[Spellyans] 'stranger'

Hewitt, Stephen s.hewitt at unesco.org
Sat Jan 3 10:23:04 GMT 2009

I know "Cornish isn't Breton", but Nicholas Williams has recently appealed to Breton in connection with a question of Cornish.
It may be of interest to know that there are in Breton a number of words in <añch, añj> in which both (ñ means nasalisation of the preceding vowel(s)) /añ/ and /èiñ/ pronunciations are widespread. Standard Breton has <dañjer, estrañjour> for "danger, stranger", but in my Treger (NE) dialect, and in many others, the normal pronunciation is /dèiñzhür, estrèiñzhur/. The standard spelling for "change" is <cheñch>, but the normal pronunciations are again either /shañsh/ or /shèiñsh/. 
I am no specialist in the history of French, but I gather these doublets go back to differential treatment of <anch, anj> in Ile-de-France (the ancestor of Standard Modern French) and Norman French (the ancestor of the French element in English), /añ/ being typical of Ile-de-France, and /èiñ/ of Norman and western dialects. Both treatments are found in Breton, with /èiñch, èiñj/ probably predominating in the spoken dialects. 
Could it not be that what was written in Cornish <stranjer, stranger> was actually pronounced /streinjër/, as in English?
Steve Hewitt


From: spellyans-bounces at kernowek.net on behalf of Owen Cook
Sent: Fri 02/01/2009 19:53
To: Standard Cornish discussion list
Subject: Re: [Spellyans] 'stranger'

So in KS we would presumably write 'stranjer'. (I suggested <â>
thinking that we had /æ:/, which I think was also what Craig had in


2008/12/31 nicholas williams <njawilliams at gmail.com> rug screfa:
> I meant [ae].

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