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> > Well, yes.  It's generally seen as how the thing
> began.
> >
> > The adjective after feminine noun(or, indeed,
> anything), came about
> > because feminine nouns ended in a vowel.  As far
> as I know, intervocalic
> > consonants were softened in Welsh, largely
> ignoring word boundaries.
> > So, because most Masculine nouns ended in *'-os',
> and most Feminine in
> > *'-a', things following feminine nouns softened,
> and following masculine
> > nouns did not.
> >
> >
> The thing is, lenition doesn't occur when a noun
> follows another noun
> that ends in a vowel does it? Why doesn't it also
> happen in this
> situation? Do you have any idea what stopped it
> applying to this when
> the "softening" effect first started to occur? The
> only thing I can > think is that something else
(possibly an article)
> blocked it.


well..the nouns in vowels didn't always end in vowels.
They probably had a consonant at the end that dropped
off.... Come to think of it, I dont really know many
Welsh nouns that end in a vowel. Some, like "lle"
meaning "place", come from "llef".

Others, like "ci" was originally an "n-stem", meaning
that they ended in "n", which was lost. The word is
related to "kuon" in Greek.

So basically, the answer to your question is that, the
vowels at the end of words now do not cause lenition,
unless the word is feminine, because lenition ended
before these became vowelfinal words.

I can't give any examples of Welsh development, but
I'll use Nindic, my conlang, which has a strong
Welshfeel about it.

Nouns in the "Genitive" position in Nindic are
lenited. This came about after a long process of
lenition-spreading, whereby, the rules for lenition
were standardized through analogy. Originally, only
words which had ended in vowels caused lenition to a
genitive word following it.

The examples show the original state of affairs, where
only previously vowelfinal nouns cause lenition.

Example:
  buth fucha   /buT vuxa/  "spider's web"
  web  spider
  bucha "spider" (no lenition)
  buth < *bukta  (vowel final)

  cawa burcho /kawa burxo/ "wizard's dog"
  dog  wizard
  burcho "wisard" (no lenition)
  cawa < *kawan  (consonant final)

 So, from this one can gather that lenition occured
BEFORE the "n" was lost from <*kawan>, if it had been
lost and then lenition occured, <cawa> would have
caused lenition.

Because lenition later became the rule in this
case....the later Nindic language has <cawa furcho>.
Which is not the inherited form.

I hope this kind of clears things up.

Elliott.





		
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