I’ve recently had an idea. Now this is a genuine tangent from my mainstream symposia that ‘delight’ (note to self: search synonyms for ‘delight’) my readers, but I kind of had to get it ‘off my chest’ as it were.
The four Brythonic languages (Breton, Cornish, Cumbric and Welsh) are extremely similar- both gramatically and orthographically. Yet despite sharing up to 75% of their basic words with each other, it requires prior reading/learning for one speaker to read the others. Rather unfortunate really. So what about a single Brythonic language?
This is no way a possible reconstruction for the old British language that was spoken from Southern Scotland to the North West of France, but rather a modern take on a single language for all speakers of the four ancient tongues to understand as readily as reading their own. Perfect, huh?
Now having studied each language (be that in university or alone personally with the aid of books) I feel I’m in a lovely position to propose such a language. Now, I’m most definitely not going into the ins and outs of my proposed grammar and orthography as it would take more than my usual 300 word rants on how silly the world is, but here are a few points to consider.
Finding ‘mid points’ between the languages is essential in ensuring common understanding amongst the four languages. For example, the sound dd /ð:/ (Welsh) relates to dh /ð:/ (Cornish and Cumbric) and z(h) /z:/ (Breton). Therefore my proposition is the use of dh /ð:/ for this sound. Cool huh? See what I’m doing?
Furthermore, the use of the third person used commonly in all Brythonic languages (with the exemption of modern Welsh yet still understood by her speakers) would be used in order for this new Brythonic tongue to be mutually intelligible by all. For example, ‘I learn’ / ‘I am learning’ would be ‘dyskav’ (‘dysgaf’ in Welsh and ‘dyskav’ in Breton and Cornish). Alternatively, the possessive clause could be employed as such:- ‘mi a + verbal stem’ (straight from the Welsh, yet with the same oral use as Cornish (my a + verbal stem) and Breton (me a + verbal stem)!)
Softened Welsh plosives (b, d and g) would be hardened to make them more Cornish and Breton (p, t and c/k) yet still read and be understood as Welsh. Cath (cat) would become Kath (as it is in Cornish and Breton).
Now granted, making a language for use by multiple nations seems a bit like giving a number of nations a single currency- and apparently that leaves my Brydhonek idea with a lifespan of a mere 15 years. But hey-ho, whatever!
Also, I realise this whole blog is rather confusing. Proof reading this even saw me myself getting slightly confused, but at least the ideas are forever safe amongst a list of rants and excuses for arguments on my page.
And finally, some examples of my language:
Dyskav / Mi a dhysk Vrydhonek Gyvoes (I learn / am learning Modern Brythonic)
Stephen ov vi (I am Stephen)
My a vo’yn (from ‘movyn’) mynt (d>T>s = linguistic mid point) de Gymru (I want to go to Wales)
Onep Gwenu (Smiley Face) 🙂