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Indo-European Languages
Celtic Languages
Central Peripheral
Gallo-Brythonic Lepontic Goidelic Celtiberian



Old Irish


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From Celticonlang message 1289:


Well, now that I've mentioned it on Conlang, I might as well let the cat out of the bag.

I've been toying with the idea of a Celtic conlang for quite a long time, and finally it's shaped itself into a form.

It's a P-Celtic language (me the Cambrophile ought to know :-)). Is the Isle of Man free in IB? I see it's occupied by Brithenig, could I snatch it away? :-)

Well anyway, it's situated in one of the Northern regions where the Brythonic population has been assimilated *here*. The Isle of Man, or Anglesey, or somewhere around Morecambe Bay.

Well, let's suppose ot was the Isle of Man (so the language will be called Manoeg, stressed manOEg, by now, i. e. Manaweg > Manöeg > Manoeg). We all know that in late 6th and early 7th century the Irish kingdoms were struggling for control of Man, which was finally overrun first by Baethan mac Cairill of Dal Fiatach and then by Aedan mac Gabrain, king of Dal Riada.

*There*, though, it received support from the Britons of Rheged, perhaps from Urien himself, and hold out their identity and language, but of course the numerous Irish settlers bring in a strong Irish influence (which means I have received my copy of Thurneysen from Dublin :-)). Later still, a Norse element is brought in, but nevertheless Manoeg holds out, and countinues its strong ties with both Brithenig and Irish. As a result, the small island is, interestingly, highly diverse dialectwise.

Irish has apparently served to support the archaic elements which fell in disuse in real-world Welsh, Cornish and Breton, like the preverbs-oriented system and infixed pronouns. Norse has supplied lots of lexicon and the Modern-Irishy features of the dialects of the northeastern tip ('the promontory which looks towards Scotland' - Albamenir, i. e. Alban-pen-tir > Albampentir > Albamhenhir > Albamhenir (as it's called in 'proper 'Brythonic' Manoeg'), plus the loss of 'mh' < 'mp' characteristic of the region)

In the phonology, it's close to North Welsh, even though only the southern dialects share the unrounding of _u_, plus several Irishy changes, like the 'e' > 'ia' shift towards sounds with a velar articulation - i. e. k, g, [N], w, ch. Other changes are dialectal, viz., to be worked out ;-)

The syntax is also Welshy, but with a strong Irish element, such as the conjunctions agreeing in tense - and of course the absolute and conjunct flexions intact! But as I've mentions, it retains the peculiarities of *here*'s North Welsh mostly, thus the standard preterite 3sg. ending is -odd, though -ws is widespread, with a variant -wr in the Albamenir.

Yes, and the orthography is NOT like the Manx... But an ecletic mix of Welsh and Norse :-)

Well, that's about it. I guess the 'Yn nediwn seint llinghedig, yn nediwn seint yn côr' will probably be

'Poffyl heb hjaiþ, poffyl heb hjarth'

(nice alliteration don't you think? :-))

(the distribution of 'th' and 'þ' for [T] is purely orthographic and traditional)

'poffyl' is Latin 'populus' filtered via Irish, naturally.
'heb' is Welsh (i.e *here*'s Welsh, of course)
'hjaiþ' is W. 'iaith' with the normal prothetic h- before i- (possibly by analogy with the numerous Norse hj-initial loans)
'hjarth' is N. 'hjarta', of course

All for now. Feedback sought and welcomed

Pavel Iosad