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Chris Bates wrote:

> Joe wrote:
>
>> Chris Bates wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I think this is how lenition started in welsh, as simple phonological
>>> conditioning that later became grammatical as well (thanks to words
>>> vanishing or being eroded maybe? I'd be interested to know the rule
>>> about adjectives following feminine nouns undergoing lenition came
>>> about). I don't see why a similar thing couldn't happen with
>>> palatization like this over time, but as far as I know no celtic
>>> language does this. Do you think its realistic?
>>>
>>>
>>
>> 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.
>
>

Because, I believe (though am not sure) that Welsh, at some point,
dropped its final vowels.  Most words ending in vowels are one of three
things:

a)Inflected forms
b)Borrowings
or
c)Not

I'm guessing the c) category ones once had a consonant, but dropped it.