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The Historical Syntax of the Brythonic Languages. The Historical Syntax of the Brythonic Languages :. Some Breton and Cornish Evidence. The Historical Syntax of the Brythonic Languages :. Some Breton and Cornish Evidence. Benjamin Bruch. 26 th Annual Harvard Celtic Colloquium.

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The Historical Syntax of the Brythonic Languages


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    1. The Historical Syntax of the Brythonic Languages

    2. The Historical Syntax of the Brythonic Languages : Some Breton and Cornish Evidence

    3. The Historical Syntax of the Brythonic Languages : Some Breton and Cornish Evidence Benjamin Bruch 26th Annual Harvard Celtic Colloquium Barker Center · Harvard University ·7 October 2006

    4. A Problem in Brythonic Historical Syntax • Insular Celtic languages tend toward verb-initial word order • Old Welsh, Cornish, and Breton are thought to have had VSO word order • Middle Welsh, Cornish, and Breton texts rarely have VSO word order in affirmative main clauses, although they use VSO elsewhere • Modern Cornish and Breton largely continue the syntax observed in medieval texts • Modern Welsh, however, is almost exclusively VSO • Did Welsh change from VSO to non-VSO, and then back again?

    5. Explaining Syntactic Change in Welsh • Hypothesis I: Welsh syntax never really changed • Non-VSO orders in Middle Welsh represent a ‘literary style’ that does not reflect actual speech (Mac Cana, Watkins, Fife, King) • Non-VSO orders may be derived from foreign (English, French, Latin) influence (Watkins) • Non-VSO orders may have spread from south-eastern dialects of Welsh, which subgroup with Breton and Cornish rather than with northern Welsh dialects (Lewis, Mac Cana)

    6. Pictish (?) † Brythonic Languages Northern British † Northern Dialects Northern Welsh VSO British Welsh South-eastern Welsh Southern Dialects Southern British Cornish South- Western British Non-VSO Breton

    7. Explaining Syntactic Change in Welsh • Hypothesis I: Welsh syntax never really changed • Non-VSO orders in Middle Welsh represent a ‘literary style’ that does not reflect actual speech (Mac Cana, Watkins, Fife, King) • Non-VSO orders may be derived from foreign (English, French, Latin) influence (Watkins) • Non-VSO orders may have spread from south-eastern dialects of Welsh, which subgroup with Breton and Cornish rather than with northern Welsh dialects (Lewis, Mac Cana) • Hypothesis II: Middle Welsh was not a VSO language • Modern Welsh preserves traces of the non-VSO orders used by speakers of Middle Welsh (Willis, Manning) • Verbal particles mi, fe derived from subject pronouns

    8. Word Order Typology English : I see the dog.

    9. Word Order Typology English : I see the dog. S

    10. Word Order Typology English : Isee the dog. S V

    11. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dog see I.

    12. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dog see I. O

    13. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dogsee I. O V

    14. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dogseeI. O V S See I the dog.

    15. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dogseeI. O V S See I the dog. V

    16. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dogseeI. O V S SeeI the dog. V S

    17. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dogseeI. O V S SeeIthe dog. V S O I the dog see.

    18. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dogseeI. O V S SeeIthe dog. V S O I the dog see. S

    19. Word Order Typology English : Iseethe dog. S V O The dogseeI. O V S SeeIthe dog. V S O Ithe dog see. S O

    20. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Iseethe dog. S V O * The dogseeI. O V S Feicim Ø an madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    21. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Iseethe dog. S V O * The dogseeI. O V S Feicim Ø an madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    22. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Iseethe dog. S V O * The dogseeI. O V S FeicimØ an madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    23. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Iseethe dog. S V O * The dogseeI. O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    24. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Mé feiceann an madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O * The dogseeI. O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    25. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Mé feiceann an madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S * The dogseeI. O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    26. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Méfeiceann an madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V * The dogseeI. O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    27. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Méfeiceannan madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V O An madra feicim Ø. * The dogseeI. The dog see-1sg. O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    28. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Méfeiceannan madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V O An madra feicim Ø. * The dogseeI. The dog see-1sg. O V S O FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    29. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Méfeiceannan madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V O An madrafeicim Ø. * The dogseeI. The dog see-1sg. O V S O V FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Ithe dogsee. S O V

    30. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Méfeiceannan madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V O An madrafeicimØ. * The dogseeI. The dog see-1sg. O V S O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O Mé an madra feiceann. * I the dog see. Ithe dogsee. S O V

    31. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Méfeiceannan madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V O An madrafeicimØ. * The dogseeI. The dog see-1sg. O V S O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O Mé an madra feiceann. * I the dog see. Ithe dogsee. S O V S

    32. Word Order Typology English : Irish : Méfeiceannan madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V O An madrafeicimØ. * The dogseeI. The dog see-1sg. O V S O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O Méan madra feiceann. * I the dog see. Ithe dogsee. S O V S O

    33. Word Order Typology English : Irish : * Méfeiceannan madra. Iseethe dog. I see the dog. S V O S V O * An madrafeicimØ. * The dogseeI. The dog see-1sg. O V S O V S FeicimØan madra. * SeeIthe dog. See-1sg the dog. V S O V S O * Méan madrafeiceann. * I the dog see. Ithe dogsee. S O V S O V

    34. Verb-Second Language German : Ich sehe den Hund. I see the dog.

    35. Verb-Second Language German : Ich sehe den Hund. I see the dog. S

    36. Verb-Second Language German : Ichsehe den Hund. I see the dog. V S

    37. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hund sehe ich. The dog see I.

    38. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hund sehe ich. The dog see I. O

    39. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hundsehe ich. The dog see I. O V

    40. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hundseheich. The dog see I. O V S Jetzt sehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog.

    41. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hundseheich. The dog see I. O V S Jetzt sehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X

    42. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hundseheich. The dog see I. O V S Jetztsehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X V

    43. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hundseheich. The dog see I. O V S Jetztseheich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X V S

    44. Verb-Second Language German : Ichseheden Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hundseheich. The dog see I. O V S Jetztseheichden Hund. Now see I the dog. X V S O

    45. Verb-Second Language German : Ich sehe den Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hund sehe ich. The dog see I. O V S Jetzt sehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X V S O

    46. Verb-Second Language German : Ich sehe den Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hund sehe ich. The dog see I. O V S Jetzt sehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X V S O

    47. Verb-Second Language German : Ich sehe den Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hund sehe ich. The dog see I. O V S Jetzt sehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X V S O

    48. Verb-Second Language German : Ich sehe den Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hund sehe ich. The dog see I. O V S Jetzt sehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X V S O Ich den Hund sehe. I the dog see.

    49. Verb-Second Language German : Ich sehe den Hund. I see the dog. V O S Den Hund sehe ich. The dog see I. O V S Jetzt sehe ich den Hund. Now see I the dog. X V S O Ich den Hund sehe. I the dog see. S