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

Craig Weatherhill craig at agantavas.org
Fri Jul 23 18:28:56 BST 2010

John Norden c.1584: (comparing Cornish to northern and southern  
Welsh)  "The Cornish tongue is far the easiest to be pronounced, for  
they strain not their words so tediously through the throat and so  
harshly through and from the roof of the mouth; as in pronouncing  
Rhin, they fetch it with Rh, and LL with a kind of reflecting of the  


On 23 Gor 2010, at 17:43, nicholas williams wrote:

> 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.
> Nicholas
> 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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Craig Weatherhill

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