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caeruleancentaur wrote:

>David Crystal, "A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics":
>
>"mutation - a term used in linguistics, especially historical
>linguistics, to refer to the change in a sound's quality owing to the
>influence of sounds in adjacent morphemes or words.  For example, in
>the period when Old English was developing the influence of an /i/
>vowel in certain circumstances caused other vowels to 'mutate' in the
>direction of the close vowel, e.g, *foti became feet.  The term is
>also occasionally used in synchronic contexts, as in the mutation of
>various initial consonants in Welsh after certain words, e.g.,
>pen 'head -> fy mhen 'my head.'"
>
>Me: This "Welsh" type of mutation is called lenition, the change of a
>strong sound to a weaker sound.  It is found in Senyecan to avoid
>unpleasant consonant clusters, e.g., ápa (father) + váárun
>(brother)
>= afváárun (uncle) to avoid the forbidden stop + fricative (pv).
>
>


Actually, Welsh has three types of mutation - soft, aspirate, and
nasal.  The only one that is normally called lenition is the first.