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English, the language.

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138776.  Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:33 am Reply with quote

Although not quite on the same level the irish playwrite Sean O'Casey was actually Sean Casey. He was that rarest of irish birds, dirt poor working class protestant. He also changed his name so as to appear more irish.

138906.  Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:08 pm Reply with quote

Considering my lifelong interest in language and dialect I am amazed to have only just discovered this thread. I offer one or two nuggets and questions from my memory of the last 9 pages and my own experience.
My birthplace was Manchester and I have always known I was a Mancunian but have only recently discovered that a ship that my grandfather designed was called the Mancunium. I always thought it was Mancunian. Is the actual name Latin for the city or somebody's idea of what the Latin would be, or perhaps some other reason?
He, Grandpa, came from a Welsh family of seafarers in Llanelli, as did my other Grandpa, his brother. Their father fetched up at some point in Truro where he met and married their mother. Returning to his family home in Llanelli she was ostracised by the Welsh speaking in-laws (because she was 'English', ironic being one of a long line of Celtic Cornish) and, being of stern stuff, swore none of her children would learn Welsh. One of my Grandpas defied her and did learn the language. Sadly he didn't pass it to his kids which explains why I can't speak the language today. I am hoping to make a pilgrimmage this year to track down as much of this family history (on both sides of the Bristol Channel) as I can.
On the subject of changing names to reflect either real or imagined ancestry, or assimiliation, I note that on becoming a French citizen (the process has started) I am offered the opportunity to change my forenames 'Francisation du Prénom' and since all my life I have been plagued, despite being called nothing other than David, by officialdom insisting on using my first name of Reginald, am tempted. 'Regis-David', what do you think? However a bit more stylish with an accent. 'Régis' pronounced Raygee or, more accurately reflecting the original, 'Règis' (Regee). The 'g' of course always soft not like in English. Absence of accent of course produces 'Ruhgis'. I don't think so, sounds too much like a wholsale market in Paris.

742885.  Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:36 pm Reply with quote

I've only just discovered this site, so my comments are a bit late. I very much enjoy Gaazi's informative contributions about the Welsh language, but would like to cross swords with him on a couple of small points:

(1) Please! It would be helpful for non-Welsh speakers if you used "standard forms" to explain grammar:

allan, i fyny, e, nawr, union, etc;
rather than:
mâs, lan, o, rwan, gwmws, etc.
(these are random examples of the principle)

(2) I don't think that "*mawrgledd" is a likely form for "big sword". It is unrecorded in anywhere I have searched, including the University of Wales Dictionary. "Cledd Mawr" is, however, the name used for the big metal thing they dangle around threateningly at the National Eisteddfod, before being forced to sheathe it by a vocal crowd. In parts of Wales "*cle' mowr", sounding very similar to "claymore" is a possibility. - cf "mini mowr" (big mountain) = "mynydd mawr".
The next point is the same point, really. The question as to whether to put an adjective before or after a noun is easy most of the time, but in proper names and poetic language this is not always the case. "Maen Hir" and "Hirfaen" are both attested in place-names. Certainly "Maen Hir" occurs more frequently than "Hirfaen", and may well have been gaining ground since the 17th century, influenced by the Breton "menhire". There are many "Maen" locations in Wales; where there is an adjective, this comes second far more frequently - I would estimate what where there is an adjective attached it comes after "maen" about 80% of the time; where "maen" is used as an adjective, e.g. "y bont faen" (the stone bridge), that is a different case.

I hope you don't mind my nit-picking; your contributions are most excellent and extremely informed. Keep up the good work!

Diolch o galon am eich gwaith godidog ar y tudalennau hyn!

Stefan Linnemann
982025.  Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:37 am Reply with quote

Gaazy wrote:
samivel wrote:
Does this mutation still apply if you're talking in Welsh or Irish to someone with, for example, an English name? So would 'Peter' become 'Beter'?

Theoretically yes, though the practice of mutating a proper name used vocatively has all but died out.

Poor Buck....



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