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On Saturday, June 12, 2004, at 09:36 , Danny Wier wrote:

> From: "Steg Belsky" <draqonfayir@...>
>
>> Anyone know why Scottish Gaelic accents go "\" and Irish Gaelic ones go
>> "/" ?
>
> Scots Gaelic does use acute accent for <e> and <o> to indicate a mid-high
> quality, as opposed to mid-low for grave, which is the default lenth
> marker.
> This may have been discontinued in the orthographic reforms of the 1970s.

My edition of "Scottish Gaelic in Three Months" by Roibeard  Maolalaigh &
Iain MacAonghuis published in _1996_ says quite explicitly:
"Long vowels are indicated by means of accents. There are two accents used
in Scottish Gaelic:
the acute (), found only on the letters _e_ and _o_
the grave (`), found on _a, o, u, i, e"

The book then goes on the explain the differences between  ~  and  ~ 
which are s Danny explains above. But the two authors do add:
"_Note_: there has been a recent move to abandon the use of acute accents
in Gaelic and many people prefer to use only the grave accent...."

But as to why Scots Gaelic favors the grave accent & Irish Gaelic the
acute for marking long vowels, I don't know. Why, for that matter, does
Spanish use the acute to mark irregular stress, while Italian uses the
grave (and why do Italians not normally bother with the grave except if
the irregular stress is on the final syllable)?

I guess there are historic reasons - but largely just a matter of habit, I
suspect.

>> Btw, does Scottish also pronounce broad |dh| as /G/ like i was taught
>> Irish does?
>
> Yes, and <th> is /h/, just as in Irish.

Yep - but, of course, only if "broad"; the "slender" (i.e. palatalized)
versions are [j] and [C] respectively.

> Lenis /d/ only becomes /D/ in Welsh;
..and Cornish   :)

> it becomes /z/ in Breton.
..as initial soft mutation of /d/. The spirant mutation of /t/, which in
Welsh & Cornish is /T/, is also /z/ in Breton.

But medially, where Welsh & Cornish have /D/ or /T/, while some Breton
dialects have /z/ others have [h\] (i.e. voiced 'h'), hence the spelling
|zh| in the KLT spelling - the orthography in which some 80% or so of
Breton is published. We also find the Welsh & Cornish word final /D/ and
/T/ spelled |zh| but the Breton sound pronunciation is |s| or |h| unless
the following word begins with a vowel or voiced consonant, in which case
the final sounds are voiced.

Ray
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