence?  Cornwall to Man, or the other way  
> round?  If there is a connection between the two developments of pre- 
> occlusion, then that's the only one I can think of.

An interesting point here is that Manx and Cornish are not the only  
"British languages" (in a strictly *geographical* sense) to exhibit  
pre-occlusion: it's also abundantly attested for Norn, the extinct  
Scandinavian language of the Shetland Islands. As Michael points out,  
pre-occlusion also obtains in Icelandic but not, IIRC, in Faroese,  
which is interesting, as it's halfway between Norn and Icelandic both  
geographically and linguistically. Given this, I have to doubt if  
there's any direct influence between Man and Cornwall which could give  
rise to pre-occlusion.

Deiniol




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