[Spellyans] <l>, <ll>, and <lh> in Sacrament an Alter (1576)

nicholas williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Fri Jul 23 17:43:27 BST 2010

CW doesn't appear to distinguish /l:/ from /l/, since it writes  
<wellas> for <welas> 'saw'. But so does does Tregear. Tregear  
sometimes writes <pella> (x 17)  but he also writes <pelha> (x 13). CW  
writes <ethlays> 'alas' at CW 1040. This seems to be a back-spelling  
for *<elhâs>. It would seem that CW has lost the distinction /l: ~ l/  
but still has /lh/. In which one might expect either *<na felha> or  
<na *fethla> in CW. But CW always writes <na fella> 'no longer'.

Rowe writes <Môr pelha avel Jordan> but Gwavas writes <pella>.

Two further points. Lhuyd tells us he heard initial /r/ pronounced  
without voicing. (I am in Mayo and haven't the reference to hand.)  
Secondly, the reflex of /l:/ in Welsh is a voiceless lateral.  
Voicelessness as a possible element in realisation of historic /l:/ in  
Cornish is quite likely. The long /l/ of Cornu-English might be  
relevant here, or it might be a red herring.


On 23 Gor 2010, at 12:01, Daniel Prohaska wrote:

> was realised as voiceless or geminate will remain a matter of  
> theory, but what we can say, is that the author of SA most likely  
> retained the contrast of <l> : <ll> ~ <lh>.

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