[Spellyans] byghan and myghtern

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Mon Apr 28 14:27:52 IST 2014


As an aside, you also find <bygh> in place-names.  Probably an archaism in the language, but obviously it survives in a few names:  Carnan Bygh = Watch Croft;  Rospeath (Rospygh 1391), with provection caused by the -s of the generic, as occurs in several place-names).

Craig



On 2014 Ebr 28, at 13:07, Nicholas Williams wrote:

> I know that byghan 'small' is attested in placenames, but it does not occur in the texts.
> Beghan is attested twice in PA. Byhan is found a few times in the Ordinalia.
> The commonest forms for 'small' are byan, byen, bean in the texts.
> Lhuyd writes bîan. KS writes bian. I give a fuller list of examples in Gerryow Gwir.
> 
> The reason that I mention the matter is that one also hears, for example,
> Breten Vyghan, where the second element is ['vIx at n] or ['vIk at n]. In the light of the
> attested forms this cannot be justified.
> 
> One often hears ['mIxtern] for 'king'. But the word should be stressed on the
> second syllable. Moreover the spelling mytern is found as early as BM (1504).
> That means that from the early sixteenth century, if not before, there was
> medial -t- rather than -xt- in this word. In PA mygtern is the usual spelling. 
> Myghtern is the default form in the Ordinalia, but there is no guarantee
> that myghtern was always pronounced with -xt- rather than -t- there.
> After all we find one example of myzternas in BM, but three exx. of myternes 
> in the play. This would seem to indicate that myzternas was a historical spelling only,
> and that myternas was the everyday pronunciation. 
> 
> Since Anglophones find
> the group -xt- difficult, and since the form mytern, matern is so well attested,
> would it not be better to make mytern the default form in speech?
> 
> Nicholas
> 
> 
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